Thursday, March 8, 2012

VisualWorks DTangler Interface - Next Tasks

Here is the plan for changes in the VisualWorks Smalltalk DTangler interface:
  • The current version (1.15) is only tested on Windows. Would be great if someone tested other operating systems.
  • Ability to "follow dependencies": Currently, only the selected packages are included in the analysis. Add an option that also includes the prerequisites of these initial selected packages. This could go one level deep or until no more prerequisites are found.
  • Consider how bundles marked as "individual functional" should be handled. Currently, this setting is ignored.
  • Look at whether the number of references (between packages) should be counted. This will perform slower, and must be an option.
  • Stings are for humans, not computers: Some of the internal methods depend on packages represented by their name (String). Look at whether this can be changed to use PundleModel.
  • Look at how bundles should be treated. The current version can analyse bundles, but it only fetches the packages within the bundle and uses this as an input. I must add that I think it is an mistake to have prerequisites on bundles. Bundles should only line up packages.
  • Look at performance. Currently, DTangler uses over 2 minutes to open on my large example having 300 packages. I will discuss with the authors of DTangler whether they could make improvements. My test data contains a lot of circularity, and this could be the reason for the weak performance.
  • Provide visual feedback that DTangler is starting. Currently, you hit the "Analyze" button and DTangler starts in the background without any feedback.
  • Handle errors when starting DTangler, and report back to user.

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