Visualization of Software
Volume: 2001, No.II
Date: April 2001
Guest Editors: J. Ángel Velázquez-Iturbide and Cristóbal Pareja-Flores
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Visualization of Software
All stages in the life cycle of software, from establishment of need, through build and test to deployment and maintenance, are greatly facilitated by visualization. Software has been visualized from its beginnings, although many techniques are not universally accepted. For instance, a flowchart is a graphical static representation of a program and fairly widely accepted; pretty-printing program statements is another static, rudimentary form of visualization, but as it is based on the aesthetic criteria of the programmer a more limited audience can benefit.
The continuing quest for better graphical representations has created substantial research on software visualization. Sorting Out Sorting, the video by Ronald Baecker in 1981, containing animations of different sorting algorithms, is commonly considered as a milestone in software visualization. Other key systems include Balsa, developed by Mark Brownin 1984, Tango by John Stasko in 1990 and Pavane by G.-C. Roman et al. in 1992. Simultaneously, the number of methodologies offering visual assistance in design (CASE tools with different kind of diagrams) and programming (visual programming environments) grew substantially. Multimedia and Web technologies have also played a role in this evolution since they facilitate the integration of visualizations with other media, especially textual explanations.
There are associated areas where visualization plays an important role, such as visual programming. But here the purpose is different. Where software visualization uses graphical representations of software as an aid to understanding, visual programming seeks to specify programs more easily by using graphical notations.
The following papers are included in this issue:
- Software Visualization: An Overview by Luis M. Gómez Henríquez
- Program Visualization in Theory and Practice by Mordechai Ben-Ari
- A User-Centred Approach for Designing Algorithm Visualizations by Sami Khuri
- Incorporating Algorithm Visualization into Educational Theory: A Challenge for the Future by Thomas L. Naps
- User Interface Generation: Current Trends by María Dolores Lozano, Pascual González and Isidro Ramos
- Visualization Designs for Constraint Logic Programming by Manuel Carro and Manuel Hermenegildo
- Software Visualization Generation Using AnimalScript by Guido Rößling and Bernd Freisleben
- Automatic Web Publishing of Algorithm Animations by Fernando Naharro-Berrocal, Cristóbal Pareja-Flores, J. Ángel Velázquez-Iturbide and Margarita Martínez-Santamarta