API Usability Study Article Posted

I bloged a while back about the Dr. Dobbs on Measuring API Usability.  I just got permission from the nice folks at Dr. Dobbs to post the article publicly for your reading pleasure.  


Any teams at Microsoft you think I should print off a copy and hand-deliver this to 😉


Love to hear any comments or questions you have on it.


Update 4-17-2007: Updated link to the paper…

Comments (9)

  1. marko says:

    Nice artical…

  2. B.Y. says:

    Thanks, Bard.

    How about the guys who designed the DirectShow API, all that filter/pin stuff.

  3. Mike Dimmick says:

    The .NET Compact Framework team. The APIs are nice and usable up until the point where you try to do something complicated, at which point you a) have to P/Invoke all the native APIs because all the escape hatches have been removed and b) swear loudly because the marshaller has very little power, and you’re swamped in unsafe code.

  4. Ken Cowan says:

    System.Management team. Cruising the WMI repository is complex, and not well documented. From a 10,000 foot level it ought to be simple. It’s just a bunch of metadata describing types and instances of types.

    Next, System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal and our friend IntPtr. Ever try to use the BSTR returned from StringToBSTR from MC++? Ever try to walk an unmanaged buffer with ReadInt32 and friends and then realize you have a string and need to use PtrToStringUni? Hmm, no offset param so I have to do the pointer arithmetic myself. I’ll just add the offset to my IntPtr, but no wait, you can’t do arithmetic on an IntPtr. … But I rant.


  5. The SharePoint team (both portal and WSS) need to read this.

  6. Ring says:

    It is good, have boundless prospects

  7. Steven Clarke (a usability researcher here at Microsoft) has published a set of very interesting papers