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2015 IEEE/ACM 2nd International Workshop on Context for Software Development (CSD) (2015)
Florence, Italy
May 19, 2015 to May 19, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4673-7037-0
pp: 20-24
One of software developers' most important activities is exploring the broader context of a certain programming task, which strongly requires navigating source code and working out a mental model of the collected information. Without tool support, creating and maintaining this mental model leads to significant cognitive load because developers have to handle both relating relevant source code entities to their mental model as well as remembering already explored search paths. Furthermore, the opposite direction, that is, recalling relevant facts out of the mental model, and subsequently, seeking corresponding entities within the source code, demands similar cognitive efforts. In this paper, we introduce Code Basket, an approach for making developers' mental model visible and explorable. As for that, Code Basket helps developers keeping their mental model persistent by providing a two-dimensional canvas on which they can freely arrange visual representations of source code entities, named eggs. Since those eggs are linked to the underlying source code, eventually, they can be used for navigating directly to related source code entities. We implemented a first prototype as a touch-enabled web application that is connected to a conventional integrated development environment. In order to get early feedback on our approach, we used Code Basket within a formative study.
Conferences, Context, Software

B. Biegel, S. Baltes, I. Scarpellini and S. Diehl, "Code Basket: Making Developers' Mental Model Visible and Explorable," 2015 IEEE/ACM 2nd International Workshop on Context for Software Development (CSD), Florence, Italy, 2015, pp. 20-24.
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