Technical Reports

The ICICS/CS Reading Room

UBC CS TR-2008-06 Summary

An Exploratory Study on How Can Diagramming Tools Help Support Programming Activities?, May 28, 2008 Seonah Lee, Gail C. Murphy, Thomas Fritz and Meghan Allen, 8 pages

Programmers often draw diagrams on whiteboards or on paper. To enable programmers to use such diagrams in the context of their programming environment, many tools have been built. Despite the existence and availability of such tools, many programmers continue to work predominantly with textual descriptions of source code. In this paper, we report on an exploratory study we conducted to investigate what kind of diagrammatic tool support is desired by programmers, if any. The study involved 19 professional programmers working at three different companies. The study participants desired a wide range of information content in diagrams and wanted the content to be sensitive to particular contexts of use. Meeting these needs may require flexible, adaptive and responsive diagrammatic tool support.

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