Helping programmers navigate code faster with Patchworks: A simulation study


Programmers spend considerable time navigating source code, and we recently proposed the Patchworks code editor to help address this problem. A prior preliminary study of Patchworks found that it significantly reduced programmer navigation time and navigation errors. In this paper, we expand on these findings by investigating the effect of various patch-arranging strategies in Patchworks. To evaluate these strategies, we ran a simulation study based on actual programmer navigation data. Our simulator results showed (1) that none of the strategies tested had a significant effect on programmer-navigation time, and (2) that navigating code using Patchworks, regardless of strategy, was significantly faster than using Eclipse. © 2014 IEEE.

Publication Title

Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC