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Program slicing is frequently used to assist software maintainers. Software maintenance tools are available that utilize program slicing. These tools usually only provide a textual interface to represent program slices to the maintainer.

The Surgeon's Assistant is one such tool. This CASE tool uses decomposition slicing to assist maintainers in limiting the scope of their changes. The Surgeon's Assistant allows for selection of variables for slicing and then textually displays the decomposition slices. Syntax directed editors and other such components allow the maintainer to comprehend the scope of her change and perform her change without affecting the slice's component.

Unfortunately, textual representations limit the maintainer's understanding of the program, particularly for large systems. Currently, few systems provide graphical representations of program slices. The Decomposition Slice Display System (DSDS) is an attempt to provide such graphical representations for the Surgeon's Assistant. Although graphical interfaces are the panacea for the problems caused by limited textual representations, they still provided a superior understanding of the program slices.

The rest of this paper is organized as follows: Section 2 provides background information and discusses related work. Section 3 describes the DSDS in detail. Section 4 discusses the implementation of the DSDS. Section 5 proposes possible future work in the area, and Section 6 provides a summary.

Next: Background and Related Work Up: The Decomposition Slice Display Previous: Abstract

Copyright © 1994, 1995    Keith B. Gallagher, Bradley M. Kuhn, Dennis J. Smith.

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