[Pharo-project] Visualizing Legacy at SPA conference

Tudor Girba tudor at tudorgirba.com
Wed Jul 11 18:18:46 EDT 2012

Great work!

Having all this run in 150 min is quite an achievement.


On 11 Jul 2012, at 18:57, Stephan Eggermont wrote:

> Last week Willem and I presented a workshop Visualizing Legacy,
> using MOOSE, at SPA2012 in London. In a 150 minutes workshop
> we showed how to use glamour and mondrian to visualize the
> github repository data from 4 ruby projects and the code used 
> for these analysis and the workshop itself. 
> The exercises work toward the creation of a glamour browser with a mondrian
> pane showing custom visualizations not achievable by more static tools like Sonar. 
> The answering of specific questions that arise during the analysis of the data
> show the strengths of the MOOSE toolchain.
> We started by showing some of the work Diego and I have done for
> the conversion of the data of a cobol ERP system to a modern ERP system.
> By creating (at least) one browser/visualization a day, we were able to make
> the subject matter expert, a very busy senior executive of the company,
> steer the conversion process to her satisfaction. By treating her as the 
> bottleneck, and making it as easy as possible for her to see where we were, 
> and what we still had to do/understand,  she could effectively prioritize and
> decide.
> Then we asked the participants what they expected/wanted from visualizing
> their legacy code. The answers were a mix of things that tools like Sonar
> can easily provide, with very specific questions that need a programmable tool
> like MOOSE.
> As we expected, it took most of the about 14 participants quite a lot of effort and
> time to get to grips with the smalltalk environment to work in.  So much so,
> that some asked for a separate smalltalk workshop to do before this one,
> or a larger timeslot for this workshop. The few participants experienced with 
> Smalltalk had been using VW/VA and also had some problems finding their 
> way around. In the end, the participants who managed to just follow the 
> exercises achieved the goals without too much interventions needed.
> Inspired by ProfStef, we build a custom glamour browser for the workshop.
> The code can be found in the SpaTutorial project on ss3. (The ConfigurationOf…
> is no Metacello)
> http://ss3.gemstone.com/ss/SpaTutorial
> It is split in a generic part, allowing you to create tutorials, and a specific
> part for this workshop. We might want to extend it so the exercises can be  
> done entirely in the custom browser. That might help the smalltalk newbies.
> Now the participants needed two class browsers in addition to the tutorial,
> one to edit the exercise code, and one to look at the domain model.
> We believe the learning curve can be flattened by extending the SpaTutorial 
> browser so it can save code, and extracting some methods so the tutorial browser 
> only shows the bits participants have to work on right now, 
> gradually expanding the scope as it progresses.
> It uses the data collected for the SPA2011 great egg-race. 
> http://chatley.com/posts/06-20-2011/spa-great-egg-race/
> Git commit data was collected by Michael Feathers from four ruby projects, 
> a.o. active_merchant and diaspora. After my holidays I'll put the data in a zip in
> https://github.com/StephanEggermont/repodepot-ruby
> For the 150 minute timeslot we focused on glamour and mondrian, 
> although we also prepared an eyesee exercise. Next time we might switch 
> the exercises around - mondrian looks more glamourous than glamour ;). 
> A longer version may also be in the works if we can run it somewhere. 
> It was only after the mondrian exercise that participants could start playing 
> with the data on their own. Participants indicated they associatied mondrian 
> more with visualization than glamour. 
> Stephan Eggermont & Willem van den Ende


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