Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why DTangler?

Why did I choose to use DTangler to visualize VisualWorks package dependencies? There are two main reasons:

DTangler uses a Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM) -- not a graph -- to visualize dependencies. DSMs are initially harder to understand, but are more efficient for large graphs:
(...) there is a trade-off:
  • Graph is more intuitive but can be totally not understandable when the numbers of nodes and edges grow (a few dozens boxes can be enough to produce a graph too complex)
  • DSM is less intuitive but can be very efficient to represent large and complex graph. We say that DSM scales compare to graph.

DTangler is open source and available for the platforms VisualWorks runs on. Read the license information here.

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