On porting software visualization tools to the web

D'Ambros, Marco ; Lanza, Michele ; Lungu, Mircea ; Robbes, Romain

In: International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer, 2011, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 181-200

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    Software systems are hard to understand due to the complexity and the sheer size of the data to be analyzed. Software visualization tools are a great help as they can sum up large quantities of data in dense, meaningful pictures. Traditionally, such tools come in the form of desktop applications. Modern web frameworks are about to change this status quo, as building software visualization tools as web applications can help in making them available to a larger audience in a collaborative setting. Such a migration comes with a number of promises, perils, and technical implications that must be considered before starting any migration process. In this paper, we share our experiences in porting two such tools to the web and provide guidelines about the porting. In particular, we discuss promises and perils that go hand in hand with such an endeavor and present a number of technological alternatives that are available to implement web-based visualizations