Query by Outlines: a new paradigm to help manage programs

Abstract :

We propose a new paradigm to query information about programs, namely query by outlines . This paradigm relies on an outlining model that conceptually describe units of code according to the computations they perform. Outlines are automatically constructed by our system PRISME for C and Lisp programs. Currently, both our model and our system are restricted to loops.
QBO is a prototype tool that implements the query by outline paradigm. It proposes to browse the loops of a program directly through their outline, and allows to restrict these loops to browse with queries expressed as constraints on the outlines. Thus it enables to answer questions such as ``where is this variable modified?'', ``where is this kind of computation performed?'', or ``are there many places where this computation is performed?''.
In this paper, we sketch our outlining model, introduce QBO and argue that query by outline is a helpful paradigm to manage programs.

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