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A New Generation of Class Blueprint

Nour Jihene Agouf 1, 2 Stéphane Ducasse 1 Anne Etien 1 Michele Lanza 3 
1 RMOD - Analyses and Languages Constructs for Object-Oriented Application Evolution
Inria Lille - Nord Europe, CRIStAL - Centre de Recherche en Informatique, Signal et Automatique de Lille - UMR 9189
3 SI - Software institute
USI - Università della Svizzera italiana = University of Italian Switzerland
Abstract : In object-oriented programming, classes are the primary abstraction mechanism used by and exposed to developers. Understanding classes is key for the development and evolution of object-oriented applications. The fundamental problem faced by developers is that while classes are intrinsically structured entities, in IDEs they are represented as a blob of text. The idea behind the original CLASS BLUEPRINT visualization was to represent the internal structure of classes in terms of fields, their accesses, and the method call flow. Additional information was depicted using colors. The thus created visualization proved to be an effective means to support program comprehension. However, a number of omissions rendered it only partially useful. We propose CLASS BLUEPRINT V2 (in short BLUEPRINTV2), which in addition to the information depicted by CLASS BLUEPRINT also supports dead code identification, methods under tests, and calling relationships between class and instance level methods. In addition, BLUEPRINTV2 enhances the understanding of fields by showing how fields of super/subclasses are accessed. We present the enhanced visualization and report on a first validation with 26 developers and 18 projects.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 16, 2022 - 2:47:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 8:14:05 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03752237, version 1


Nour Jihene Agouf, Stéphane Ducasse, Anne Etien, Michele Lanza. A New Generation of Class Blueprint. VISSOFT 2022 - IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization, Oct 2022, Limassol, Cyprus. ⟨hal-03752237⟩



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