Automatic Visualization of the Version history of a Software System in Three Dimensions
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Software changes constantly and continuously. It is often beneficial to record the progressive changes made to software, so that when any problems arise, it is possible to identify the change that might have caused the problem. Also, recording these changes enables recovery of the software as it was at any point of time. A version control system is used to track modifications to software. Version control systems (VCS) display when and where a change was made. In the case of multiple developers working on the same software system, version control systems also record which developer was responsible for the change. RCS, SCCS and CVS are examples of such version control systems, and they usually have a command-line interface. The widespread use of CVS has however given rise to a host of â CVS clientsâ , which provide a two-dimensional graphical interface to CVS. While working with a version control system in two dimensions is a definite improvement over traditional command line interfaces, it is still not sufficient to display all the necessary information in a single view. Using three dimensions to display the information from a version control system like CVS is an effective and efficient way to represent multiple attributes in a single view. There are many advantages to using a third dimension for visualizing the version history and evolution of software. A three-dimensional visualization tool has been developed to provide insights into the structure and characteristics of the history of a software system. It demonstrates the benefits of three-dimensional visualization and illustrates a framework that can be used to automatically derive information from a version control system.
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Conklin, Nathan (Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 2002), TR-02-03
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