[erlang-questions] code dependency diagrams

Vlad Dumitrescu <>
Fri Feb 15 13:32:25 CET 2008


Hi!

On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 12:20 PM, Ulf Wiger (TN/EAB)
<> wrote:
>
>  I've mentioned on occasion that I'd like to see a visualization tool
>  that shows an UML-style structure diagram for Erlang applications,
>  but with annotations showing the direction and arity of the
>  dependencies.

I would like to recommend an alternative to this kind of diagram, that
offers much better understandability: a Dependency Structure Matrix
(DSM). An example image can be found at
http://erlide.sourceforge.net/untitled.png

There are a few applications using those for software development
(none that I am aware of are free, but IntelliJ IDEA has a trial
version :-). The idea is to draw a matrix with as many rows and
columns as modules and in the cells put the number of dependencies.
Ideally, the matrix can be rearranged to have only zeroes above the
diagonal. When this is not possible, there are circular dependencies.

The rows and columns can be expanded/contracted according to the
directory structure, giving a higher-level overview. Double-clicking
on a cell could open a list of the dependencies, with links to the
actual source code.

This is something I will definitely want to include in Erlide, but it
will have to wait until the more pressing urgencies are resolved. The
missing piece of the puzzle is a graphical DSM component that is and
free.

best regards,
Vlad



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