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An Experiment in Organic Software Visualization

Jun 17, 2008, 16:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Ogawa)

"I've been studying software projects for a while now. Not the programming, but the people--the way they interact with each other through collaboration and communication. My investigations have always been visual: I've built applications that create pictures of what is happening within software projects. But they have always had a rigid structure to them. Organic information visualization, coined by Ben Fry, is a different approach to information visualization. It eschews traditional data confinement in space and lets the elements play together in freeform and unpredictable ways.

"This visualization, called code_swarm, shows the history of commits in a software project. A commit happens when a developer makes changes to the code or documents and transfers them into the central project repository. Both developers and files are represented as moving elements. When a developer commits a file, it lights up and flies towards that developer..."

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