VisUML: A Live UML Visualization to Help Developers in Their Programming Task
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Developers produce a lot of code and most of them have to merge it to what already exists. The required time to perform this programming task is thus dependent on the access speed to information about existing code. Classic IDEs allow displaying textual representation of information through features like navigation, word searching or code completion. This kind of representation is not effective to represent links between code fragments. Current graphical code representation modules in IDE are suited to apprehend the system from a global point of view. However, the cognitive integration cost of those diagrams is disproportionate related to the elementary coding task.
Our approach considers graphical representation but only with code elements that are parts of the developer’s mental model during his programming task. The corresponding cognitive integration of our graphical representation is then less costly. We use UML for this representation because it is a widespread and well-known formalism. We want to show that dynamic diagrams, whose content is modified and adapted in real-time by monitoring developer’s actions can be of great benefit as their contents are perfectly suited to the developer current task. With our live diagrams, we provide to developers an efficient way to navigate through textual and graphical representation.
KeywordsHuman-Computer Interaction Model Driven Engineering Software engineering Unified modeling language Human-centered design
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