Using Diagrammatic Explorations to Understanding Code

Vineet Sinha (Architexa)

Emerging Technologies · Short Talk

Tuesday, 11:50, 10 minutes | Room 203/204 | Download in iCal Format

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When working on large software projects developers often face code that is hard to understand. Even though programmers have been shown to spend over half their time understanding code, there have been very few helpful tools for this task. In this short talk we present the limitations of current tools, give a demo of the Relo project (currently rated as one of the top Eclipse UML tools), and introduce tools that we have built based on feedback.

Developers understanding part of a project might not know which pieces of code are involved in their task. Therefore, tools need to allow these developer to interactively explore the code in a lightweight manner while building relevant diagrams. Further, these diagrams need to be familiar, such as with UML, and also represent small manageable parts of the codebase allowing a user to focus on important code relationships. By not including irrelevant details, the generated diagrams will not overwhelm users.

The short talk gives a quick overview of Relo and presents work being done by Architexa. It includes an update since the last EclipseCon.

Vineet Sinha has been working for the last six years in helping users understand and work with large structured information spaces. He has received his PhD at the MIT CS+AI Lab while working as the lead developer of the Relo project. This work has been motivated by his previous experiences working with large codebases, such as Microsoft Office, and has been done in part through collaboration with Accenture Research Labs. Vineet is currently working on building out this functionality at Architexa.

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