CodeMetropolis: Eclipse over the City of Source Code

Gergő Balogh, Attila Szabolics and Árpád Beszédes 
The graphical representations of software (code visualization in particular) may provide both professional programmers and students learning only the basics with support in program comprehension. Among the numerous proposed approaches, our research applies the city metaphor for the visualisation of such code elements as classes, functions, or attributes by the tool CodeMetropolis. It uses the game engine of Minecraft for the graphics, and is able to visualize various properties of the code based on structural metrics. In this work, we present our approach to integrate our visualization tool into the Eclipse IDE environment. Previously, only standalone usage was possible, but with this new version the users can invoke the visualization directly from the IDE, and all the analysis is performed in the background. The new version of the tool now includes an Eclipse plug-in and a Minecraft modification in addition to the analysis and visualization modules which have also been extended with some new features. Possible use cases and a detailed scenario are presented.

Keywords: Integrated Development Environment, software visualization, city-metaphor, integration.