Visualization

Vol. 8 No. 7 – July 2010

Visualization

Articles

Lessons from the Letter

Security flaws in a large organization

Lessons from the Letter

Security flaws in a large organization

Dear Readers,

I recently received a letter in which a company notified me that they had exposed some of my personal information. While it is now quite common for personal data to be stolen, this letter amazed me because of how well it pointed out two major flaws in the systems of the company that lost the data. I am going to insert three illuminating paragraphs here and then discuss what they actually can teach us.

by George V. Neville-Neil

Software Development with Code Maps

Could those ubiquitous hand-drawn code diagrams become a thing of the past?

Software Development with Code Maps

Could those ubiquitous hand-drawn code diagrams become a thing of the past?

Robert DeLine, Gina Venolia, and Kael Rowan, Microsoft Research

Software developers regularly draw diagrams of their systems. To get a sense of how diagramming fits into a developer's daily work, consider this fictitious, but representative, story:

Jane is a developer who has been on her team so long that everyone calls her the team historian. Since the product just shipped a few weeks ago, Jane is finally getting around to some code cleanup she had planned for ages—namely, dropping a dependency on a library that is no longer supported. Jane uses her development environment to search for all the places where her product uses the unsupported library. She clicks through the results one by one and reads the code to understand how it uses the library. As she jumps around the code base, she sketches a class diagram on a notepad to capture the architectural dependencies she discovers.

by Robert DeLine, Gina Venolia, Kael Rowan