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DoodleDebug, Objects Should Sketch Themselves For Code Understanding

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Schwarz Niko,
Project Synchronizing Models and Code
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings Workshop on Dynamic Languages and Applications (DYLA'11)

Open Access


Developers override \texttt{toString()} and \texttt{printOn:} methods to allow objects to display themselves. This is done to track object state while debugging. Although very popular, the technique breaks down when displaying complex, mul\-ti\--di\-mension\-al objects. We propose an approach in which objects have two-\-di\-men\-sion\-al visualizations at various levels of granularity. This makes it easier to compose visualizations from object parts, and enables ``semantic zooming'' of object visualizations while debugging. We have carried out an empirical study to understand how \texttt{printOn:} methods are used in practice, and we are developing DoodleDebug, a framework to support visualizable objects.