Enhancing Code Awareness in Software Development Environment
Most large pieces of software are sufficiently complex that no individual completely understands all of its subparts. In order to make progress, programmers must operate in this environment of incomplete information. In many cases, programmers make poor design and implementation decisions because of a lack of awareness of how pieces of code interact with each other. We propose developing the Code Awareness Assistant (CA2), a virtual coding partner that looks over an engineer"s shoulder and gives extra context while pointing out problems as they are introduced. CA2 will be integrated with the engineer"s development environment, and give the engineer a broader view of the code than is available in contemporary IDEs. CA2 will visualize dependence information, automatically extract key facts about code, and flag common software flaws. This immediate feedback will allow developers to quickly converge on high quality code; security, maintainability and knock-on effects will no longer be afterthoughts. The CA2 will leverage GrammaTech"s proven technology for static analysis, which captures the semantics and structure of software in enough detail to infer critical design elements of the code.
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