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WhereTheHeck: a WEB based source code navigator

Dario Menasce1, Francesco Prelz1, Stefano Magni1, Luciano Barone2, Luca Dell'Agnello3, Emanuele Leonardi4
  1. INFN Milano
  2. Universtita' la Sapienza e INFN Roma
  3. INFN Firenze
  4. INFN Roma

Speaker: Dario Menasce

  In this paper we present a novel approach to WEB based source code navigation, in the context of the WINNER R&D project on distributed computing tools. We aim to provide developers and code maintainers, usually located in different countries, a powerful and portable way to browse and search the code of large software projects through the Web. Unlike other tools, based on static hyperlinks and ad-hoc parsers, this tool employs dynamical linking and public domain, widely used compilers for the parsing step. Our package, named WhereTheHeck, allows the user to specify elements of the source code (language tokens such as variables, common blocks, classes, pointers etc...) as regular expressions through a WEB form under Netscape. The regular expression is then used to find matches in the code using a token database updated offline on a regular basis. The retrieved information is presented to the user as a list of hyperlinked instances of the requested token (file names containing the token, line number within the code etc...). From the list one can link to the corresponding code formatted as a dynamically generated HTML page (with all relevant hyperlinks). The whole package has been developed in PERL and JavaScript, making it highly portable. We made the choice of using the f2c (for FORTRAN) and gcc compilers (for C and C++, both on the public domain) as parsing engines, which again ensures a high degree of portability. The tool is currently in alfa test for FORTRAN and C, and the navigation functionality for C++ will be implemented in the near future. WhereTheHeck is made available to the user community as a tar file (downloadable from the WEB).

Presentation:  PowerPoint Short Paper:  Adobe Acrobat pdf 

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