IBUC 2006 Abstract

Blaise Programming Techniques for Better Documentation an
Peter Sparks & James Hagerman ; University of Michigan, USA

The Blaise programming language is very versatile in order to implement complex surveys. However, this same
feature can be a problem when documenting the questionnaire. Blocks, parameters, procedures, parallel blocks,
complex logic, fills, external files and more can yield a bewildering jumble of code.

This paper examines methods that can be used by the programmers to aid in providing clear documentation for a
variety of users: other programmers, non-technical survey managers, and automated documentation systems (i.e.,
BlaiseDoc). Overly complex code typically yields poor or no documentation, reduced performance, and is not
robust. Programming for good documentation improves portability and maintainability of the program code, better
output from automated documentation systems, and the ability to compare cross-wave instruments.

Contact: zebulon@isr.umich.edu