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Put It In Reverse: Using Eclipse to Understand Code that has Already Been Written

Del Myers

Making at Eclipse · Standard
Wednesday, 11:10, 20 minutes | Stevens Creek


Every developer has run into the problem of having to read and understand software that was written long ago, and has been long forgotten. When debugging and testing we run into road blocks and begin to wonder about our software: "Why did it do that?", "Where is that implemented", and "How does that work?"

This talk presents the open source tool for Eclipse called Dynamic Interactive Views for Reverse Engineering (Diver) which is designed specifically to help answer those kinds of questions. Diver offers many features that help you to locate and analyze the features in your software which you are most interested in. The talk will describe the common problem of feature location and analysis in software and how Diver helps to solve it.

Some of the features supplied by Diver that will be discussed include: how to capture execution traces of your software so that you can know precisely what his happening at runtime; how to compare several traces of software so that you can narrow in on the specific parts of the source code that you are interested in; and how to use the advanced sequence diagram visualization to analyze and understand your software.

Del Myers is a programmer and masters student with the CHISEL group at the University of Victoria. He has eight years of experience developing software in and for Eclipse. He was the lead developer on several innovative Eclipse tools including TagSEA and the Groupware-enabled Integrated Learning and Development (GILD) environment for educational computer science. GILD is referenced by the Eclipse IDE4EDU project. He was also a contributer to the Zest advanced widget framework for Eclipse. His current work involves bringing advanced reverse engineering techniques to average developers using the Diver ( He has numerous research publications and has presented at venues such as the Eclipse Technology Exchange at OOPSLA, the European Conference of Sofware Maintenance and Reengineering, and the Foundations of Software Engineering Conference.