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Program Explorer: A Program Visualizer for C++

Danny B. Lange and Yuichi Nakamura

IBM Research, Tokyo Research Laboratory
1623-14, Shimotsuruma, Yamato-shi
Kanagawa-ken 242, JAPAN


Despite the obvious advantages of using object-oriented (O-O) program visualizers in system understanding and debugging, they are still rarely found in the programmers's tool box. One reason for this that such visualizers often fail because of their inability to handle problems of a realistic scale. In our research, we have addressed the scalability problem by integrating static and dynamic program information to produce abstract and yet accurate views of complex O-O systems that often provide more useful information than can be obtained by reading the source code. This is the approach we followed in designing Program Explorer, a research prototype for C++ program visualization, which has been used to examine large O-O systems such as Stanford's Interviews library and Taligent's CommonPoint frameworks.

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