UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

JQuery - a tool for combining query results and a framework for building code perspectives Markle, Lloyd


In this dissertation we identify two problems with current integrated development environments (IDEs) and present JQuery as a tool to address these issues. The first problem is that IDE views answer low level questions and do not provide a mechanism to combine results to answer complex higher level questions. Even relatively simple questions force the developers to mentally combine results from different views. The second problem is that IDEs do not provide an easy way to create perspectives on project specific concerns such as naming conventions or annotations. Most IDEs do offer support for creating custom perspectives but the effort required to create a perspective is considerably more than the benefit a custom perspective provides. JQuery is an Eclipse plugin which generates code views using an expressive query language. We have redesigned JQuery to support a number of new user interface (UI) features and add a more flexible architecture with better support for extending the UI. To address the first problem, we have added multiple views to JQuery where each view supports drag and drop of results, selection linking, and regular expression search. These features enable a user to combine results from different views to answer more complex higher level questions. To address the second problem, we can leverage the fact that JQuery is built on an expressive query language. Through this query language we are able to define project specific concerns such as naming conventions or annotations and then create views and perspectives for these concerns through the JQuery UI.

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