Code Swarm: Organic Visualization of Project Development

Jun 17, 2008

Michael Ogawa from the University of California has devised a technique for visualizing the historic development of software projects with his Code Swarm experiment.

Ogawa is a member of the "Visualization and Interface Design Innovation Group" and has departed from traditional visualization techniques that were too rigid in his opinion. Code Swarm attempts to visualize the interactions between developers, their input and contributions in an organic manner. When a developer contributes code or documents, the developer's name, and contribution - color coded by contribution type – is added to the developer cloud. Inactive developers are removed. Eclipse, Apache, Python, and PostgreSQL have been implemented as examples of lively software development projects. Check out the experiment here.

The scientist from the University of California will be looking to publish the application he used to implement Code Swarm, however, he will need time to clean up the code before going Open Source, he says.

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