Using Dependence Graphs as a Support to Document Programs

Abstract :

In this paper, we argue that source code is not the best support for commenting programs and we introduce dependence graphs as a better support since they offer different levels of abstraction and make visible objects that are not directly represented in the source code.
We first introduce our tool to display dependence graphs, focusing on how different views of the same program can be built and tuned by grouping together nodes that are syntactically or conceptually related. We also show how these views make visible objects of the program that aren't accessible for comment in the source code while they can be, in our tool, richly documented through typed annotations. Then we review which kinds of units can be commented this way and discuss a typical way to apply our tool to document programs. Finally, we give strategies towards the automation of program documentation.

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