The Community for Technology Leaders
Software Engineering, International Conference on (2007)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 20, 2007 to May 26, 2007
ISSN: 0270-5257
ISBN: 0-7695-2828-7
pp: 302-312
Brian Ellis , Carnegie Mellon University
Jeffrey Stylos , Carnegie Mellon University
Brad Myers , Carnegie Mellon University
The usability of software APIs is an important and infrequently researched topic. A user study comparing the usability of the factory pattern and constructors in API designs found highly significant results indicating that factories are detrimental to API usability in several varied situations. The results showed that users require significantly more time (p = 0.005) to construct an object with a factory than with a constructor while performing both context-sensitive and context-free tasks. These results suggest that the use of factories can and should be avoided in many cases where other techniques, such as constructors or class clusters, can be used instead.

J. Stylos, B. Ellis and B. Myers, "The Factory Pattern in API Design: A Usability Evaluation," 29th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE'07)(ICSE), Minneapolis, MN, 2007, pp. 302-312.
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