The Effects of Using a Nonprocedural Computer Language on Programmer Productivity

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An empirical experiment was conducted in order to compare a third generation, procedural language (COBOL) with a fourth generation, nonprocedural language (Focus) in terms of programmer productivity and program efficiency. Six applications were developed in two languages by different programmers who had been matched according to their level of expertise. The results of the experiment showed that the applications were programmed significantly faster, particularly by beginning programmers, using the nonprocedural language. On the other hand, it was found that the procedural language was significantly faster than the nonprocedural language in terms of CPU execution time.

Additional Details

Author Elie C. Harel and Ephraim R. McLean
Year 1985
Volume 9
Issue 2
Keywords Application development, programmer productivity, program efficiency, procedural and nonprocedural languages, query languages
Page Numbers 109-120