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Using diagrammatic explorations to understand code

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dc.contributor.advisor David R. Karger and Robert C. Miller. en_US
dc.contributor.author Sinha, Vineet, 1978- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-07T18:57:04Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-07T18:57:04Z
dc.date.copyright 2008 en_US
dc.date.issued 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/43056
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2008. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-145). en_US
dc.description.abstract Understanding code is a significant challenge for developers. This thesis examines the limitations of current tools that use diagrams to assist code comprehension and demonstrates the value of four design principles: * That diagrams should be based on familiar models such as UML class diagrams and layered architectural diagrams, so that developers can understand them without additional training. * That the familiar diagrams must be able to focus on specific parts of a codebase relevant to the developer's task, to prevent users from getting overwhelmed with irrelevant information. * That the focused diagrams need to support exploration of the codebase by directly interacting with the existing diagram. * That the focused diagrams can be created by users' exploration as needed for their tasks in traditional code editors. This thesis shows that understanding for software developers can be effectively supported by interactive exploration using focused diagrams of familiar representations of code. These ideas have been combined to build two tools: Strata, which displays using the popular layered architectural diagrams, and Relo, which is based on UML class diagrams. The tools have been evaluated using both controlled lab studies and field deployments. Study results have been positive, indicating merit in these ideas. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Vineet Sinha. en_US
dc.format.extent 145 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.title Using diagrammatic explorations to understand code en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 243866068 en_US


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