Peek project for Summer of Code 2007
Last updated at 4:51 pm UTC on 19 March 2007
Giovanni Corriga (Google Account: gcorriga)
Peek is a different kind of object inspector that incorporates features from an inspector and debugger to give the illusion of being able to take apart any object into it's components (instance variables and such) and watch it tick. It will have a graph-based interface, where objects are represented by nodes and pointers by edges.
Peek is a work in progress. Its home page has a detailed description of the tool and of its development schedule. The amount of work to be done for the Summer of Code project will be defined by the mentors and the student.
Benefits to the Student
The student working on this project will have the opportunity to learn deeply about the design of Squeak. Part of this project involves porting a project that has been nearly abandoned for 30 years to run again. Also, the project will give the student to design scalable user interfaces, which is an oft-overlooked topic in computer science, due to the limits imposed by traditional toolkits.
Benefits to the Community
One of the most frustrating and tedious aspects of programming is bug hunting. One of the reasons is that the computer has not traditionally been smart enough to show the user what is wrong and why. Smalltalk is much better than most tools in this regard, but bug hunting still involves manually examining code execution. This project should make it easier to see what is happening and trace it back to the source.
Studying is the key to understanding, and understanding makes for better choices in design, extension, and repair. Peek aims to make the system easy to understand by providing an easy way to watch it run.