Combining Interactive and Whole-Program Editing with REPARTEE

Luna Phipps-Costin, Michael MacLeod, Alex Vo, Tiffany Nguyen, Joe Gibbs Politz, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Benjamin S. Lerner

Workshop on Evaluation and Usability of Programming Languages and Tools, 2021

Abstract

Interactive evaluation with a REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop) is a feature of many programming environments, especially in environments for teaching programming. However, REPLs do have confusions and stumbles for beginners related to navigating between programs and interactive evaluation. We identify several specific weaknesses of REPLs with a worked example from an existing programming environment in active use, distilled from our experience with novices. We then present an updated programming environment that mitigates these weaknesses by combining the program editor and REPL, so the user can benefit from the best of both.

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