Visualising Objects in Pharo

Eve Mendoza Quiros. Visualising Objects in Pharo. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Bern, June 2018. Details.


Object inspection in the Pharo IDE is currently focused on the individual object. The inspection of inter-object relationships is possible in a very limited way, making object set inspection difficult. Understanding the relationship between objects and sets of objects is an important debugging aid and facilitates proper code analysis. In order to efficiently understand code, a visualization of data structures in an interactive graph helps programmers get a thorough conceptual overview. This can save time during debugging as well as code analysis and maintenance. In this thesis a tool is presented that facilitates the visualization of object sets in a graph, in Pharo. The tool highlights the relationships between objects while also conveying important information about each individual object. The strengths of this framework are, first subgraphs persist over different graph renderings, making the comparison of similar sets easy and effectively presenting the set evolution. Second the interactive graph and ability to customize the visualization makes it more understandable and useful to the user. By using this tool in Pharo interesting visualizations can be created since Pharo’s mantra is everything is an object, therefore we can also make graphs containing classes as elements and show the relationships between different classes. The tool facilitates node customization, giving the user the possibility to mold the visualization to fit their needs. For each object an individual node representation can be created. In this thesis we present a node customization for linked lists and for abstract syntax trees. Overall the tool is very intuitive and supports program understanding and debugging.

Posted by scg at 19 June 2018, 7:59 pm link
Last changed by admin on 21 April 2009