Jean's Journal

View Jean Tessier's LinkedIn profile
April 27, 2017

Aborting efforts to convert to Grails. For the time being.

Grails 3.2.9 just came out and this project is still on Grails 1.3.7! There is no obvious upgrade path for Grails apps out of 1.x. And I never really got around to do anything substantive. So, I am giving up and deleting the grails branch. I'd have to start over anyway, and there isn't much to salvage.

August 21, 2016

I've been looking at what's needed to bring the com.jeantessier.classreader package up to date with the latest JVM spec for Java 8. I already took care of the new constant pool elements, but there are new attributes too. And those are not trivial.

Here is the class structure that supports Java 4. The constant pool is in blue and the various attributes are in yellow.

And here is the class structure needed for Java 8. The new elements are in green.

Bear in mind, these are only the public interfaces in com.jeantessier.classreader that will be visible to other callers. There will also be implentation classes in com.jeantessier.classreader.impl and additional support classes, like factories for the Target, StackMapFrame, and VerificationType_info hierarchies. It will also impact implementation of the Visitor interface.

August 10, 2016

A user pointed out to me that they were not able to analyse some Lucene files. I determined that the files contained new constant pool entries for Java 7/8 and quickly added support for them in the com.jeantessier.classreader package. This way, we can at the very least parse the files. The support is very barebone for now, only printing them out in logs and as part of ClassReader. After reading about it, I think there are also new attributes that I'll have to look into.

I realized that the installation instructions still reference Sun Microsystems. I should update them to point to Oracle instead.

July 20, 2016

Aborting efforts to convert to Struts.

July 19, 2016

Figured out how to let Gradle know where to find the classes for Javadoc Doclets with the following dependency in build.gradle:

    compile files(org.gradle.internal.jvm.Jvm.current().toolsJar)

It adds tools.jar to the compiler's classpath. It which contains the com.sun.* classes used by the Doclet code.

July 18, 2016

Ripped out WebWork. It was a great framework years ago, but there are better alternatives, now.

July 17, 2016

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.9.4 -> 1.9.7
Guava : r09 -> 19.0
JUnit : 4.8.2 -> 4.12
Log4J : 1.2.15 -> 1.2.17
July 15, 2016

Played with replacing the Ant build script with Gradle. It has a number of pre-defined tasks to deal with Java project. It also expects a certain code organization that echoes what I have seen on other projects. Source code is under src/main/java and unit tests are under src/tests/java. It is possible to change these defaults to match legacy projects, but I'm more tempted to move files around to match these growing best practices.

I can declare dependencies in build.gradle and Gradle will download them automatically. Such as:

    compile "log4j:log4j:1.2.17"
    compile "oro:oro:2.0.8"
    compile ""

I can also include dependencies for WebWork and such.

I need to find better examples on how to deal with launch scripts and web applications.

April 01, 2016

Here is the most recent link to the JVM specification and the production rules for signatures.

March 31, 2016

Someone emailed me a question about dependencies on types in declarations for generics.

Here is an example:

    import java.util.*;
    public class SomeClass {
        private Set<OtherClass> property = new LinkedHashSet<OtherClass>();

And its dependency graph:

        --> java.lang.Object *
            --> java.lang.Object.Object() *
            --> java.util.LinkedHashSet.LinkedHashSet() *
            --> java.util.Set *
            --> java.util.Set *
            <-- Main.Main()

No mention of OtherClass whatsoever.

This is because the Java compiler applies type erasure to generics. It stores the original signature in Signature_attribute attributes attached to the class, field, and/or method that had a generic declaration. At this time, CodeDependencyCollector ignores the contents of these attributes. Their production rules are very complex, given the wide variety of generic declarations.

For instance, the signature for above is:


In parsing it, we have to detect the inner L...; sequence before we can process the outer one. And this is a trivial case. Method declarations and wildcards introduce other levels of complexity that only compound each other.

I looked a little into it back on 2009-06-04, but haven't made any progress since, I'm afraid.

January 22, 2016

I found out some of my code samples in the Developer Guide got mangled by the pseudo-wiki generator. Whenever a code sample had a == check, the generator took it to mean an empty <code> tag. I fixed it to leave these alone.

A podcast mentioned GitBook for publishing books. I could move the guides there, provided I rewrite them using Markdown.

October 03, 2015

Moved the project hosting to GitHub.

I can use GitHub Pages to host the project's website, so I moved the older website folder to the gh-pages branch and moved everything in the older DependencyFinder folder up one level. GitHub Pages cannot run CGI scripts, so I will have to find an alternative for the Journal.

I will also need to change references to SourceForge from the pages and fix deployment instructions.

January 30, 2014

Fixed the problem that prevented me from compiling Dependency Finder. A test class was embedding an irregular character "¥" saved directly in the source Java code. The compiler decided that it was going to choke on it from now on. So I changed it for the escape sequence \u00A5 instead and it worked just fine.

There are still 77 broken tests. I vaguely remember that some were broken when I last ran them (years ago). But 77! Many of them relate to a missing Tomcat class, so it's probably because have shifted in Tomcat 7.0.14. If only there was a tool to help me locate a class in folders with a bunch a JAR files in them. :-)

November 25, 2013

Fixed the problem with Perl. I was using an older syntax to load the "getopt" module to parse command-line switches. I updated to a newer syntax and now it's loading just fine.

November 24, 2013

I tried to upgrade from Grails 1.3.7 to the latest, 2.3.3. It proved to be more than I could handle straight out of the box. There have been many many profound changes in Grails since version 1.3.7 and I might have to start from scratch. Lucky for me I haven't had time to get very far in my Grails integration.

On a sadder note, I haven't really kept up with my environment and I realized that I can no longer compile Dependency Finder. Somewhere between computer upgrades and OS upgrades, Perl and Java have changed and my code no longer works. I will have to find the time somewhere to figure out what's changed and fix it.

March 07, 2013

Someone asked for an example of using OOMetrics, such as a constructor that scans an entire folder and a simple getter that returns all metrics for a given class. OOMetrics is highly configurable and slices and dices the data many different ways. This usecase is very simple and setting things up for it is a little involved.

Here's the code:

    import java.util.*;
    import com.jeantessier.classreader.*;
    import com.jeantessier.metrics.*;
    class OOMetrics {
         * names the file that describes which metrics to compute.
        public static String METRICS_CONFIG_FILE = "config.xml";
         * holds the metrics definitions and collected data.
        private MetricsFactory metricsFactory;
         * reads the metrics descriptions from the config file and
         * collects metrics on all the .class files on paths.
        public OOMetrics(Collection<String> paths) throws Exception {
            // Setup the MetricsFactory which will hold all the metrics.
            MetricsConfiguration metricsConfiguration = new MetricsConfigurationLoader().load(METRICS_CONFIG_FILE);
            metricsFactory = new MetricsFactory("OOMetrics", metricsConfiguration);
            com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer gatherer = new com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer(metricsFactory);
            // Read in all the classes to analyze
            ClassfileLoader classfileLoader = new AggregatingClassfileLoader();
            // Collect metrics on all the classes.
         * converts the internal metrics data to name-value pairs.
        public Map<String, Number> getMetrics(String className) {
            Map<String, Number> results = new TreeMap<String, Number>();
            Metrics metrics = metricsFactory.createClassMetrics(className);
            for (String measurementName : metrics.getMeasurementNames()) {
                results.put(measurementName, metrics.getMeasurement(measurementName).getValue());
            return results;

The constructor reads the configuration from an external file because hard-coding a configuration would have been very complex. It is using an AggregatingClassfileLoader because it is more versatile even though it uses a lot more memory to hold all the classes at the same time.

The getter reduces the measurements to simple numbers. It could return the whole Measurement object and let the caller sort it out. The traversal is a little awkward because Metrics is meant to be traversed using the visitor pattern instead of through the programmatic API. It ends up with the measurements' short names, which can be a little cryptic. An alternative that shows the longer names would look like this:

    Measurement measurement = metrics.getMeasurement(measurementName);
    results.put(measurement.getLongName() + " (" + measurement.getShortName() + ")", measurement.getValue());

I don't know the full context in which they want to use these metrics, but it may be simpler to use OOMetrics as is, either from the CLI or through Ant, and then parse the output file.

    OOMetrics -classes -xml -out metrics.xml dist/classes/

There is good support for parsing XML in most languages and application frameworks. You'd use it to read the output from the tool and convert it to a lookup table and use XPath expressions to narrow in on the classes you want.

January 29, 2013

Dependency Finder is now 12 years old.

August 07, 2012

Found a Grails plugin, Standalone App Runner, that packages the webapp in a JAR file with a choice of Tomcat or Jetty, so you can run the app simply by executing the JAR file. I was considering a distribution with Jetty a while back and this would be a really easy way to do it. All I have to do is rewrite the webapp as a Grails app.

January 29, 2012

Dependency Finder is now 11 years old.

January 12, 2012

Fixed calls to <javac> in the various build.xml files to include the includeantruntime attribute needed by Ant 1.8.

This is stupid. For the sake of preserving some old build.xml files, they polluted all future build.xml files. They could have made it a command-line switch on Ant itself so old projects could fix it without corrupting all of our projects.

January 08, 2012

Added -excludes-list to ListSymbols, complete with tests. After two years in Groovy, Java code feels so different.

January 06, 2012

Someone asked about listing methods in a code JAR file that are not called from a separate test JAR file. They put their code in one JAR file and their tests in another one, and they want to use Dependency Finder to find what methods are not called directly from the tests.

I figured out a way by listing symbols and using them in an exclusion list, but ListSymbols does not have that switch. Adding it is not too complicated, but there are quite a few tests to adapt. I have to immerse myself in that code again. It's been a while.

November 17, 2011

Someone opened a bug about reporting line numbers as part of dependency graphs, bug 3438741. Their arguments are that 1) why not use it when it's there and 2) other tools can pinpoint statements, so why can't Dependency Finder?

So I tried to clarify my reasons in the user's manual. I'm fairly limited by relying only on compiled code and the information that's there. Line number information, when available, is only for methods and not for fields or classes. Implicit return statements and constructors can throw off line number information, making it harder to really trust them. Other tools, aside from exception stacktraces, typically work off of the source code and build their own parse tree, giving them access to the entire code.

I have been tempted for some time to gather information per dependency, such as the number of times a given dependency is repeated, or possibly what line number it occurs on. But for that, I would need an new object to model the dependency, and that would augment the memory footprint. Right now, dependencies are just Node references in Map instances, keeping things small. But my merging together all copies of a dependency, it becomes impossible to report specifics.

November 11, 2011

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.7.0 -> 1.8.2
May 19, 2011

Tried to upgrade to Tomcat 7, but HttpUnit is having problem creating the ServletContext needed to run the tests. I cannot find information on this problem online, so I'm going to wait a little.

May 18, 2011

Upgraded the following development components:

Guava : r08 -> r09
March 09, 2011

Tried to convert extract.jsp to a Grails GSP. All the scriptlets are really getting in the way. And the same problem I had with WebWork is surfacing again: extract.jsp streams its progress directly to the browser and I haven't quite found how to do this in these frameworks. Maybe a taglib can help.

March 07, 2011

Upgraded the following development components:

Grails : 1.3.6 -> 1.3.7
February 06, 2011

Copied changes to ClassMetrics CLI to the corresponding Ant task. Also updated the documentation for both of them.

February 03, 2011

Finished including annotations being used when compiling class metrics. I used some features of the Guava library to convert a set of Annotation instances to their type string and remove duplicates. It let me write the transformation in a more functional way, but Java is so very verbose compared to Groovy.

Here is the code in Java:

    Iterable<String> annotationTypes = Sets.newTreeSet(Collections2.transform(metrics.getUsedAnnotations(), new Function<Annotation, String>() {
        public String apply(Annotation annotation) {
            return annotation.getType();

And the equivalent in Groovy:

    def annotationTypes = metrics.usedAnnotations.collect*.type as SortedSet

The nice thing with Groovy is that since it's a JVM language, I can just put DependencyFinder.jar on my CLASSPATH and run that line in some Groovy code.

Upgraded the following development components:

Guava : r06 -> r08
February 02, 2011

Working on a unit tests to check that MetricsGatherer also accumulates annotations that are being used by the code under examination.

January 29, 2011

Dependency Finder turns 10 years old.

January 13, 2011

Wrote unit tests for MetricsGatherer's handling of runtime annotations when compiling class metrics.

January 01, 2011

Trying to write unit tests for Field_info so I can tackle bug 1766486. Because I decided, a long time ago, to create everything from data streams in constructors and strictly mirroring the data structure from the classfile specification, I end up having to mock a lot of things to setup a test for a field with a string value. There are times when you question some of the earliest design decisions.

December 31, 2010

Minor tweaks to text docs.

Started working on bug 1766486 about escaping special characters when rendering classes as XML.

December 30, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

Grails : 1.3.3 -> 1.3.6
December 29, 2010

Fixed the bug with EnclosingMethod_attribute when the enclosing method is a constructor. I took this opportunity to write some tests for generating XML for EnclosingMethod_attribute.

December 28, 2010

Researched the bug with EnclosingMethod_attribute when the enclosing method is a constructor. It turns out that when the enclosing method is a static initializer, the EnclosingMethod structure does not have a method reference.

December 27, 2010

A user reported a bug with EnclosingMethod_attribute when the enclosing method is a constructor. When producing XML output from ClassReader, they sometimes get the string "<init>" in some of the text, which XML parsers think is a start tag and that the overall XML document is not well-formed. I suspect this is because an anonymous inner class is declared inside a constructor, since the bytecode calls all constructors "<init>". I also suspect that anonymous inner classes declared inside a static initializer might produce an EnclosingMethod structure with a method name of "<clinit>".

December 09, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 9.0.4 CE -> 10.0 CE
November 29, 2010

Updated the code coverage reports for release 1.2.1 beta4.

November 28, 2010

Figured out the problem with the ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException on wide instructions. There are helper methods inside the Instruction class to fetch individual bytes from the bytecode. They all take offsets from the instruction's start position in the bytecde. One branch of a case statement was adding the instruction's start position to the offset before calling the helper, resulting in a fetch at twice the start position. If the instruction was past the half-way park, it resulted in ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException.

Found another problem with escaping text in XML documents from ClassReader. It is possible for some string constants in the bytecode to contains characters that are not strictly UTF-8. I had to brush up on my XML to fix this one. I found a promising library in Commons Lang from the Apache Project, but it did not handle low value control characters that are below the range of normal visible characters. So I had to rework com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter.escapeXMLCharacters() myself. I don't think I'll have the same problem with the other XML generators because they don't deal with the raw constant strings in Java the way ClassReader does.

Released version 1.2.1 beta4.

November 26, 2010

Received the class that was breaking Dependency Finder back on 2010-10-23. ClassReader chokes on it but javap is fine. Today's a holiday and I'm busy with visitors from out of town, so it'll have to wait a little.

November 18, 2010

Found a back link for that should have been instead.

November 12, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 9.0.3 CE -> 9.0.4 CE
November 01, 2010

Back on 2010-08-29, I switched from google-collect to Guava. Then, on 2010-09-08, I removed the now obsolete google-collect.jar file but I forgot to update the scripts that lists JAR files explicitly. That's now fixed.

October 23, 2010

Someone is getting ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException when Dependency Finder encounters a wide instruction (opcode 0xCA). If they can send me the class that causes the problem, I might be able to figure where the problem lies.

October 18, 2010

Someone was asking for help with the dependencyextractor And task, and I noticed that the documentation contained a typo. It mentioned a task attribute named filter-excludes but the task has a setter for setFilterexcludes() instead. So where would the dash in the XML attribute come from? I read the documentation and confirmed that Ant is case-insensitive when it comes to task attributes, but it does not add or remove dashes. So the sample code in the documentation does not work. Oops. All fixed now.

September 08, 2010

Moved the Google Analytics tracking code from the old Urchin-based to their new Asynchronous Snippet. Quite frankly, nobody should notice the difference.

I had to cut and paste the snippet to many files. That was annoying, so I extracted it to a separate .js so I could copy a single line script inclusion instead. Then, I realized that defeated the purpose of Google's Asynchronous Snippet, whose purpose is to not delay the loading of the page by including other scripts synchronously. So I'm back to cut and pasting "large" snippets.

August 29, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

Tomcat : 6.0.10 -> 6.0.29
google-collect : 1.0-rc2 -> none
Guava : none -> r06
August 28, 2010

It turns out Guava, strictly speaking, also depends on JSR 305. But I am still able to compile Dependency Finder without it and run the tests.

August 27, 2010

While looking for the latest version of Google Collections, I found out it was now something called Guava. I might consider switching.

August 25, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 4.7 -> 4.8.2

I also ran JarJarDiff on various versions of JUnit from 3.8.2 to 4.8.2. I added the results to the Samples page for JUnit.

August 19, 2010

Looked at AddThis as a possible mechanism for coworkers to share interesting Dependency Finder results on the webapp. The default AddThis email button puts the URL in the email message. The URL is enough to recreate the query and see the results. I need to explore further if I can add the query's results to the message.

August 12, 2010

A user asked for clarifications on the behavior of the advanced view in the GUI. From the layout of the interface, in appears the checkboxes govern the use of regular expressions for packages, classes, and features. But they don't. You can think of it as a two-step process:

  1. Select nodes based on all the regular expressions.
  2. Summarize the selected nodes based on the checkboxes.

GraphSummarizer does both steps at the same time, but conceptually, this is what is happening.

I never claimed the UI was very intuitive. There is definitely room for improvement.

July 24, 2010

At ShopWell, we do a lot of design using post-it stickies on foam boards. We have many, many very large foam boards, to the order of 100"x60". We can stand at the foam board and have a hallway chat about things. We can more stickies around and group them and shift things around. We can easily more boards from one room to the next as needed.

On Dependency Finder, I'm a little overwhelmed by all the tasks I've identified and written up over time, in so many places: the Release Plan, Pivotal Tracker, 5"x7" cards, notes, etc. So I figured that if I could get them all on one foam board, where I could see them all and easily manipulate them, it might get me going again. I went out, bought myself a board (a more modest 36"x24"), some stickies, and a bunch of sharpies, and I'll get started running my own board for Dependency Finder.

July 22, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

Grails : 1.2.2 -> 1.3.3
July 20, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 9.0.2 CE -> 9.0.3 CE
May 11, 2010

Pushed the grails branch back to the Git origin repository on SourceForge. I had to dig out the commands, since it had been a while. Roughly, it looked like this:

  1. git checkout -b grails
  2. ... a bunch of commits ...
  3. git push origin grails
  4. git checkout master
  5. git branch -D grails
  6. git branch grails origin/grails
  7. git checkout grails

I created the branch locally at first and made some commits to it. I then pushed it to the remote repository. I wanted to change my setup so my local branch would track against the remote branch, so I had to delete the local branch before I could create the mapping I wanted. I have to admit I found this part was a little scary. But it worked just fine.

May 06, 2010

I got an email today from a user who found a bug in Dependency Finder. It turns out that I implemented the null check in Classfile.isInnerClass() in the wrong direction. I looked for usages of this method but found none. Not even a test. The shame.

I also discovered a 2 year old bug report about the access flags for inner classes. Given these classes:

    public class Outer {
        private class Inner {}

The bytecode for Outer has an access flag of 00000000 00100001: ACC_PUBLIC and ACC_SUPER. The bytecode for Inner has an access flag of 00000000 00100000: only ACC_SUPER because it is not a public class. The .class file format does not provide for other class-level visibility levels. The modifiers of the inner class are covered in the InnerClass part of InnerClasses_attribute. The bytecode for both Outer and Inner include identical copies of InnerClass with an access flag of 00000000 00000010: ACC_PRIVATE.

The bug report was trying to copy the InnerClass access flag to the Classfile instance. This will not work because the meaning of each bit is different between the two classes. The interfaces in com.jeantessier.classreader are meant to provide an accurate representation of the information in the bytecode. It is meant for people who think in terms of the bytecode, not people who think in terms of the Java language. There is a subtle difference. If you're dealing with an inner class, you have to get its access level from the enclosed InnerClasses attribute.

To work on this problem, I fired up a grails shell in a Grails application where I had copied DependencyFinder.jar. It was really cool to simply use scripting to manipulate data. Java has so much boilerplate code when compared to Groovy.

I fixed the link to JSR 202 on the Resources page. The latest .class file specification includes full description of the StackMap element. At last.

April 28, 2010

Grails already includes JAR files for Log4J 1.2.15 and Jakarta ORO 2.0.8, the same versions that Dependency Finder uses. As an experiment, I created an empty Grails project and copied only DependencyFinder.jar to its lib/ directory. I then started grails shell and I was able to run the same operations as DependencyExtractor by hand. No big surprise there, but it was cool.

I want to redo the webapp as a Grails application. I'm struggling with file system issues, though. Should I create a directory under the current tree where I would put the new app, next to web/ and webwork/? That would be consistent, but the new app would get a name from that directory, which would most likely be called grails. An alternative is to start a brand new tree somewhere else, completely dissociated from the current Dependency Finder development tree. There, the application can be called DependencyFinder or some such. But I would have to start a new Git repository for it. In either case, I'll have to be creative to manage DependencyFinder.jar as it evolves.

April 23, 2010

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 9.0.1 CE -> 9.0.2 CE
April 17, 2010

My license for IntelliJ IDEA is about to expire. I haven't been able to work on Dependency Finder since I started working at ShopWell, so I don't know if they'll consider the project active enough to deserve a free license still. But JetBrains has a community edition that is free and does everything I need, so it is not a complete loss. I installed it tonight to try it out.

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 9.0 -> 9.0.1 CE
January 26, 2010

A user was having difficulty accessing the DTDs. After investigating, I realized SourceForge disabled automatic directory listings ... in 2008. They left instructions on how to re-enable it, so I added .htaccess in the dtd/ folder to take care of it.

December 17, 2009

Tried to use Dependency Finder to analyze some Groovy code. But the way that Groovy mediates method calls so it can treat getters like properties makes it difficult (impossible?) for Dependency Finder to see the real dependency. Instead, it sees dependencies to Groovy's internal method resolution code.

I installed the latest version of yEd only to find out its XML parser cannot read the GraphML files I generate with DependencyGraphToyEd. Something to do with forward references. I guess I'll have to rewrite it to process write out all nodes before it writes edges.

November 19, 2009

I've been setting up another development on a new laptop. I couldn't find the version of FitLibrary that I'm using with Dependency Finder. I'm using FitLibraryRunner20060116, but the oldest version available is FitLibraryRunner20070217. There were some API changes, starting with this version, that are incompatible with my code and I have not found a workaround. I am going to have to include my copy of the 2006-01-16 version with the source for Dependency Finder if people want to run the Fit tests.

November 07, 2009

I'm thinking of replacing the web app with a Grails app instead.

October 09, 2009

Found some useful instructions on tying Git and SVN at the online documentation for Git for the git-svn command.

October 08, 2009

Fixed the WebWork-based web app, somewhat. It turns out that if I want to use Spring IoC, I need to add a few JAR files to the application and an empty Spring config. But maybe I just don't need Spring IoC.

Now, the web app starts, but nothing happens when I try to run extract.action. I know the right method gets called because start and stop get assigned, but ExtractAction does not look at the resources listed in source.

I tried to update the SVN repo first, in the hopes of copying the change to Git afterwards. This is probably a bad idea if I don't have access to the original Git client where I first fetched the SVN repo.

October 06, 2009

Converted the Subversion repository to Git, hosted on SourceForge. I'll try to keep them in sync for a while, but I might eventually switch only to Git and cancel the SVN repo, just like I did for CVS a while back.

October 01, 2009

Added sample data files for 1.2.1 beta releases.

Added build.cobertura.xml for computing code coverage using Cobertura.

September 30, 2009

Worked on backlog of data files from 1.2.1 beta releases.

September 27, 2009

Released version 1.2.1 beta3.

Updated the release instructions.

September 23, 2009

Added missing flag values on Classfile parts when rendered in XML. I also added comprehensive tests for all flag values.

Updated the DTD too.

September 21, 2009

Found a bug with the latest release. When I added Google Collections, I forgot to update some of the Unix launch scripts. I'll probably cut a new release with the fixed scripts.

September 17, 2009

Upgraded the following development components:

HttpUnit : 1.6.2 -> 1.7

Added the output of JarJarDiff on HttpUnit to the Samples page.

September 16, 2009

Going through the Groovy tutorial. It is a nice scripting language, a cool extension of Java. You can name closure parameters, just like Ruby, but it also has a default it if the closure needs only one parameter. I was able to compile to bytecode, using groovyc, and run Dependency Finder on it. But the code it generates is very hard to read, so don't try it. Generated code is meant to stay hidden.

Speaking of generated code, I saw a presentation on IxEdit, a tool to generate JavaScript to tie controls on a page. While it is very slick for generating interactions, it generates code that you then cut and paste into the HTML page. I'm pretty sure this is not maintainable. The generated JavaScript is fairly opaque. The demo didn't cover how or if you could re-insert the code in the editor to refine interactions.

September 14, 2009

A friend mentioned the Groovy language. It is a scripting language built on top of Java. It compiles to bytecode and runs on the JVM, so I might be able to run Dependency Finder on it and see what comes out. :-)

Videos on Groovy:

The Groovy site mentions Cobertura to do code coverage. Its sample output looks nicer than what I'm using right now: Clover and Emma. I'll try to run it over Dependency Finder when I have a moment.

September 11, 2009

Released version 1.2.1 beta2.

The distribution file management has changed a lot since the last release. I need to update the release instructions. See release instructions on SourceForge in the meantime.

September 09, 2009

Pushed the logic for separating fully qualified class names into package name and simple class name to the Class_info class, with tests. Added tests for Classfile.locateField() and Classfile.locateMethod(), including proper handling of inherited package-visible methods.

Added LoadAdapter, a no-op implementation of LoadListener, so implementations don't have to duplicate no-op methods just to fulfill the interface.

Started Google Collections in spite of my reservations regarding JSR 305. Next, I want to start using Guice too.

September 04, 2009

Added JarJarDiff output for EasyMock and its class extension.

August 31, 2009

I'm still debating whether interactions between visitors should use double dispatch or not. Double dispatch is useful when you don't know the exact type of the element being visited, so you cannot know which visit() method to use. But when the decorating visitor is ready to dispatch to the decorated visitor, it knows the concrete type of the visited element, so there is no need for double dispatch. I'm still tempted to keep using double dispatch nonetheless, since it is the normal mechanism for passing control to a visitor and it makes the interactions with the decorated visitor seem more natural.

I have produced an alternate sequence diagram that shows the flow of control between three visitors composed visitor to render a dependency graph as text.

I also produced a matching version of the dependency graph for rendering a dependency closure as a call graph.

I really like sdedit for creating sequence diagrams.

August 28, 2009

Tried to used Google Collections in Classfile. I was hoping that Iterables.find() would simplify methods like getField() and getMethod(), even with the added boilerplate for the anonymous inner class for the Predicate. But find() throws an exeception if it doesn't find a match whereas my code has been returning null. Once I throw in the exception handling, the methods is much harder to read than the simple for() loop I had before.

Google Collections uses the @Nullable annotation from JSR 305. But the project doesn't have any binaries, so I had to steal the JAR file from the FindBugs project. It doesn't feel as clean as I would want it. Maybe I need to let Google Collections to bake for a little while longer.

August 27, 2009

Refactored Classfile to rework locateField() and locateMethod(). I now have a special constructor to allow testing. I marked it with a comment while I decide whether or not I want to pull Google Collections into the project so I can use its @VisibleForTesting annotation.

August 22, 2009

Finished a possible test for Classfile, using a test-only constructor. I marked it @Deprecated until I figure out how I want to introduce the Google Collections API.

I should rewrite Classfile.locateField() so it is similar to Classfile.locateMethod(). For consistency.

August 19, 2009

Looked at how I'm using MaximumCapacityPatternCache and how its capacity() method returns a hard-coded 20. This capacity serves to seed the expression cache in ORO's Perl5Util. I'm thinking that most of the time, 20 is overkill. And when I need more than 20, I need a lot more than 20. So it's never quite the right number, but I cannot refine it without lots of experimentation. At least, ORO's GenericCache.DEFAULT_CAPACITY is also 20, so somebody thinks it's a sensible value. Maybe I should reference it instead of hard-coding a mysterious 20.

August 18, 2009

Changed dependencies on to instead.

Looked at Classfile.locateMethod() and I found something that seemd strange at first glance: it will return a method defined on the class regardless of its access priviledge, but will only return one that is inherited if it is public or protected. This makes sense, since otherwise it would not be inherited. But it is missing the case of a package-level method from a superclass or interface in the same package. The expected behavior is not documented and there are no tests to tell me what I had in mind when I first wrote it. So I tried to write a test for it, but the constructor for Classfile does way too much work. It reads a lot of data from the DataInput, including the constant pool and interfaces and fields and methods and attributes. Specifying all of these in a test is too brittle, I'd much rather supply mocks for all these collaborators. If I used the Google Collections, I could have a special constructor and mark it @VisibleForTesting.

August 17, 2009

Tweaked tests to use is() matcher with assertThat() consistently.

August 14, 2009

Refactored com.jeantessier.metrics.TestMetricsGatherer so it uses mostly the new assertThat() syntax from JUnit 4.5 intead of the various assertTrue() and assertEquals() and so forth. I was able to simplify the tests drastically with judicious uses of helper methods and Hamcrest's hasItems() matcher.

It is still more an integration test than a pure unit test. It is somewhat brittle since it depends on an actual compiled class and lots of internal details of com.jeantessier.metrics, but there is only so much I can do in one pass. At least, it is very readalble now that I have removed all the duplication.

August 13, 2009

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 4.6 -> 4.7

The new JUnit introduces a new concept called rules. They are essentially interceptors for tests and a new extension mechanism for JUnit, now that tests don't have to derive from TestCase anymore. This looks promising. They re-implemented expected exceptions and you can now supply matchers for more precise matching of exceptions thrown by the test methods. Rules appear much more flexible, but they are still poorly documented. It is unfortunate that the javadocs bundled with JUnit 4.7 do not include the documentation of already provided rules.

Extracted styles from the Resources page.

August 07, 2009

Another example sequence diagram for the call flow across composed visitors to, this time to render a dependency closure as a call graph in text. Click the image for a better view. See also the source file.

I wanted to completely separate the textual rendering from the traversal of the graph, but I may not be able to do that. The current TextPrinter makes assumptions on the nature of the graph so it can remove "empty nodes". I am not sure in this logic belongs in the rendering or the traversal or somewhere else altogether. If it belongs somewhere else, this complicates the setup to do a simple printout to text.

August 05, 2009

Found sdedit for creating sequence diagrams. Here is an example for the call flow across composed visitors to render a dependency graph as text. Click the image for a better view. See also the source file.

Adjusted the yEd transformation so it renders unconfirmed nodes a different color from the confirmed nodes.

August 03, 2009

Found some references to StackMap in the release notes for JDK 1.6. They point to JSR 202, which itself points to JSR 030 and JSR 139. It appears StackMap is used to simplify class verification by splitting the process between the compiler and the runtime. JSR 139 has an early specification where the attribute is named "StackMap" instead of "StackMapTable". JSR 202 has the full specification, so I will be able to use it to parse "StackMapTable" attributes fully in com.jeantessier.classreader.

July 30, 2009

Had a discussion with Russ Rufer, Tracy Bialik, and Gene Volovich on my recent experiment combining decorator and visitor patterns. Russ recommended that I look at the code for ASM where he saw a way to combine visitors and graph traversal that he liked. This might be inspirational when I try to apply the same model to com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor.

They also suggested that I could migrate Dependency Finder to ASM. This way, I wouldn't have to keep up with language developments. I vaguely remember taking a glance at ASM some time ago and finding it rather ugly. Maybe it's worth another look, if only to properly document why I don't like it. :-)

Found instructions for switching my MacBook Pro to JDK 1.6.

I was looking at CodeDependencyCollector and I noticed that some of the visit...() methods were not calling their superclass counterparts like the others. They were:

I couldn't think of a reason they should not call to super, so I fixed them. They all end up calling to VisitorBase which has all no-ops anyway. Strange, nonetheless. This brings me back to a paper I wrote years ago for my M.Sc. on what I called Inherited Behavior at the time.

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 4.5 -> 4.6

I also noticed that the new SourceForge layout has a large download button on the project's home page and that it points to version 1.1.0-beta2, which is about 5 years old. It took a while to track down how to change it to the latest version, 1.2.1-beta1, and I don't know how long it will take for the change to propagate all the way to the project's home page. I don't know how long it's been this way. The download statistics at SourceForge show nothing for the last week. I hope it's just that their stats are down and not that nobody is downloading Dependency Finder!

July 29, 2009

Refactored SelectiveTraversalStrategy to create an actual ComprehensiveTraversalStrategy to use in defaults instead of an unconfigured SelectiveTraversalStrategy. I figure the indent is more explicit this way.

Changed SelectiveVisitor to reuse the superclass implementations when it is appropriate. This meant changing the tests because the superclass was using double dispatch to pass control to the delegate visitor and the original implementation of SelectiveVisitor was calling the delegate directly.

July 28, 2009

I don't know what I was thinking when I first wrote VisitorDecorator. It was calling the counterpart method on the delegate directly instead of using double dispatch like I originally wanted to. I fixed the tests, mocking more things along the way, and then fixed the code.

Cleaning up the interface, I added traverseInbound() and traverseOutbound() to the Visitor interface. Almost all implementations already had them already and the others ended up being no-ops.

I wrote a BasicTraversal visitor that uses a TraversalStrategy to do some filtering, but I was not happy with it. It was not clear where scope versus filter selections should happen. I felt like I needed a separate class to do the scoping and the filtering, but the composition of decorators would become non-trivial. Finally, I found a way to make it work and I got BasicTraversal and SelectiveVisitor to be just the way I wanted.

I changed my IntelliJ IDEA configuration to use JDK 1.6 on my MacBook Pro. My shell is still stuck on JDK 1.5. I wonder how they will interact, when I happen to compile in IDEA and try to run some tool from the command line.

July 24, 2009

Fixed some tests. Some of the Fit tests needed better explanations. There was one broken test in com.jeantessier.classreader.TestXMLPrinter. This last one was checked in broken, after I made a last minute change to the XML format. I need to be better disciplined at running all the tests before I check in code.

July 23, 2009

Fixed a typo in the web app's style.css.

Finished adding the label to the web app pages, complete with HttpUnit tests.

July 22, 2009

Adding a secondary title to the web app pages, called "label", and which can be set from load.jsp or extract.jsp. The goal is to let automated graph updates tack a label to the current data set, such as a revision number or a timestamp. This lets users know which data their queries are running against.

July 21, 2009

Fixed CodeDependencyCollector to correctly track dependencies on classes and enum values referenced in annotation values.

Found a bug: when CodeDependencyCollector visits the attributes of a class, it attaches dependencies to the last method it visited instead of to the class itself. Luckily, there is a handy hook called VisitorBase.visitClassAnnotations() that lets me intercept control and restore the current node right after visiting fields and methods and before visiting the annotations.

July 15, 2009

Spiked on printing the call graph for closures as a chain of calls instead of a flat dependency graph.

Back on 2008-11-05, I troyed with the idea of using composition to deal with sharing behavior in the com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor hierarchy. At the time, I was thinking of wrapping a TextPrinter inside a TraversalVisitor, where the outer visitor would be responsible for traversing the structure and would call on the inner visitor for specific processing at each node. This created problems for XMLPrinter which needs to do both pre- and post-processing on each node.

But what if the Printer was the outer visitor and the traversal was done by the inner one? Then, the printer would have free reign in doing all the "around" work it wants. It would call in to the inner visitor when it is ready to traverse a nodes subsequent structure. The inner visitor would still have to call out to the outer one whenever it moves to a new node, though. Reminds me of cross recursion, somehow.

The code for visitMethod_info() would look something like:

    public abstract class VisitorDecorator implements Visitor {
        private Visitor delegate;
        public Visitor getDelegate() {
            return delegate;
        public void setDelegate(Visitor delegate) {
            this.delegate = delegate;
    public class TraversalVisitor extends VisitorDecorator {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            for(Attribute_info attribute : method.getAttributes()) {
    public abstract class Printer extends VisitorDecorator {
    public class TextPrinter extends Printer {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            append("    ").append(method.getDeclaration()).append(";").eol();
    public class XMLPrinter extends Printer {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {

Notice how the printers call method.accept(getDelegate()) to get further processing of the current node. The TraversalVisitor instead calls attribute.accept(getDelegate()), moving the processing further along the structure.

The flow of control would constantly pass back and forth between the two visitors. It all pretty much depends on which one starts the ball rolling.

The reason I'm revisiting this issue is because I find myself in need of a com.jeantessier.dependency.Visitor that would traverse the graph depth-first along inbound and outbound dimensions, instead of a the current shallow traversal.

The code to use this would look like:

    Printer printer = new TextPrinter(...);
    Visitor traversal = new TraversalVisitor(...);

And I could use it to print transitive closures, based on the start criteria.

July 14, 2009

I have been running an experiment to launch Dependency Finder as an instance of Jetty with the web app UI. But Jetty seems flaky. It runs fine at first, but after a while, it starts throwing messages that can cannot find classes that are obviously in the JAR. I don't get it. I've reverted to using Tomcat for now. I removed all the applications in its webapps folder and deployed Dependency Finder as ROOT so I don't need a path element to access it.

July 09, 2009

Found another example of an annotation that takes array and class values even closer to home in org.junit.Test and org.junit.runners.Suite.SuiteClasses. And even better, TestAll has both of these, so all I need to do to find an example is analyze TestAll.

I did a quick spike to try to track annotations as part of com.jeantessier.classreader.MetricsGatherer. Early results are promissing, but this was just a spike so I will have to trown away that code and redo it properly, test-first.

July 08, 2009

Found a nice example of an annotation that takes array and class values in org.testng.annotations.Test. Though, looking closer to home, java.lang.annotations.Retention takes an enum value and java.lang.annotations.Target takes an array of enum values. I can play with these manually to validate the XML format for annotation information.

Fixed XML rendering of AnnotationDefault_attribute to remove the extraneous <element-value> node around the actual element value.

July 07, 2009

Played with filtering out files directly from DependencyExtractor. I had forgotten about FileFilteringLoadListener and ClassfileFilteringLoadListener. At first, I thought of using FileFilteringLoadListener to short-circuit even the parsing of unwanted .class files, but that didn't work. It only filters the beginFile() and endFile() events. It does not remove any of the logic that happens between them, nor any beginClassfile() and endClassfile() event.

At the very least, I need to augment the tests for GroupFilteringLoadListener and FileFilteringLoadListener so they at least suppress all events with matching group or file names respectively. Not just their own begin ... end events, but also those that happen in between. After that, maybe I'll consider turning the begin event into something closer to a VetoableChangeListener, where I can suppress processing between match begin and end events based on the handling of the begin event.

The javadocs for LoadListener and LoadEvent are dreadfully out of date.

July 02, 2009

Fixed CodeDependencyCollector to correctly track dependencies on annotations. For now, it only captures dependencies on the annotation itself, not on any element values that it might contain. This will come next.

I implemented support for rendering elements of runtime annotations in XMLPrinter.

I also modified EnumElementValue.getTypeName() and ClassElementValue.getClassInfo() so they convert class names in path notation to a proper class name. Internally, these class names are stored as UTF-8 strings, not ClassInfo_attribute structures, so these classes have to take care of converting strings containing encoded class names such as "Lfoo/Bar;" to proper class names such as "foo.Bar".

Jens Dietrich uses Dependency Finder in his gpl4jung project.

Removed dependencies on toString() when getting the names of elements of Classfile. It is much better to be explicit about which piece of data is needed rather than rely on what an object's string represenation is. Also, it is impossible to mock toString() using jMock.

July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Someone asked why Dependency Finder was not picking up dependencies on runtime annotations. The answer is simple: I haven't implemented that part of Java 1.5 support yet. The code is there to read in annotations from the .class file and include them in the Classfile structure, but I don't do anything with it just yet.

I implemented support for rendering runtime annotations in XMLPrinter. It's a start. I didn't get around to handling all the different types of element values, though.

June 29, 2009

Tweaked the CSS used when converting dependency graphs to HTML (with XSLT).

June 25, 2009

Verified site ownership with Google Webmaster Tools by adding a meta tag on the site's home page.

June 23, 2009

Found out about the Google Visualization API.

June 15, 2009

Changed Classfile to track methods with a simple Collection instead of a Map. This way, bridge methods don't trample each other. But I use a LinkedList internally, so methods are no longer sorted by signature. All the tests are passing for now, but suspect it will impact the logic in OOMetrics and/or JarJarDiff.

I also tried to resurrect the WebWork web app, with limited success. I want to move it squarely into Struts2 instead of clinging to WebWork 2.2.6.

June 11, 2009

One user asked:

    i have a project P that contains in some package Z a class C.
    I want to know all of C's dependencies....

If all you want is C's direct dependencies, you can get them from analyzing the compiled code in C.class. If you want the transitive closure, you sill need to analyze all the classes along the way too. You can point Dependency Finder to a folder and it will scan it and all its subfolders for possible Java code, be it in JAR files, zip files, or loose .class files.

Here is how you would do it using the CLI. Start by extracting all dependencies for project P and saving them in df.xml. You can add third party JARs to the command if you want to drill into their dependencies too.

    % cd [to P's output directory]
    % DependencyExtractor -xml -out df.xml . [add third party JARs too]

Then, reduce all the dependencies in df.xml to class-to-class dependencies and save them to c2c.df.xml.

    % c2c -xml -out c2c.df.xml df.xml

Now, use DependencyClosure to list the first and second degree dependencies from Z.C in the graph in c2c.df.xml. "Inbounds" are classes that depend on Z.C whereas "outbounds" are classes that Z.C depends upon.

    % DependencyClosure c2c.df.xml -class-start-includes /Z.C/ -maximum-inbound-depth 0 -maximum-outbound-depth 1
    % DependencyClosure c2c.df.xml -class-start-includes /Z.C/ -maximum-inbound-depth 0 -maximum-outbound-depth 2

If you want to use the GUI instead, use the "Closure" tab and the File >> Closure menu command. First, use File >> Extract to extract dependencies for project P. Then select the "Closure" tab. In the "Select programming elements" group of controls, check "classes" and put /Z.C/ in the "including" box. In the "Show dependencies (stop for closure), select "classes" but leave the textboxes empty. Set "Follow inbounds" to 0 and set "Follow outbounds" to 1 to first degree or 2 for second degree dependencies. Click File >> Closure and see the results in the large results area.

June 05, 2009

Looking at JavaCC as a potential help in parsing Signature_attribute values. While looking for possible books on JavaCC, I stumbled upon Decompiling Java quite by accident. It came out in 2008, so it might even be up-to-date, but the reviews give me pause.

June 04, 2009

Reading up on Guice 2.0.

Wrapping my head around signatures. I based SignatureHelper on DescriptorHelper, but that may not be enough. The strucure of signagtures is much more complex and has a recursive nature. I may need a number of classes to handle all the production rules in the JVM specification section 4.4.4.

June 03, 2009

A colleague pointed me to DepAn, another dependency analysis tool for Java. It seems to be built on the Eclipse platform and uses ASM for decompiling Java bytecode. It is distributed as a binary for the Linux platform. It won't work on my Mac and I couldn't get it to start on my Linux box either.

Looking into running DependencyFinder on Google App Engine or Amazon EC2. Users would have to upload their JAR files to the server, though.

May 27, 2009

Found a misnamed method. VisitorBase.visitClassfileAnnotations() should have been called VisitorBase.visitClassfileAttributes().

Worked on Method_info.getSignature() to use the generic signature of a Signature_attribute when it is available. In the process, I realized that I never finished SignatureHelper.

May 26, 2009

Found out about Crap4J, but I'm having a hard time fine tuning the sample build.xml file so I can run it on Dependency Finder. I should add it to the Resources page.

I want to redo ClassList to simply use a LoadListener to collect class names as they are being read in. Coupled with a lightweight Classfile, it would reduce its memory footprint. Right now, it uses an AggregatingClassfileLoader and parses an entire JAR completely before simply writing out class names. This is a waste of time and memory and it hurts when dealing with really large JAR files.

May 18, 2009

Someone found a typo in the documentation: -csv was written -cvs. It's all fixed, now.

I fixed com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer to use Classfile.isSynthetic() to determine if a class is synthetic or not. It used to look onl for the presence of a Synthetic_attribute, but in Java 1.5 the synthetic property can be set in the ACCESS_LEVEL field of the .class file. I will need to fix it for methods and fields too.

The deprecation level is computed the same way, by looking for the Deprecated_attribute. But in Java 1.5, it can also be set via an annotation. This will require more work.

May 13, 2009

Refactored CodeDependencyCollector.visitClassfile() so it calls super.visitClassfile(classfile) to traverse the parts of the Classfile instead of doing it explicitly. This means that it will now visit the attributes of the Classfile in addition to its fields and methods. For now, CodeDependencyFinder ignores the attributes that can be attached to a file, but I'm tempted to collect dependencies from attributes such as:

EnclosingMethod_attribute is particularily interesting because it would be the first time we have an explicit dependency going from a class to a feature.

I also noticed that com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer only looks for a class' Synthetic_attribute and does not look at the class' ACCESS_FLAG. I need to fix this so it calls Classfile.isSynthetic() instead. The same probably goes for other visitors and for other properties of things with attributes.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about large projects that run out of memory to hold the dependency graph. In one case, I have a very large JAR file with all the project classes in it and even if I give DependencyExtractor over 1.5GB of memory, it still runs out. I could add scoping to the extractor, but this feels like piling too many responsabilities on one tool, espcially when it is already the purview of DependencyReporter. I could partition the graph across many machines. I can already merge graphs, so the client could ask all partitions (in parallel) and merge the results together. But now I'm facing the problem of how to partition the graph and how to prevent parsing the .class files multiple times. I am exploring the possibility of having lightweight implementations of Classfile and its constituents to help with deciding how to partition the graph, and how this plays with the notions of group and file in a loading session.

May 11, 2009

I've been thinking about how to deal with very large projects that Dependency Finder cannot fit into memory. I could partition the dependency graph between multiple servers, query them in parallel, and merge the results together. I already have the merge logic. Next, I need a way to partition the graph efficiently.

I could do preprocessing of the codebase to determine the partitions automatically. I could use a variation on LCOM4 for this. Well, not really LCOM4, but more of a general graph partitioning algorithm. I could generate a directed package-to-package graph with a weight on each edge that tells how many classes are involved in that edge. Then, I do a normal graph partitioning but I only consider edges with weight greater than N. By varying N, I can find the optimal partitions, including which packages are in each one.

To do the preprocessing, I could simply have a DependencyListener listen in and tally the dependencies. But CodeDependencyCollector, which triggers the listeners, is way too tightly coupled to NodeFactory. I would like to run CodeDependencyCollector without a NodeFactory so it would only generate DependencyEvent messages, and those would have enough information to distinguish between different kinds of dependencies. I could use some kind of non-caching NodeFactory, or rather have some other class create the dependencies so I can have a very lightweight graph in the factory while I just tally information about the dependencies but not the dependencies themselves for this specific analysis.

See also graph partition algorithms at The Stony Brook Algoritm Repository.

May 05, 2009

Fixed com.jeantessier.classreader.TextPrinter so it does not put a ";" after a class' static initialization block.

May 04, 2009

Fixed bug 2663753 which deals with the signature for a class' static initializer.

I wrote a test (using JUnit 4) which exposed that Feature_info.getName() and Feature_info.getSignature() were calling UTF8_info.toString() instead of UTF8_info.getValue(), which tripped the mocks created by jMock. It also forced me to change the signature of the Feature_info constructor to depend on DataInput, an interface, instead of DataInputStream, a concrete class.

Because the new test is a JUnit 4 test, I switched all TestAll suites to use the JUnit 4 mechanism for constructing suites. It lets me compose suites from JUnit 3 and JUnit 4 suites and test, all mixed and matched. I was bring back com.jeantessier.metrics.TestMetricsGatherer into a single test target for all tests. The Fit tests are still in JUnit 3 suites. I will need to take a good look at them to upgrade them too, but I am too tired for this right now.

April 17, 2009

Finally got around to fixing bug 2663688 where com.jeantessier.classreader.TextPrinter might encounter a null Code_attribute on abstract or native methods.

March 31, 2009

Tried to get a simple example of Guice working with Struts2 in Tomcat, but no matter what I tried, I couldn't get it to work. It's like it cannot find my bindings, for some reason. I would really love to use Guice and WebWork (now Struts2) in the webapp.

March 19, 2009

Got a presentation on FindBugs by Bill Pugh, the author himself. It is a really cool tool that uses bytecode analysis, just like Dependency Finder, but in a much more targeted way to find patterns in the code that are likely to be bugs.

March 11, 2009

Refactored the way APIDifferenceStrategy collects field names and method signatures. I extracted a method that takes a function object, a poor cousin to blocks in Ruby. At first, I used an inner interface inside APIDifferenceStrategy and anonymous inner classes at the call sites. But then I thought I might reuse it elsewhere, so I pulled everything out as stand-alone classes in com.jeantessier.classreader: interface FeatureMapper and implementations NameMapper and SignatureMapper. Don't confuse them with PackageMapper which is completely different.

March 10, 2009

Considering moving the behavior from CodeDifferenceStrategy.isCodeDifferent() to Code_attribute.equals() instead. This way, if I introduce a Null Object pattern for Code_attribute, I can make sure that nothing equals the null object. And the code in CodeDifferenceStrategy would become a simple:

    public boolean isCodeDifferent(Code_attribute oldCode, Code_attribute newCode) {
        return oldCode.equals(newCode);

This code assumes that oldCode is not null, or you'd get a NullPointerException. I checked all the call sites for isCodeDifferent() and they all verify that neither oldCode nor newCode is null, so this new version should be perfectly safe.

March 09, 2009

Tried to replace MockDifferenceStrategy with jMock, but some of the tests are too involved with real Classfile instances to make it practical. I will need to rewrite those tests to use mock Classfile and associated structures instead, which will take some time.

March 06, 2009

Minor changes to phrasing in the Tools page.

Added a link to Pivotal Tracker for Dependency Finder as one of the menu items on the site's left-hand panel. I also tried to make the "Download" like more proeminent by using a <strong> tag (I wanted to use <b> but IntelliJ IDEA complained that it was deprecated and suggested <strong> instead), but the effect may be too light still.

March 04, 2009

I made the Pivotal Tracker project public so everyone can see how it's doing.

Also, today, I found a bug in ClassReader. In text mode, when it encounters an abstract method, it would throw a NullPointerException. The code in =TextPrinter] blindly calls entry.getCode().accept(this) without checking that getCode() returned something. I could use the Null Object pattern, but I'll have to check everywhere I call getCode() first.

March 02, 2009

Playing with Jetty, I managed to make it serve a complete web app straight from the WAR file. This simple program takes a port number as the first parameter and a WAR file as the second.

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        Server server = new Server(Integer.getValue(args[0]));
        WebAppContext webapp = new WebAppContext();

For now, the web app takes its configuration from the web.xml file that is burried in the WAR file. I'll have to figure out a way to pass in the values for the source and file context parameters.

February 24, 2009

Created a project on Pivotal Tracker to try and manage my effort on Dependency Finder. I know a few people at Pivotal Labs and they introduced me to Tracker a few years ago. It's a pretty cool tool, but I'm not sure how useful it will be on a single-person project with a very irregular schedule.

February 19, 2009

I am toying with the idea of using Jetty. With it, I could embed a webserver in the application instead of using Swing. This way, I can provide the user experience entirely from the web application instead of maintaining a separate Swing version.

Documentation on configuring Jetty with an existing web application is sketchy at best. I was hoping for a simple, fool-proof recipe, but it looks like I might have to do actual work to get this to work.

Reading a little more about this, it looks like Jetty already ships as part of WebWork. WebWork's QuickStart uses Jetty to provide a quick starting point for development. It may not be the best approach for deploying an application, though.

February 13, 2009

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 8.0.1 -> 8.1
January 26, 2009

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 4.4 -> 4.5

I still haven't started converting all the test cases to JUnit 4.

January 23, 2009

Fixed targets in build.tomcat.xml that were not getting the right paths because they were not depending on the init target.

January 14, 2009

Found a minor bug with ClassReader where it does not reset the internal counter it uses to print a constant pool in text mode. If I ask it to print two classes, the indices of the second class pick up where the first one left off.

I tried to write an integration test first, but there is so much indirection involved between TextVisitor and Classfile that it would have required quite a bit of setup and would have ended up fairy brittle. So I settled for a small unit test of VisitorBase.visitConstantPool() instead.

Fixed a constant duplication in data2atom.cgi where it was referencing Journal.cgi directly instead of the more generic $DOCUMENT.cgi.

January 08, 2009

Updated the copyright notice to 2009.

December 02, 2008

Better escaping of & in Atom feed. Fixed some broken entity references in the Journal.

December 01, 2008

Looked at generating an Atom feed based on the Journal. In the process of turning data2html.cgi into an Atom generator, I found a bug in data2html.cgi when generating links to dated entries.

November 27, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 8.0 -> 8.0.1

Added CodeFinder to replace the explicit iteration in Method_info.getCode().

November 26, 2008

Cleaned up how XMPrinter deals with instructions that have a value embedded in them, such as bipush and iconst_1. Also made it show the destination address of goto and jump instructions.

Augmented TextPrinter so it also shows the bytecode, similar to what javap -c does, including the exception handling.

As I was looking at coverage reports to make sure I covered all the cases in printing instructions, I was reminded that some ExceptionHandler structures do not have a catch type, meaning they trap everything and apparently that is the bytecode presentation of finally blocks.

I also realized that I was reading offset values for goto and branch instructions as unsigned values, when they are actually signed. The same goes for embedded values in bipush and sipush instructions.

November 25, 2008

Fixed the use of id attributes in classfile.dtd to use index instead. The attribute id has special meaning in XML.

I realized that local variables can be active for only a portion of a method's execution and that the VM can reuse positions in the local variable table for different variables whose scope does not overlap. That significantly complicated LocalVariableFinder. It had to take into account the position of the instructions trying to locate a local variable and what local variables are active at that position in the code. To complicate matters further, instructions that set local variables, such as istore, are such that the variable does not really exist at that instruction position but starts immediately after. Couple that with the wide instruction and things get pretty nasty pretty quickly.

Minor refactoring.

November 24, 2008

Added Instruction.getIndexedLocalVariable(), Instruction.getOffset(), and Instruction.getValue() to help with text rendering of instructions. Used them to make traces in Code_attribute and instruction data from XMLPrinter more useful.

Simplified Instruction tests by using jMock and putting many of the tests methods in one test class.

Bad news for Dependency Finder: I just got Tomb Raider: Underworld! >:-)

November 20, 2008

Wrote LocalVariableFinder to help find the LocalVariable of a Code_attribute from its index in an Instruction.

Removed getCode() from the Instruction interface. The implementation can still hold on to the Code_attribute, but that's an implementation detail, and does not need to be part of the exposed interface.

November 19, 2008

Modified journal entries to turn dates into hyperlinks.

Extracted the implicit index from instructions xload_<i> and xstore_<i> to be the value of <i>. Those values point to entries in the local variable array of the current frame. I could use them to provide better text rendering of instructions by naming the variable (when there is a LocalVariableTable present in the Code_attribute).

November 18, 2008

Modified data2html.cgi to render dates as URLs to the corresponding journal entry.

November 14, 2008

Simplified build.test.xml by grouping all JUnit tests under one target. With junit-4.4.jar in $HOME/.ant/lib, it can run JUnit 4 tests too. com.jeantessier.metrics.TestMetricsGatherer is a JUnit 4 test and it cannot run as part of a JUnit 3 test suite.

November 13, 2008

Back on 2008-11-03, I simplified some constructors at the cost of less useful debug traces. I was looking at traces from ClassMetrics to see how Dependency Finder was dealing with annotations in the wild and I realized that echoing only constant pool indices is not very helpful. I really need to look up those values in the constant pool and include them in the trace message.

Found a bug! It turns out that the constructor for AnnotationElementValue was not passing the ConstantPool to its Annotation. Now that the constructor for Annotation calls getType() for its debug trace, it forces a constant pool look up, which exposed the problem. Hurray for tests!

Since Java 1.2, you can deprecate a programming element with the javadoc tag @deprecated. It adds a Deprecated attribute to the programming element. Since Java 1.5, you can deprecate a programming element with the runtime annotation @Deprecated. I wrote a special Visitor, named DeprecationDetector, that traverses the Classfile structure looking for either one. I will use it to rewrite Deprecatable.isDeprecated() in Classfile and Feature_info. This is part of a larger effort to reduce dependencies by parts of the Classfile structure upon their containing structures.

As I was working on DeprecationDetector, I realized that Annotation did not expose its type property through its interface. It is odd that I did not notice it earlier. And, I must admit, a bit scary. What else might I have missed?

As I was trying ClassReader -xml, I realized that the elements of the constant pool have an attribute id that gives their position in the pool. This is unfortunate since id has a very specific meaning in XML. I should definitely think of changing it to something more like index.

November 11, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 8.0 Milestone 1 -> 8.0
November 05, 2008

Added visitor hooks for the substructures in *Annotations_attribute.

I've been thinking to move the com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor hierarchy to use more composition. I could have one class handle traversal of the Classfile structure and delegate processing to another class that would just focus on what needs to be done.

For instance, the visitMethod_info() methods would look like:

    public class VisitorDecorator implements Visitor {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
    public class TraversalVisitor extends VisitorDecorator {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            for(Attribute_info attribute : method.getAttributes()) {
    public class TextPrinter extends Printer {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            append("    ").append(method.getDeclaration()).append(";").eol();

But it does not work for XmlPrinter, which must generate output both before and after processing the method's attributes.

    public class XmlPrinter extends Printer {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            append("    <method>").eol();
            append("        <declaration>").append(method.getDeclaration()).append("</declaration>").eol();
            // Attributes go here, somehow
            append("    </method>").eol();

I could have hooks for pre- and post-traversal, but that's what led to all the complexity in com.jeantessier.dependency.VisitorBase. So, I'm going to stick with the inheritance-based design:

Now, the code looks like this:

    public class VisitorBase implements Visitor {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            for(Attribute_info attribute : method.getAttributes()) {
    public class TextPrinter extends Printer {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            append("    ").append(method.getDeclaration()).append(";").eol();

and for XmlPrinter:

    public class XmlPrinter extends Printer {
        public void visitMethod_info(Method_info method) {
            append("    <method>").eol();
            append("        <declaration>").append(method.getDeclaration()).append("</declaration>").eol();
            append("    </method>").eol();

Maybe I should revisit com.jeantessier.dependency.VisitorBase, now.

November 04, 2008

Fixed a problem with IntelliJ IDEA. I am using version 8.0M1 on a MacBook Pro. My laptop wouldn't wake up after going to sleep yesterday, so I had to do a hard reboot. After that, IntelliJ wouldn't recompile my classes. It kept clearing the classes directory and then couldn't find classes to run the tests. I completely erased ~/Library/Caches/IntelliJIDEA80 and restarted IntelliJ and that seemed to do the trick.

Added tests for Custom_attribute.

Added visitor hooks for *Annotations_attribute and AnnotationDefault_attribute, but I did not get to their substructures, yet.

November 03, 2008

Removed ConstantPool from the public interface of *Annotations_attribute components. The fact that some of them hold on to the constant pool and do lookup at runtime is an implementation detail.

Fixed Parameter so it actually reads its annotations from the byte stream. I also simplified its interface to remove the back reference to RuntimeParameterAnnotations_attribute.

Added getAttributeName() to all attributes. I had to simplify some of the constructors that were echoing the data as they read it in order to keep the tests simple.

But after trying it out on some sample code, I realized that it hampers usability, so I will have to put them back in. I also removed dependence on the behavior of toString() in a few places.

Addded AnnotationDefault_attribute.

November 02, 2008

Exclude abstract base classes for test classes from Ant target to run all tests.

October 31, 2008

More support for annotations.

Removed the back-reference from Annotation back to its containing RuntimeAnnotations_attribute because it did not make sense in the case of an annotation as an element value.

Rigged ElementValueFactory the same way I did for AttributeFactory.

I realized that most attributes hold on to a reference to the Classfile only so that they can get the ConstantPool from it. So I changed the code to inject the ConstantPool directly instead of the Classfile. This refactoring touched 84 files.

October 30, 2008

More support for annotations.

I've built support for some of the annotation attributes and pretty much all types of element value. Now, I need to figure out how to instantiate element values based on the tag in the byte stream. Once I have that, I will be able to finish ArrayElementValue and write ElementValuePair so I can then finish Annotation. Then, I will have to rig it all up into com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor.

Added some tests for some structures that were not covered before:

jMock is really helping create a stage where I can exercise the classes very easily.

October 29, 2008

More support for annotations. The way the class hierarchy in com.jeantessier.classreader.impl shadows the interface hierarchy in com.jeantessier.classreader is very tricky.

October 28, 2008

Started writing support for annotations, TDD-style. I found a cool way to use jMock to mock the input stream from which data structures are read. This way, I don't have to create an arbitrary bytestream, all I have to do is mock the calls to readInt() and so forth on the data stream.

While I was trying to mock a DataInputStream, in which all methods are final, I found out about the DataInput interface, which is much better (and I can mock it, no problems).

October 24, 2008

Paired with Nicolas Wettstein to add filtering capability for LoadEvent listeners. It was nice to pair program with someone on Dependency Finder for a change.

The hierarchy looks like this:

This will help with filtering certain classes based on regular expressions. The filters extend the decorator so they can be composed with other LoadListener implementations, such as LoadListenerVisitorAdaptor, for example.

October 23, 2008

Removed redundant field com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer.projectName and associated getter and constructor parameter. The MetricsFactory inside MetricsGatherer already has the project name. Nobody was using this field on MetricsGatherer.

October 18, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

Testability-Explorer : 1.10RC1-r34 -> 1.2.0-r85

I have to rewrite the <testability> tasks in build.testability-explorer.xml to bring it in line with their latest Ant task.

October 10, 2008

Worked on logging from the webapp. I instrumented extract.jsp and load.jsp to log progress both to Log4J and to the servlet container logs. But maybe this logs too much data, so I will not submit this change just yet.

October 08, 2008

Cleaned up the command-line validation in Fit tests.

I was hesitating between check and reject and ensure rows, but I came up with a system. I use ensure rows to show good, valid command-lines and reject to show broken command-lines. I ended up using check for switches -echo, -help, and -version because while they are allowed command-lines, they do not lead to running the application but short-circuit it instead.

I've been having trouble with OOMetrics lately. When I use the -csv switch and save the output with the -out switch, the value of the -out switch is taken as the prefix for the multiple output files, one for each of project, group, class, and method metrics. Since the output stream is opened by the Command superclass, it doesn't know that it has a special meaning in OOMetrics and creates a file named after the prefix during application startup. But that file is never used and ends up being empty.

I encapsulated Command.out behind a getter and a setter so I can do lazy initialization on it. This way, since OOMetrics never calls Command.getOut(), the empty file is never created.

Amended the tech docs to add Google Docs to the list of possible consumers for CSV files.

October 03, 2008

Found a way to update the project website on SourceForge. I cannot SSH into SourceForge anymore, but I could upload files with SFTP. This is annoying. I was used to updating the project webpage direcly from Subversion. I remember a long time ago when I had it as a cron job that ran automatically at 3am. Now, I need to maintain a client and then upload files to the site. Some of the documentation on SourceForge about the new tools for administrators hint at a new cron-like service, so maybe there is still hope.

September 18, 2008

Added JarJarDiff report for jMock to the Samples area of the website.

September 17, 2008

Released version 1.2.1-beta1. It's been long overdue and I had to update the instructions on making a release.

September 15, 2008

A user contacted me asking how to collect the transitive closure of classes from some starting point so they could build a single JAR file with only what's needed. Here's my recipe.

Suppose you want to package the tools for the CLI together with all the classes they require, but no other. First, get the total dependency graph for all the JAR files in lib/ and save the graph somewhere convinient:

    DependencyExtractor -xml -out dependencies.xml lib

Next, compute the outbound transitive closure from the com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli package:

    DependencyClosure -xml -out closure.xml -start-includes /cli/ dependencies.xml

Next, reduce the closure to classes only, eliminating java.* and pseudo-classes like array types. This step also removes the dependencies, since we don't really need them anymore.

    c2c -scope-excludes /^java/ -scope-excludes /\\[\\]/ -filter-excludes // closure.xml -xml -out closure.c2c.xml

Finally, extract the class names from the output from the previous command.

    DependencyGraphToFullyQualifiedNames -in closure.c2c.xml -out classes.txt

Replace lib with your own JARs, and /cli/ with your own starting point, and you should be well on your way.

Bear in mind the tricky behavior around computing closures. So you might want to reduce the dependency graph to class-to-class dependencies before you compute the closure.

September 10, 2008

Used the new jMock scripting feature for custom actions in TestCodeDependencyCollectorUsingMocks.

Added named anchors to the entries in the Journal so I can create hyperlinks to specific entries.

September 09, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

jMock : 2.4.0 -> 2.5.1

jMock's a() matcher is now deprecated, so I used any() instead.

September 02, 2008

Spiked to try out SLOC2, based on the minimum and maximum line numbers in a method and in a class. Runnning it on Dependency Finder, it yields extimates that are about 60% higher than SLOC. This is due in part to blank lines and comments, which it counts. Interestingly, it finds nothing for interfaces and abstract methods.

In the process, I got the idea to split the different concerns in StatisticalMeasurement: collecting a bunch of values and running statistical analysis on those values. To compute SLOC2, I needed a collection measurement where I could collect the different line numbers and get the minimum and maximum values. I used a SumMeasurement to compute max - min + 1. With separate measurements for collecting values and doing statistics, it would make the metrics config even more complex, so it may not be a win for the user.

August 27, 2008

I was using ListDiff and ListDiffToHTML for diff'ing lists of symbols when I noticed ListDiffToHTML.xsl and ListDiffToText.xsl have template text made explicitly for diff'ing published documentation lists. I will have to move that text to another name and make these templates more generic.

I also have problems, under Linux, passing multi-word project names into ListDiff. Somewhere between all the shell script invocations, I lose the fact that more than one word makes a switch value and the tool ends up only using the first word in the name. I have the same problem with the other tools that take an arbitrary project name, such as OOMetrics.

August 26, 2008

Fixed tech docs for OOMetrics.

August 22, 2008

Looked into the possibility of estimating SLOC by looking at the minimum and maximum values in LineNumberTable_attribute instances in a given class. One problem I have, and this is true for the current SLOC calculation too, is that fields that are initialized in initialization blocks (including constructors) are counted twice. Also, looking at overall mininum line number versus maximum line number takes into account vertical space as well and comments.

August 17, 2008

Spiked to adjust CodeDependencyCollector to filter parents in the dependency graph too. If a parent does not match the filter criteria, it is not included in the graph. I'm not sure this is the right thing to do. What triggered the spike is that the tests around the filtering in CodeDependencyCollector were broken when I started extracting inheritance information. The dependency on the parent gets filtered correctly, but there is still an empty node for the parent. I could leave it there to preserve the parent-child relationships or I could leave it out because the filter expresses an intent to ignore it.

August 15, 2008

Fixed ListDiff so the -old-label switch defaults to the value of the -old switch, the way it does for JarJarDiff. And the same for -new-label and -new. Added tests for the Ant task versions of ListDiff and JarJarDiff

Refactored the changes to the CLI version of JarJarDiff by pulling them up to the base class DiffCommand so they can be shared with ClassClassDiff.

Fixed tech docs accordingly.

August 13, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 7.0.3 -> 8.0 Milestone 1

Added tests to CodeDependencyCollector to capture that exception handling generates a feature-to-class dependency.

For a moment, I had the crazy idea that I could use raw class-to-class dependencies instead of storing inheritance information seperately in the dependency graph. By inheritance, I mean both generalization (extends) and realization (implements). But that is not going to work because there could be other reasons besides inheritance to have class-to-class dependencies, such as collapsing the graph with DependencyReporter -c2c.

August 12, 2008

Changed FeatureResolver so it is no longer limited to unconfirmed features but handles all overwritten features.

August 11, 2008

First pass at FeatureResolver. Added functionality to ClassNode and FeatureNode to navigate the inheritance hierarchy to resolve feature names.

Fixed a typo in the Fit tests for LinkMaximizer and LinkMinimizer, but checked them in the same commit as the FeatureResolver work by accident. Oh! and I had the wrong commit message for that, to make matters worse.

August 10, 2008

Added Fit tests for LinkMaximizer and LinkMinimizer. This is in preparation to writing a Visitor that attempts to resolve unconfirmed nodes in the dependency graph by walking the inheritance hierarchy.

August 08, 2008

Store class hierarchy information in the dependency graph as part of CodeDependencyCollector.

August 07, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2.14 -> 1.2.15
August 06, 2008

Extracted the regular expression parsing logic out of RegularExpressionSelectionCriteria and put it in its own class, RegularExpresisonParser, so I can reuse it the Ant version of ListSymbols.

Added FilteringSymbolGatheringStrategy to the Ant task version of ListSymbols.

August 05, 2008

More clamping down on non-private fields, this time in MetricsReport.

Fixed some broken URLs for images in the Journal.

Still can't update the website because SourceForge's Shell service still cannot talk to the Subversion service. Grrr!

August 04, 2008

Fixed TestSymbolGathererStrategyDecorator so it tests the right class, and not one of its descendants.

The fields of MaximumCapacityPatternCache were package-level instead of being private for some reason. I suspect that a manual refactoring was the cause. I made them private and neither the compiler nor the tests complained about it.

Finished FilteringSymbolGathererStrategy, including tests, and used it in the CLI version of ListSymbols.

Normalized the names of tests for SymbolGathererStrategy implementations.

Clamped down on non-private fields, mostly in test classes. I used the new functionality in ListSymbols.

    $ ant -f build.test.xml compile
    $ bin/ListSymbols -non-private-field-names classes

There were a few in test code, mostly oversights from promoting local variables to fields manually. There are still a few public fields in the code to support Fit test.

August 01, 2008

Updated documentation for the ListSymbols Ant task.

Added FilteringSymbolgathererStrategy to support inclusion and exclusion regular expressions to ListSymbols.

July 31, 2008

Documented the new switches to ListSymbols on the the Tools page.

Fixed tests broken by new switches to ListSymbols.

Streamlined the building of CLASSPATH in junit and textjunit launcher scripts under Unix.

Switched textjunit to use the normal JUnit 4.4 test runner instead of the old junit.textui.TestRunner.

I noticed that the graphical UI launched by junit is now broken. It has most likely been broken since I switched to the JUnit 4.4 binaries back on 2008-06-09 but I had not noticed. I might get rid of the graphical launcher altogether if I cannot find a suitable replacement to junit.swingui.TestRunner.

Brought the ListSymbols Ant task to feature parity with its CLI version.

Started to create tests for the Ant version of ListSymbols, but the Ant code is not very testable. The Ant tasks have many trivial accessors that I do not want to waste time testing. The interesting business logic is embeded in the execute() method and I have to pull it out before I can write tests against it.

The project's website is in SourceForge's Subversion repository and I update it from SourceForge's Shell service. I noticed today that the Shell service couldn't talk to the Subversion service for some reason. Someone else is having the same problem, so at least it's not just me. Apparently, SourceForge is in the process of moving its infrastructure, so maybe it's related somehow.

July 28, 2008

Worked with the CLI ListSymbols to list final methods and classes. I use this to locate areas in the code that need special attention. I spent some time around InnerClass to categorize types of inner classes: member classes, anonymous inner classes, local classes. I still have to update the Ant task and update the documentation.

Found interesting desriptions of the various types of inner classes on Gamelan.

July 23, 2008

Back from a lengthy vacation break.

Found and fixed a bug in load.jsp where it was setting the load timestamp and duration in the application context using one name and reading it back using another name. A reminder of the dangers of using explicit strings to save and lookup values.

July 02, 2008

Fixed a bunch of URLs in the Journal.

July 01, 2008

Cleaned up straggling -all switches in sample code in the documentation.

Fixed some of the tools so they can read from standard input:

This way, I can chain them on a command-line so the output of one becomes the input of the next one, just like typical Unix tools.

Found a bug with com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer where it is not accounting for final classes correctly. Filed it as bug 2008537 Fixed it and added more tests.

While I was testing MetricsGatherer, I noticed some measurements are being gathered both at the project and at the group level separately. I wanted to remove the duplication because I could compute the one at the project level from submetrics at the group level. This would work as long as groups matched packages exactly. But it would breakdown if someone used group specifications to add groups besides packages. This is why there is this duplication.

June 30, 2008

Added a CLI tool for computing class cohesion as per the LCOM4 metric. The current output is still a work in progress. It will need to ignore unconfirmed classes and possibly sort the output by LCOM4 value, both ascending and descending.

June 27, 2008

Fixed LCOM4Gatherer so it ignores constructors, as per LCOM4. I used Perl5Util to match the feature name to a pattern, but I'm debating using java.util.regex instead.

Code with Perl5Util:

    private static final Perl5Util perl = new Perl5Util();
    private boolean isConstructor(FeatureNode node) {
        return perl.match("/(\\w+)\\.\\1\\(/", node.getName());

Code with java.util.regex:

    private static final Pattern CONSTRUCTOR_PATTERN = Pattern.compile("(\\w+)\\.\\1\\(");
    private boolean isConstructor(FeatureNode node) {
        return CONSTRUCTOR_PATTERN.matcher(node.getName()).find();

For this check, I find the Perl5Util code easier to work with, and I already use Perl5Util everywhere. But I feel java.util.regex might actually be more efficient by using a native implementation in the JVM itself.

Maybe this logic belongs in FeatureNode instead of being replicated in a lot of places. I guess I answered my own question.

Changed the signature of TraversalStrategy.order() so it returns the exact same type that was passed in, using generics.

June 26, 2008

Found a better way to test for components from LCOM4Gatherer that is not order-sensitive. Right now, the components are stored in a HashSet, so the iteration order during tests would change depending on the implementation of HashSet. The previous checks in the tests were assuming a specific order, so the tests were brittle.

June 25, 2008

First attempt at computing LCOM4 from the dependency graph. Right now, the data structure to store components of a class is simply Collection<Collection<FeatureNode>> as I don't really have any metadata that is not represented just as well by Collection.

June 20, 2008

Added support for inheritance data in the dependency graph. ClassNode will point to its parents (classes and interfaces) and children. Other tools will be able to use this information to navigate the inheritance tree when trying to resolve dependencies.

June 19, 2008

Looked at capturing class hierarchy information in the dependency graph as part of CodeDependencyCollector. It needs to keep track of the superclass as well as interfaces the class implements, but maybe it does not need to distinguish between the two.

June 18, 2008

Found a problem with my list of non-final fields and the methods that depend on them. A field may be protected and used by a subclass, but Dependency Finder will not flag it.

For example:

    public class Superclass {
        protected int count;
    public class Derived extends Superclass {
        public void increment() {

yields this dependency graph:

            --> Superclass
                --> Superclass.Superclass()
            count *
                <-- Derived.increment()
                --> Derived.count *
            <-- Derived
            --> java.lang.Object *
                <-- Derived.Derived()
                --> java.lang.Object.Object() *

Here, Superclass.count is clearly a non-private field. But Derived.increment() depends on Derived.count, not Superclass.count. The dependency graph does not contain information about the class hierarchy, so there is no way to discover that Derived.count is really Superclass.count.

June 16, 2008

Refactored SymbolGatherer to use a Strategy pattern when deciding which symbols to gather or not. I want to write a custom strategy for collecting non-private fields, which I couldn't do with the code before I extracted the decision-making process into another object. I'm debating if SymbolGatherer shouldn't use a collection of strategies instead, collecting symbols that match at least one strategy.

Created a custom SymbolGathererStrategy for detecting non-private, non-static, non-synthetic fields.

Added <synthetic> tags to fields, methods, and inner classes in the XML representation of Classfile.

Refactored com.jeantessier.commandline.TestAliasSwitch and com.jeantessier.classreader.TestVisitorBase to use jMock instead of custom mocks. I was able to get 100% code coverage for com.jeantessier.classreader.VisitorBase. I was also able to get rid of com.jeantessier.commandline.MockVisitor.

With this in place, I was able to used Dependency Finder on another project to find dependencies on non-private fields.

    $ DependencyExtractor -xml -out df.xml [JARs ...]
    $ ListSymbols -non-private-field-names -out names.txt [JARs ...]
    $ DependencyReporter -scope-includes-list names.txt -class-filter -show-inbounds -show-empty-nodes df.xml

I could then use these results to track where one class acceses the fields of another class and replace them with accessors.

June 12, 2008

Wrote an Ant build file for running Testability Explorer against Dependency Finder. I know the guys who work on it and it has some interesting ideas about testability behind it. I might start publishing its report along-side the coverage reports with the next release of Dependency Finder.

June 09, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 3.8.2 -> 4.4

I haven't changed any of the test classes yet. I just ugrapded the JAR file that I use in compilation. Everything should still work with older versions of JUnit, except junit.bat and textjunit.bat which refer to the JAR file by name explicitly.

June 06, 2008

Found a way to run my tests with JUnit 4.4 from the command-line. I found [[][this article on JUnit4] on the web and modified textjunit accordingly, and it worked just fine. Essentially, it is this command-line:

    java org.junit.runner.JUnitCore $*

With a CLASSPATH that has all the right JARs on it.

June 04, 2008

Tried to compile and run the tests with JDK 1.6. Some of the tests fail because of the new attribute StackMapTable, but other tests in com.jeantessier.diff were also failing. It turns out that APIDifferenceStrategy uses HashMap internally to accumulate symbols when looking for differences. The iteration order is different between JDK 1.5 and JDK 1.6, which results in the strategy using different code paths to decide that two classes are different. This throws off MockDifferenceStrategy and therefore breaks the test. APIDifferenceStrategy could use a TreeMap instead, which would guarantee the iteration order. While I'm at it, I should probably re-write those tests to use jMock instead of a hand-rolled mock and data read from disk.

May 30, 2008

Replaced the explicit name of CLI commands, set in the constructor, with a call to Class.getSimpleName(). This allowed me to get rid of all constructors across the entire Command hierarchy. For some obscure reason, Commnad.Command(name) declared throwing a CommandLineException, but none of the constructors did anything other than set the command's name. It must have been some leftover from ancient times. I removed cruft, yeah!

May 28, 2008

Extracted the default indent text of "    " (four spaces) to constants on the various Printer classes. I can now use these constants to set the default value for all the -indent-text switches.

May 02, 2008

Wrote a better attempt at distinguishing inner classes of the current class from mere references to inner classes of other classes. Wrote more tests for inner classes.

April 29, 2008

In an effort to better understand the InnerClass structure in .class files, I wrote a quick XSL transform that extract just their content from the XML output of ClassReader. It's still a mess, though.

April 28, 2008

More test for MetricsGatherer using jMock in TestMetricsGathererAccumulators, trying to cover InnerClass. But the logic surrounding InnerClasses attributes and their InnerClass structure is pretty convoluted. Each inner class has seems to have an InnerClass structure referencing itself. In enum members, they also seem to reference the first value in the enum. Then, the enclosing class has an InnerClass structure for each inner class in contains. It is proving difficult to understand what I am looking at when processing an arbitrary InnerClass structure.

April 27, 2008

More test for MetricsGatherer using jMock in TestMetricsGathererAccumulators, covering Synthetic_attribute on classes and Deprecated_attribute on classes, fields, and methods.

April 26, 2008

Started rewriting TestMetricsGathererAccumulators using jMock. I got through dealing with fields and most aspects of methods, so far.

April 25, 2008

Started modifying MetricsGatherer in a test-driven way. I will need to use jMock if I want to get through this one. I started with some precompiled classes, but there is just too much noise. Plus, the ones I have so far don't exercise some of the corner cases that interest me.

April 24, 2008

Looked at a subset of metrics to compare how many final elements are in a given codebase. I will need to list elements (fields, methods, etc.) in order to make sense of it all. Right now, MetricsGatherer simply keeps counters for all of these measurements and simply increments them by 1 as it traverses the code. I will need to change MetricsGatherer to send the name along to the measurements so I can start using NameListMeasurement to get a list of element names.

April 18, 2008

I had to change my SourceForge password because I had forgotten it. A little while ago, my password expired on SourceForge and I had to pick a new one. Now, it's been a few weeks since I last used it and I couldn't recall what it was. So I changed it again to something new. Hopefully, I will remember it this time.

April 17, 2008

Figured out how to log from JSPs with Log4J while limiting the log contents to only the JSP code, not all of Dependency Finder. My conversion patterns in have "%c{2}", limiting class names to their last two components. This was keeping me from seeing the fully qualified class names for the generated JSP classes, and therefore I couldn't define loggers with the right filtering level. I took out the "{2}" momentarily, long enough to see the full package name (org.apache.jsp), and put it back along with a new logger definition.

April 16, 2008

Played with better logging in the webapp. Right now, the application does not log anything. I cannot get any usage statistics from Tomcat's logs, since they are essentially empty. In a JSP, I can use applicationContext.log(), but it writes no information about the context of the call. Each page would have to identify itself in the message it's trying to log. I tried to use Log4J instead, but I'm struggling with how to specify a package that only gets the JSPs and not all of Dependency Finder.

April 10, 2008

Updated documentation for OOMetricsGUI to account for new -enable-cross-class-measurements switch.

April 08, 2008

Modified OOMetricsGUI so it can use a TransientClassfileLoader to process large code bases that don't all fit in memory. This is to bring it to feature parity with the CLI equivalent.

April 04, 2008

Modified the Ant task for OOMetrics so it can use a TransientClassfileLoader to process large code bases that don't all fit in memory. This is to bring it to feature parity with the CLI equivalent.

April 03, 2008

Modified the CLI OOMetrics so it can use a TransientClassfileLoader to process large code bases that don't all fit in memory.

March 26, 2008

Fixed the Fit test for ClassFinder. A colleague suggested that rather than getting Fit to parse four spaces as four spaces for the expected value, I try rewriting the actual value in the fixture instead. Now it works fine, even if it is kind of an ugly hack. At first, I tried to have the replacement text as "<em>four spaces</em>" so that it would render in the Fit HTML page as "four spaces". But that didn't work on MacOS for some reason. So I switched to the less pretty but also less controversial "****four spaces****" instead.

March 24, 2008

Fixed some Fit tests that were missing the fit.Summary at the end.

Looked further into why Fit ignores a cell with only spaces in it. This is causing the Fit tests for ClassFinder to fail because the -indent-text switch has " " (four spaces) as its default value and Fit keeps thinking the expected cell value is the empty string. It turns out that somewhere deep inside Fit, it decides to use a ResultValueAdapterByStringCompare for this column (getDefaultValue() returns Object), and it uses fit.Parse.text() to parse the table cell, and text() calls String.trim() before returning its value. Darn it! Now, I'll have to find a way to supply a custom ValueAdapter instead that knows how to keep a cell value as explicit spaces.

Simplified CommandFixture.switches(). It does not need to wrap its return value in an ArrayFixture, FitLibrary will take care of it for you.

March 20, 2008

Added -compact and -indent-text switches to ClassFinder. -indent-text has four spaces as its default value, and it's throwing off the Fit test.

Changed ClassMatcher so that it uses the group information from the endClassfile event instead of relying on the group stack maintained by LoadListenerBase.

Back on 2006-03-13, I had put up "Related links" banners powered by Google to some of the pages. They stopped working a while back and they were only showing an empty box. But today, I noticed that they started saying "Error". So I took them down.

March 12, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 7.0.2 -> 7.0.3
March 05, 2008

There are only a few dependencies from com.jeantessier.classreader to com.jeantessier.classreader.impl:

                --> com.jeantessier.classreader.impl.DefaultClassfileFactory.DefaultClassfileFactory()
                --> com.jeantessier.classreader.impl.DefaultClassfileFactory.DefaultClassfileFactory()
                --> com.jeantessier.classreader.impl.DefaultClassfileFactory.DefaultClassfileFactory()
                --> com.jeantessier.classreader.impl.DefaultClassfileFactory.DefaultClassfileFactory()

These constructors use concrete classes for the default value of parameters. They should let the caller decide what to inject. Then, the caller is free to hardwire specific values or use a dependency injection framework to supply them to the loader.

Looking at production code, I see the following instantiators of these loaders:

                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.ant
                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli
                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui
            AggregatingClassfileLoader(com.jeantessier.classreader.ClassfileFactory, com.jeantessier.classreader.ClassfileLoaderDispatcher)
                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.ant
                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli
            TransientClassfileLoader(com.jeantessier.classreader.ClassfileFactory, com.jeantessier.classreader.ClassfileLoaderDispatcher)
                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui
                <-- com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.webwork

But a lot of the tests call them too. This is not going to be trivial.

March 03, 2008

Tried to generate GraphML where class-in-package and feature-in-class relationships were modeled using subgraphs instead of simple edges, but the resulting graph didn't look too good in yEd.

For example, take this simple dependency graph:

                --> p2.C2.f2
                <-- p1.C1.f1

Using edges to represent containement, I get this picture:

Whereas using subgraphs, I get this picture:

Clearly, this second form will not scale to classes with many features, or to packages with many classes.

A co-worker asked for means to determine what JARs are needed by a given JAR. While Dependency Finder does not store the source of a class, such as its JAR file, there are ways to get close to the answer. You can get the dependency graph for a JAR with DependencyExtractor, roll it up to package-level dependencies with p2p, and then list the unconfirmed packages from p2p's output. Dependency Finder doesn't have a tool for this last step, but I was able to put together an XSL stylesheet to do just that.

I also realized I did not document DependencyGraphToGraphML nor DependencyGraphToyEd on the Tools page. So I took care of it at the same time as I documented the new stylesheet for unconfirmed symbols: DepedencyGraphToUnconfirmedFullyQualifiedNames.

March 02, 2008

Added edges for class-in-package and feature-in-class relationships to the stylesheet for yEd. I want to experiment with subgraphs too and see which will autolayout best.

February 29, 2008

Added a variation on DependencyGraphToGraphML.xsl for yEd: DependencyGraphToyEd.xsl. It can put labels on the nodes and uses dashed arrows for dependencies using yWorks-specific extensions to GraphML.

February 28, 2008

Added a very early version of DependencyGraphToGraphML.xsl. It turns out producing XML from XSLT is a non-issue (as you'd expect). Just use <xsl:output method="xml"/>, which is kinda the default if the top result node is not some variation of <html>, according to the XSLT spec.

I cleaned up the XSL templates. I removed explicit <xsl:output method="html"/> tags because these templates make it obvious that they produce HTML. I wanted to remove <xsl:strip-space> too, but that caused memory problems for large documents, so I kept them in. I inlined unnecessary <xsl:variable> tags all over the place.

One issue I have with all of this is that I don't have any kind of automated tests for these XSL templates. I could run a transformation and use XPath to verify its output, but that would be tedious and brittle and hard to maintain. I could record golden outputs and compare the output of transformations to them, but that would also be brittle. This latter solution would nearly be the only way to test XSL transforms that produce text.

February 24, 2008

Tried to write an XSL transformation to convert a dependency graph from the XML format of Dependency Finder to GraphML. So far, XSLT doesn't like for me to define another <?xml?> tag inside the XSL template. So unless I can find a way to circumvent this, I will have to create a full-blown Printer instead.

February 22, 2008

Someone pointed me to Google Singleton Detector, a static analyzer that looks for singleton and produces nice graph output. They use GraphML to render the graphs and yEd to view them.

The same people that offer yEd also have a UML tool called yDoc, but you have to pay for that one.

February 21, 2008

Fixed MartinConfig.xml to remove extraneous value selectors. Both Ca and CaComp aggregated class names from IEPM with these regular expressions:

    IEPM /^(.*)\.[^\.]*\(.*\)$/
    IEPM /^(.*)\.[\^.]*$/

The first one matches the class name portion of method names thanks to the parentheses at the end. The second regular expression (forget the typo for a moment) does not include the parenthesized argument type list, so it can only match field names. But IEPM can only contain method names, never field names, so this second regular expression is totally superfluous. So I removed it.

With just the first regular expression, Ca and CaComp end up collapsing IEPM to a list of distinct class names, which is what they need.

February 20, 2008

Ran testability-metrics against Dependency Finder for fun. With no surprise, the biggest cyclomatic complexity culprits were com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui.DependencyFinder and com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui.OOMetrics because of Swing. The class with the biggest global state cost was Instruction because it stores so much data in the static context.

February 16, 2008

Adjusted vocabulary in Fit tests to reflect Four-Phase Test pattern from the book xUnit Test Patterns.

February 15, 2008

Someone referred me to a Danny Diggs, from UIUC, who has a tool to detect refactorings that are done to a library and can then replay them on client code when new version of the library gets released. This goes one step further than JarJarDiff who can tell you if the API you relied on got changed; it can actually modify your code to bring it in line with the new version of the library. A quick Google search didn't find any obvious matches for this tool, though.

Someone pointed me to testability-metrics, a tool that looks at cyclomatic complexity as a way to estimate the cost of testing any given method. It works off of compiled bytecode, just like Dependency Finder, but uses ASM for decompiling bytecode.

February 14, 2008

Added a Fit test for MartinConfig.xml.

Replaced the names of basic measurements in Metrics with an enum called BasicMeasurements.

Simplified the Measurement interface by using autoboxing for numerical values instead of explicit add(*) and *Value() methods.

Replaced dependencies on Collections.EMPTY_* to their corresponding Collections.empty*() instead for stronger type checking.

February 13, 2008

Found a possible bug with MartinConfig.xml that was the result of a typo in a regular expression. Where it says [\^.] (a caret or anything), it should have said [^\.] (anything but a dot) instead. I will have to write some conclusive tests to verify the behavior of this config before I can go ahead and fix it.

February 04, 2008

Worked on getting access to Signature_attribute information in relevant programming elements (Classfile, Method_info, and Field_info, forgot about possible InnerClass).

Added tests for index attribute of LocalVariable and LocalVariableType and to make sure XMLPrinter renders it, using jMock.

Added information (and tests) about varargs methods.

January 29, 2008

Dependency Finder is now seven years old.

Adjusted the copyright notice for 2008. I found a few files whose copyright notice still said 2004!

January 28, 2008

Minor clean up: removing trailing spaces.

There was a feature added to JProgressBar in JDK 1.4 where you could put it in an indeterminate state when you didn't know how long a task would be. Back in January 2003, I commented out the calls to JProgressBar.setIndeterminate() in OpenFileAction and MetricsExtractAction. I think it is safe to uncomment them now.

January 27, 2008

Played a little bit with JUnit 4.4. It is perfectly backwards compatible, so I could just upgrade to it and keep on writing tests like with the 3.8.2 version. The are moving to a new syntax that uses Hamcrest Matcher classes, like jMock so you can write assertions like assertThat(actualValue, is(expectedValue)). While it makes the code closer to English, it also makes it farther from Java. I'm not totally convinced this is a good thing. It is more expresive, that's for sure. What I would really like to see is an automated way to build test suites, without me having to hard-code which tests are in a given suite. I haven't found the mechanism to do this in JUnit 4.

January 24, 2008

Looking for a specification of the StackMapTable attribute.

Found some interesting parallels to com.jeantessier.classreader in Javassist. There might inspiration on how to deal with annotation-related structures. See their documentation for AttributeInfo.

January 23, 2008

Add jMock libraries to CLASSPATH for JUnit launch scrits (junit and textjunit, both on Windows and Unix).

January 19, 2008

Used jMock to rewrite TestLoadListenerVisitorAdapter.

January 18, 2008

Finished separating the classes that make up Classfile into interfaces and a implementation classes in a sub-package.

Next, I want to break the visitor hierarchy in com.jeantessier.dependency to use compisition instead of inheritance for separating graph traversal from the specific functions. A wrapper will take care of traversal and delegate to another visitor for the work to do. This way, I will be able to test traversal logic with jMock instead of relying on a subclass.

January 17, 2008

Started separating the classes that make up Classfile into interfaces and a implementation classes in a sub-package.

January 16, 2008

Clamped down on public constants for access modes in .class files structures.

I am very tempted to extract interfaces from all the classes that make up the Classfile structure and put their implementation into a separate package. I could possibly rewrite part of the tests with jMock and have more control on what gets tested without having to jump through hoops to create test classes that expose specific behavior.

January 15, 2008

Played with Ashcroft to see how well-behaved my unit tests really were. Out of 1403 unit tests, 1224 did not pass the test. This is not totally surprising since most tests get their data from reading .class files. Also, I couldn't run the tests with Ant because Ant tries to write test reports to files and Ashcroft won't let it open the output file.

January 14, 2008

Ran Dependency Finder through FindBugs and found a few quick fixes, including one clear bug in com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli.ListDiff where I was not closing a stream when reading in a file. Twice. And two constants in TransitiveClosure that were not marked final. But there were quite a few false positives too.

January 07, 2008

Finally got back to working on SignatureHelper to process the signature of generics. For starters, I simply copied the code from DescriptorHelper and modified it slightly. I will need to figure out how to extract common code to a shared superclass. I also added Fit tests for DescriptorHelper and SignatureHelper, to eventually replace the JUnit tests. It is easier to test multiple operations on a given string using Fit tests than with JUnit, which would require a certain amount of code duplication.

January 03, 2008

Upgraded the following development components:

WebWork : 2.2.4 -> 2.2.6

I also changed web.xml for both webapps to use JSP 2.1 with EL support. Not that I'm using any of it yet, but just keeping up-to-date.

December 28, 2007

Played with JSTL to see if some of the tags in there could help with i18n for the webapp.

December 27, 2007

IntelliJ has really awesome support for making internationalized resource bundles. Makes me want to build one for the webapp so I can i18n it.

December 13, 2007

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 7.0.1 -> 7.0.2

I looked into WebWork's OGNL stack and expression language. I cleaned some of the WebWork webapp files.

December 12, 2007

Upgraded my development machine to MacOS X 10.5 "Leopard".

November 28, 2007

Took a quick look at XRadar and how it uses Dependency Finder. Interestingly, XRadar is implemented as a series of Ant tasks and XSL stylesheets. One of the Ant tasks uses DependencyExtractor and its output is processed by a specific XSL stylesheet. They are well insulated from any API changes on my part.

November 26, 2007

Found out Dependency Finder is shipped as part of XRadar. Cool! I should check which part of the API they are calling. They are shipping a pretty old version: 1.1.0 dated December 2004.

A user contacted me because they are using Dependency Finder from behind a firewall and the doctype of generated XML documents points to a SYSTEM DTD that they cannot reach. They suggest using a PUBLIC DTD instead. I will have to look into how that works and what the implications would be.

November 19, 2007

Added version information for Clover.

October 30, 2007

Fixed bug 1822770 where a missing switch value on the command-line was throwing CommandLine.parse() into an infinite loop. Thanks to monperm for reporting the issue.

October 25, 2007

Finished tests in TestClassReport for non-ASCII characters.

October 24, 2007

Unit tests for excaping [ and ] in HTMLPrinter.

October 23, 2007

Unit tests for excaping [ and ] in HTMLPrinter.

October 22, 2007

Unit tests for excaping [ and ] in HTMLPrinter.

October 18, 2007

More work on bug 1800017.

In the process, I made the error reporting for bad regular expressions a little more user-friendly. I tried using a checked exception at first, but the change quickly spread everywhere. The exception class was in com.jeantessier.dependency and as a result, every package suddenly depended on it, including com.jeantessier.classreader, creating a circular dependency. So I went back to an unchecked exception for the time being.

October 09, 2007

Added a test to TestQueryBase to check for properly escaped [ and ] in order to fix bug 1800017.

September 24, 2007

Code cleanup.

September 21, 2007

Found a bug in the web app where elements with [ or ] in them, like main(String[]) for example, are not escaped correctly when creating likes to them to refine queries and generate exceptions.

September 19, 2007

Moved the Tutorial from MS PowerPoint-generated HTML to the new Google Docs presentation.

August 30, 2007

Fixed the documentation for OOMetrics to remove references to the old -all switch in the CLI.

Changed the path in the distribution archives so Dependency Finder extracts to a folder that include the release label in its name. Distributions used to all extract themselves to DependencyFinder and would overwrite each other. Now, they extract to DependencyFinder-<version> instead, like DependencyFinder-1.2.1 for instance. The previous naming scheme worked well when I was developing on a Windows platform and changing the PATH was tedious. But now that I work mostly on Mac and Unix, I can use a simple symbolic link.

I also modified the installation instructions to include the current version number directly in the text. I was already injecting it to label the instructions at the top of the document. It was easy enough to replace the reference throughout the document.

August 29, 2007

Created some test data and a FIT test for tracking extra-package dependencies using OOMetrics. Right now, it can control access to methods, including constructors, but it does not handle fields. That would require a bigger change in OOMetrics.

I'm also considering adding a filtering function similar to the one in OOMetricsGUI. If I can find a way to extract symbols at a given access level, I could then use them to filter the metrics report.

August 28, 2007

Someone was asking for a tool to track public methods that are not used outside their package. They could use such a tool to narrow down the exposed interface of a library. I started thinking how I could do this using Dependency Finder. One problem is that most tools don't record the access level of programming elements. JarJarDiff does it, but it doesn't know about dependencies. OOMetrics keeps a count by access level, but does not keep track of the acces level of individual methods. One possibility would be to get a list of public and protected methods, maybe with ListSymbols, and pass them to OOMetrics somehow. The -scope-includes-list switch to OOMetrics controls which dependencies it tracks, not which metrics are reported. With the -show-empty-metrics switch and a <lower-threshold>1</lower-threshold> in the configuration for the IEPM measurement, any method without any extra-package dependency would stand out, but right now that includes private and package methods.

August 27, 2007

Played with DOM and JAXP to try and figure out how non-ASCII characters get encoded by the platform. So far, they don't. I can generate an XML document using DOM that cannot be parsed back in.

August 24, 2007

I've started by renaming Report.toString() to Report.render(), just like I did for ClassReport. Again, I am still not completely satisfied with it, but it will do as a stop-gap measure.

I also took care of escaping special characters in <modified-fields> tags. This introduced an interesting twitst. When the value is changed, ClassReport includes it in the content of the tag where it may need to be escaped too. But in tag content, I don't need to escape '"' or '''. In fact, the content is more human-readable if I don't. So I split ClassReport.escapeXMLCharacters() into ClassReport.escapeXMLCharactersInTagContent() for tag content and ClassReport.escapeXMLCharactersInAttributeValue(), a more thorough version for attribute values.

Replaced of dependency on, which is internal and was giving me compiler warnings, with javax.xml.xpath. The code is just as clear and this time uses supported interfaces.

August 23, 2007

Redesigning the Classfile hierarchy is proving more complex than I even thought. For now, the easiest thing to do is for me to just add constants with values that need escaping in ModifiedPackage.ModifiedClass in the JarJarDiff test data folder and write tests that read .class files from the filesystem. I'll revisit jMock or EasyMock for something else at some other time.

I modified ClassReport to be a com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor so I can use double dispatch to escape string values but not numeric values. It makes more sense to have a specific visitor choose the proper rendering based on the output format than to blindly assume one. Still, Report and ClassReport both join two responsibilities: organizing differences and rendering them in XML. These should be split into separate classes, which would open the door to rendering the reports in something other than XML without the need for XSLT.

Refactored the RemovableDifferences hierarchy. The concrete classes used protected setters to save values in the state of the superclass. Instead, I made the getters abstract so each subclass can implement it based on its own state instead of polluting the state of the superclass. This way, I could get rid of the setters altogether. Some of these getters, such as ClassDifferences.get(Old|New)Declaration() and FeatureDifferences.get(Old|New)Declaration(), are now slightly less efficient but I hope it won't impact overall performance too much.

Refactored com.jeantessier.classreader.TestXMLPrinter to use XPath expressions to test the contents of the generated XML. Since it already loaded and processed the test data folder for JarJarDiff, it indirectly tests the proper escaping of special characters. I find that I don't need to encode '"' or ''' since all string values are in the body of tags and never in attributes. The only exception is the name of custom attributes and I doubt these will use quotes or apostrophes.

August 22, 2007

Tried to use EasyMock instead of jMock. Whereas jMock can infer decent default return values for methods, such as false for a boolean or "" for a string, I have to specify everything explicitly with EasyMock. And it seems to have issues with toString() too. I might as well stick with jMock for now.

Lessons learned:

Lesson 1: don't put overly complex logic in toString(). Tools like debuggers rely on it to display feedback, so if there is a bug in toString(), it will cripple your debugger. ClassReport.toString() does all the XML formatting, and that is a bad thing.

Lesson 2: mock object frameworks like jMock and EasyMock are of no help when the path you are mocking uses double dispatch in the middle of it. I haven't found a way to tell the mock to call some other method when it receives a given call. In my case, I am testing part of a Visitor where the graph it is visiting has mocks in it. When the visitor calls accept() on a mock, that mock should call visitX() back on the visitor. There seems to be no trivial way to specify this on the mocks.

Lesson 3: I built the classes in com.jeantessier.classreader with the assumption that they would read well formed .class files. This makes it hard to test small portions of the structure in isolation. All the constructors take a DataInputStream and expect valid bytes on the stream. Setting up unit tests is extremely hard. I cannot create a custom mock by subclassing. There are no interfaces for me to implement. The structure is too complex for jMock or EasyMock. I'm stuck.

Action items:

That should make things easier to work with and speed up some of the tests. I would be able to build a graph of model objects for the tests instead of reading dummy .class files from disk.

I've started by renaming ClassReport.toString() to ClassReport.render(). I still not completely satisfied with it, but it will do as a stop-gap measure for now.

August 21, 2007

Tried to use jMock to mock parts of an API difference structure so I can test that ClassReport.breakdownDeclaration(Field_info) does the proper encoding of XML characters in values of string constants. I am struggling quite a bit. The method I want to test is private, so I have to go through a path inside ClassReport that calls it, and that path makes quite a few calls on other structures around the Field_info. Setting up the mocks is a little ugly and takes over 75% of the test method. Plus, it looks like jMock never mocks calls to toString(). Maybe there is something that I don't quite get.

August 16, 2007

A short while ago, someone filed a bug against JarJarDiff because it doesn't encode special characters in its XML output, like '<' embeded in string values. I got a case of that today as I was comparing two versions of a library and one of the strings contained a non-ASCII character that was not getting escaped.

I started by writing a test against com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter and the '>' character, only to find out that this one XML generator actually escape certain characters already. But it's the only one to do so and it only handles '<', '>', and '&'.

The person who filed the bug proposed using an XMLUtil class copied from some other open source software. I'm not a big fan of utility classes so we'll see how it all turns out. Because of the way the printer hierarchy is organized, I might have to duplicate the escaping code between them if I don't want to use a utility class.

August 08, 2007

Played with Doxygen to generate UML diagrams. The documentation it generates looks nice and includes where symbols are referenced from. The diagrams are rather busy because they tend to include everything. If I want to make it part of the normal documentation build, it would require people to include Doxygen too. I'm not sure I want to take it that far just yet.

Refactored NbSubMetricsMeasurement to remove some duplication.

August 03, 2007

Added SourceDebugExtension_attribute.

Added counts for the various attribute types in ClassMetrics.

August 02, 2007

Played with JDK 1.6. It screwed up some of the tests because of changes in the language and the .class file format. For instance, there is a new StackMapTable attribute for which I could not find any description on the Internet. Of course, the JDK 1.6 compiler puts one such attribute in the bytecode for test.main(). Right now, Dependency Finder represents it using Custom_attribute, but it threw off TestVisitorBase.testVisitCode_attribute() which wasn't expecting custom attributes. The few bits of text I could find on Sun's website that talk about StackMapTable also refer to a StackMap attribute, which I had never heard off before. Makes me wonder what else is lurking in the shadows.

Since I do most of my Dependency Finder development on a Mac these days, it will still be a while before I can deal with JDK 1.6 issues.

Someone found a bug with the XML generated by JarJarDiff. When it breaks down the declaration of constants, it shows the value for that constant if it can, which, in the case of strings, can contain characters that should be escaped in XML. I suspect it might be an issue for other XML generators too.

July 31, 2007

Fixed an error in metrics.dtd. members was defined as a list of members when it is actually a list of member elements, with no 's' at the end.

July 26, 2007

Finished reading the last Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now I can get back to Dependency Finder. :-)

July 21, 2007

Started reading the last Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Won't be working on Dependency Finder for a little while.

July 19, 2007

Back from vacation.

July 12, 2007

Leaving for vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Won't be working on Dependency Finder for a little while.

July 04, 2007

Monitor is too aggressive when multiple versions of a class show up in a codebase. This can happen on large projects that depend on many third-party software that each depend, in turn, on some popular package. For example, both GWT and HttpUnit come with their own version of Xerces; if my project uses both, Monitor is going to see Xerces classes twice when I try to analyze my project. When I designed Monitor, I was assuming that it wouldn't see the same class name twice within a session. Now, I probably want to merge dependencies within a session and still remove everything between sessions, regardless of whether Monitor is setup for open or closed sessions.

Refactored Monitor to use parameterized generics. Removed code duplication in TestMonitor.

June 29, 2007

I noticed that the mnemonic() column in Instruction.html was not turning green or red as tests passed or failed. I was using an HTML class attribute on the cell to give it a monospaced font, but that interfered with Fit's coloring scheme, which also uses a class attribute on the cell. The browser was using only the first class attribute and ignoring the one from Fit. I took mine out; it doesn't look as pretty now, but it is much more useful this way.

In OO, a signature is something that uniquely identifies a method, typically it is its name and the type of each parameter, in order. But Java 1.5 introduced a different meaning to the word signature: the generic information around a class, field, or method declaration. Java in general uses the work descriptor to refer to the combination of return type and parameter types of a method. The object model in com.jeantessier.classreader uses signature in the OO sense and builds it from the method's name and decriptor information. But I feel this may get confusing as I expose the Java 1.5 Signature_info data. I am debating whether I should rename all my *Signature methods to *Descriptor instead; maybe even going as far as leaving the method name out of them and let callers combine them as appropriate. I'll need to look into this more closely.

Feature_info already has a getDescriptor() method that returns the raw string that describes the descriptor (in the Java sense).

June 28, 2007

Refactored classes in com.jeantessier.classreader to encapsulate knowledge of field types and method signatures in the appropriate classes. I want to better encapsulate use of DescriptorHelper. This is a little hairy because this package has rather poor coverage from the tests.

June 26, 2007

Added a test generic method where some parameters are not generic and some are simple types. I think I can use the optional Signature attribute in lieu of the descriptor, instead of trying to merge them somehow.

June 25, 2007

Extracted common code from DependencyCycles, DependencyClosure, and DependencyMetrics and put it into DependencyGraphCommand. They load and merge all the graphs before they can start processing. DependencyReporter benefited also, but to a lesser degree because it optimizes the processing of graphs as they are being loaded instead of waiting for one big graph of everything.

June 24, 2007

Extracted common code from ClassList and cie into DirectoryExplorerCommand.

June 22, 2007

Found a bug with DependencyExtractor. If I don't give it any parameters, it is supposed to start exploring the current directory. Instead of that, I am getting a UnsupportedOperationException in Collection.add() when the tool adds "." to the parameters when the parameter list is empty. I opened a bug against it: Bug #1741810.

This impacts quite a few tools:

I also found a similar somewhat similar problem with ClassReader, but this tool uses an AtLeastParameterStrategy and requires at least one parameter. So it makes no sense to have a special case for when there are no parameters, since this will never happen. I looked at previous versions of the tool and this duality has been present for a long time, so I kept the AtLeastParameterStrategy. ClassReader is not meant to run against a large set of classes, it is intended for use against a small set so we can inspect their internals.

The Tools page refers to two scripts that do not exist yet: CyclesToHTML and CyclesToText. Either I never wrote them or I somehow forgot them in some Subversion client somewhere. I will have to dig around for them or write them from scratch eventually.

June 18, 2007

Plugged into Google Analytics.

June 14, 2007

Fixed tests so they could run without a network connection. MetricsConfigurationLoader takes an optional boolean as to whether or not validate XML documents against their DTD. When runnning the tests without a network connection, you can set the DF_VALIDATE environment variable to anything but the string "true" to set the Java property DEPENDENCYFINDERTESTSVALIDATE which in turn controls what gets passed to MetricsConfigurationLoader. Some new tests that verify the behavior of *.XMLPrinter also try to parse the resulting XML and need to turn off the validation feature of the parser when the network connection is not available.

Fixed the command-line test launchers to account for the latest versions of WebWork and Tomcat, which have changed the name and/or location of their JARs. Note that junit and junit.bat require that you pass them -noloading for the HttpUnit-based tests to work. They don't seem to like the classloader that JUnit uses to reload classes between tests.

May 30, 2007

Fixed documentation.

May 25, 2007

Added isSynthetic(), isAnnotation(), and isEnum() to InnerClass. I was even able to test isEnum()!

Rev'ed up the release number to 1.2.1 (-beta1) and adjusted the Release Plan.

May 23, 2007

Renamed SignatureHelper to DescriptorHelper. I used the word signature in its non-java sense of a method's identifier and argument types and order. But Java 1.5 has a specific structure in the .class file named signature to represent information about type parameters of generics. Since my previous SignatureHelper was manipulating descriptor constructs, I renamed it DescriptorHelper to prevent confusion. I will introduce a new SignatureHelper later to deal with the new signature constructs.

I took this opportunity to move some of the functionality that only dealt with class names to the new helper ClassNameHelper. I suspect that SignatureHelper will need it too, so it makes sense to have it in some shared location instead of tying DescriptorHelper and SignatureHelper together somehow.

May 22, 2007

Fixed the copyright notice that was missing from some of the newest files.

Added Signature_attribute, LocalVariableTypeTable_attribute, and LocalVariableType to support generics.

May 15, 2007

Got a new IntelliJ license from JetBrains. Thanks Jetbrains!

May 14, 2007

Removed extra-class dependencies on access level constants in Feature_info and Classfile and used accessors instead.

Used specialized generics in ClassMetrics.

Asked JetBrains to renew my open source license for IntelliJ.

May 13, 2007

Added Field_info.isEnum().

Fixed Feature_info to account for the new "synthetic" access flag for fields and methods.

May 11, 2007

Moved ClassfileLoaderDispatcher actions to a first-class enum instead of an inner class.

May 10, 2007

Implemented EnclosingMethod_attribute to handle "EnclosingMethod" attributes of classes. Changed the classfile DTD to reflect the new attribute.

Fixed some tests that dealt with the ldc instruction.

May 09, 2007

Added a test for Classfile.isAnnotation(), including a sample annotation class that the tests can use.

May 05, 2007

Renamed the test data class TestEnum to testenum to highlight that it is not a regular class but just a construct to test parsing of .class files.

May 03, 2007

Added support for enum and annotation access modifiers for classes. I put together a test for the ACC_ENUM flag, but not for the ACC_ANNOTATION flag yet. A lot of this Java 1.5 support work is not going to be tested: it is just too hard to generate all the possible byte streams for all the structures.

April 30, 2007

Changed AttributeFactory to use a Java enum instead of string constants when deciding which Attribute_info subclass to instantiate. Right now, the enum is a public standalone enum and AttributeFactory is only one static method. I'm thinking of combining them somehow, maybe make the enum a private enum of AttributeFactory.

April 27, 2007

Made Code_attribute implement Iterable so I can use Java 1.5's for-each loop to iterate over instructions.

Moved processing of Instruction in XMLPrinter out of visitCode_attribute() and in to where it belongs: visitInstruction().

April 26, 2007

Modified com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter so it shows custom attributes and their contents.

April 17, 2007

Fixed the documentation for JarJarDiff (both CLI and Ant task) and ClassClassDiff. I also realized I had not updated the documentation of the Ant tasks that is on the website, so I fixed it too.

April 13, 2007

I have been using jMock at work and it is very interesting. The syntax takes some getting used to, but I might actually consider using it on Dependency Finder.

April 11, 2007

Fixed Ant build files to place the WebWork webapp WAR file in the dist directory, next to the other distribution files.

April 10, 2007

Added a Fit test for the merging behavior of NodeFactory.

April 05, 2007

Figured a way to set properties for Ant targets within IntelliJ. On other platforms I've used, Windows and Linux, IntelliJ IDEA gets the environment variables, but not on Mac OS X for some reason. On the Mac, I have to set them explicitly in the project.

Also on Mac OS X, FitLibrary tests have trouble copying some of the images in the files subfolder, which has a .svn subfolder with Subversion-related files. Some of these are read-only and subsequent runs of the test suite has trouble overwriting them again and again. I had to add a <chmod> task in build.test.xml to circumvent this.

Finally, the Mac OS X has timestamps on files with a resolution to the second. One test was waiting only 50msec and so was failing on this platform. I've raised the sleep time to a full second, but I'm a little concerned at making the tests take even longer.

Released version 1.2.0.

April 04, 2007

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 6.0.4 -> 6.0.5

But it seems IntelliJ IDEA on a Mac doesn't get the environment variables the way it does on Windows or Linux. As a result, Ant targets don't execute correctly.

March 30, 2007

Found a bug with OOMetricsGUI where the names of packages, classes, and features are all prefixed with "com.jeantessier.metrics.Metrics". It turns out the cell renderer from Swing calls toString() on the object being redered, in my case they are Metrics objects and their toString() method adds a lot of debug information to the string. I modified OOMetricsTableModel to insert only the name of the Metrics in the first column instead of the Metrics itself.

This bug was in Release 1.1.1 and has been around for almost two years before I noticed it.

March 23, 2007

Used an Enum for the actions in ClassfileLoaderDispatcher so test error messages would be more significative. Previously, they were integers.

Downgraded the following development components:

FitLibrary : 20070217 -> 20060116
March 22, 2007

I'm having a hard time getting all the tests to work with the new FitLibrary. I'm thinking of reverting it for now. I'll figure it out after I've launched version 1.2.0 of Dependency Finder.

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2.13 -> 1.2.14
Tomcat : 5.5.17 -> 6.0.10
March 20, 2007

Accessing fields of other classes is bad. Even those of your superclasses. I just got bit by this with some of my DoFixture subclasses. They called setSystemUnderTest() to set it, but were accessing systemUnderTest directly instead of calling getSystemUnderTest() like they should. Of course, the latest version of FitLibrary tightened access to this field and now my code is broken. Luckily, the easy fix is to get it through the accessor and everything becomes alright.

Upgraded the following development components:

FitLibrary : 20060116 -> 20070217
March 18, 2007

I tried to upgrade Tomcat and FitLibrary as part of setting up my environment on MacOS X. Tomcat changed its directory structure between versions 5.5.17 and 6.0.10. FitLibrary changed some of its code so my code no longer compiles against the latest version, FitLibraryRunner20070217.

March 16, 2007

I got a Mac for my next laptop. I'm going to switch development back and forth between my Windows desktop and my Mac laptop.

March 14, 2007

Refactored CycleDetector to have better logging so maybe I can find what's the problem when looking for cycles in large graphs. I also simplified Cycle slightly.

March 09, 2007

Finished documentation for ClassClassDiff and DependencyGraphToRDF in Tools docs.

Refactored common parts of com.jeantessier.diff to use specialized generic structures instead of unqualified ones.

March 08, 2007

Added documentation for ClassClassDiff and DependencyGraphToRDF to the Tools docs.

Refactored common parts of ClassClassDiff and JarJarDiff into a new abstract base class.

March 01, 2007

Fixed DependencyGraphToRDF so at least it runs and generates some output. I still have no way to verify the validity of its output.

February 28, 2007

Tech docs. Still need to document:

DependencyGraphToRDF appears broken and I have no way to verify the validity of its output.

February 23, 2007

Use the new (in JDK 1.5) Class.getSimpleName() instead of cutting it out myself as I used to. I also added a similar method on objects that tend to model classes, like Class_info, Classfile, and ClassNode.

February 22, 2007

I noticed that calling CLI commands with the -version switch when the command has mandatory parameters or switches resulted in an error message and no version information. I reorganized the command-line parsing logic so it collects error messages in a manner that does not prevent processing a -version or a -help switch.

February 21, 2007

Fixed the ParameterStraregy for ClassReader, DependencyClosure, DependencyCycles, DependencyMetrics, and DependencyReporter. When I refactored the CLI into Command subclasses, I inadvertently removed the constraint that these tools require at least one file to work on. I looked at the dependencies on ParameterStrategy constructors between version 1.1.1 and the latest code and I could determine which CLI commands needed a different strategy from the others.

Created a launch script for Log4J's Chainsaw. Between times that I actually need to look at logs to debug something, I keep forgettting how to start it. This way, I don't have to remember anything.

February 16, 2007

Tech doc for CLI version of DependencyCycles. Changed scope switches / attributes to start ones instead, similar to DependencyClosure.

Changed CommandLine.getSwitch() to throw an IllegalArgumentException instead of a checked CommandLineException when it cannot resolve a switch name. This simplified the signature of many methods that deal with setting up the CommandLine object in the CLI.

Fixed a bug in DependencyCycles where it was opening its own writer instead of using the one setup by its superclass. Revised all writer usage across CLI.

February 15, 2007

Minor refactoring in the GUI code to remove warnings.

February 08, 2007

Modified extract.jsp so the webapp can filter out dependencies at extraction time too. I also changed the default values of showSource and showFile to true. It makes more sense to show these values while someone is trying to configure Dependency Finder and hide them later, if needed.

February 05, 2007

Someone raised a problem with JarJarDiff and PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl. I was able to reproduce their problem, but when I looked how it works in the latest version, I found some bad text in the Tools documentation as well as the documentation of the matching Ant task. I want to remind everyone that in version 1.2.0, you won't use XSLT to narrow down the diff report but do it right inside JarJarDiff instead with the level switch.

Worked on documenting the new AliasSwitch.

February 02, 2007

Found another competitor, and curiously enough, they're called JarJar. There are even instructions on how to use it to find JAR-to-JAR dependencies.

January 29, 2007

Changed the next version number from 1.1.2 to 1.2.0. The scope of changes warrants a higher version number.

Added package comment to com.jeantessier.dependency to give an overview of the package hierarchy. Maybe that would better belong in an overview.html file, I have fully made up my mind, yet.

January 26, 2007

New -echo command-line switch for all CLI commands.

January 25, 2007

Received praise for Dependency Finder from Peter Lenahan, Technical Director, Information Builder, Inc. I've added it to the website.

January 16, 2007

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 6.0.2 -> 6.0.4
January 06, 2007

Updated the copyright notice to 2007.

January 05, 2007

Working on release instructions with Subversion instead of CVS.

January 03, 2007

Added sample graphs as XML documents for one example in the Developer Guide and for the graph used by the webapp tests.

January 02, 2007

Fixed some of the build files so running Clover analysis doesn't clear Emma reports, or vice versa.

December 30, 2006

Finished refactoring the CLI commands. Made some fixed to the tools documentation in the process.

Adapted the build file for Clover for Clover 1.3 and streamlined the flow to generate a coverage analysis report. Emma copies instrumented files to a separate directory, but I can't seem to get Clover to do the same. Since some of the metrics and API difference tests operate on compiled Dependency Finder classes themselves, the instrumentation throws them off. But the resulting code coverage analysis seems close enough just the same.

December 29, 2006

Validate -maximize and -minimize switches to DependencyExtractor, just like in DependencyReporter, complete with Fit tests.

Clean up Ant targets across build files and clean up documentation. In the process, I found a typo where a '*' was not escaped properly and the HTML generator could not replace the encoded sequence with a '*' in the output.

Listed third-party packages in the Developer Guide, including some tentative version numbers that are known to work with Dependency Finder.

Looked at fixing the Clover code coverage build file. Got rid of the section on jcoverage, since I can't seem to find a version of it that does not require Eclipse.

Added a link to my LinkedIn profile at the top of my "Jean's Journal" blog.

December 28, 2006

New AliasSwitch to handle command-line switches that are simply an alias for a collection of other switches. This way, com.jeantessier.commandline can handle aliases and their rendering in usage messages instead of each individual CLI command. I modified DependencyReporter and DependencyMetrics to use the new aliasing mechanism. I had to modify CommandFixture so I could test command-line parsing and alias configurations as part of the Fit tests.

I refactored the buffer handling in com.jeantessier.commandline.Printer to a new class com.jeantessier.text.PrinterBuffer. Other printers will be able to use it too to remove code duplication between them. I already modified com.jeantessier.diff.Printer and com.jeantessier.diff.ListDiffPrinter. Other printers will take longer because they are wrappers around PrintWriter instead of StringBuffer.

Figured out how to exclude sample classes that are only test data from Emma reports. I cleaned up build.emma.xml and the procedure for running the coverage report to make it much simpler. I no longer need to inovke a separate target from build.text.xml to generate the rest of the test data.

December 23, 2006

Unit tests for MultipleValuesSwitch.

December 18, 2006

Refactoring CommandLine to verify satisfaction of command-line switches.

December 16, 2006

Unit tests around command-line parsing to prepare for upcoming support for aliasing.

December 15, 2006

Push isSatisfied() behavior in CommandLineSwitch implementations.

December 14, 2006

Refactored DependencyMetrics as part of the grand CLI refactoring.

Refactored the control flow for parsing and validating the command-line in Command. One problem I still have is that multiple errors trigger multiple printing of the usage text.

December 13, 2006

Refactored DependencyClosure, DependencyCycles, and DependencyReporter as part of the grand CLI refactoring.

Emma recommends that you use an enabled attribute on <emma> tags to control whether instrumentation is done or not. The attribute takes its value from a flag property in the build.xml file under a special target that you put on the command-line, before the intrument or report targets. This way, the flag gets set in the emma target so that it enables the <emma> tags in other other targets.

My Emma-related Ant tasks are dedicated to doing code coverage, so I end up always calling them with emma on the command-line. Since I never turn the flag off, I removed it altogether and got rid of the emma target. Now, I will be able to trigger the code coverage targets from within IntelliJ.

Refactored Command to remove duplication when populating groups of related switches, such as for start and stop criteria and for filtering.

December 11, 2006

Reorganzied the build files to get all test reports in one location.

December 10, 2006

Refactored ClassMetrics as part of the grand CLI refactoring.

December 09, 2006

When I reorganized build.xml, I changed the project's name from "DependencyFinder" to "Dependency Finder" with a space. Now, I use the project name to build the name of the JAR file when creating a distribution, so now the JAR file had a space in its name. Yuck! So I changed the name back to "DependencyFinder", without the space.

Refactored ClassFinder and ClassList as part of the grand CLI refactoring.

Cleaned up dependencies between Ant targets for Emma coverage analysis.

December 05, 2006

Reorganized build.xml into a number of build file. This way, someone can compile Dependency Finder with a minimum of third-party libraries, namely the Servlets API and WebWork, instead of needing all the libraries used for testing like Fit and HttpUnit.

I should get rid of the CVS report tasks eventually, now that everything is in Subversion. I don't know if I will create equivalent reports like Subversion, given that SourceForge already has some statistics on source control.

December 04, 2006

Finally got Emma to run. Looking at the coverage data, I found some test classes that were not included in the appropriate TestAll class.

December 03, 2006

Experimented with Emma for code coverage.

December 02, 2006

Tried to run the code coverage analysis with jcoverage, but my version (1.0.5) does not generate valid Java 5 code when it instruments the code. I was not able to find a more recent version; the jcoverage website only mentions Eclipse plugins. I am going to try using Emma instead.

December 01, 2006

Fixed test for ClassClassDiff. Had to move -xml switch out of Command and back into ClassReader and DependencyExtractor to account for tools that will not support multiple output formats, namely ClassClassDiff and JarJarDiff that only output XML.

November 30, 2006

Major refactoring of ClassClassDiff to use common code from Command.

November 29, 2006

Better use of the facilities in FitLibrary to minimize the amount of fixture code and maximize reuse.

Major refactoring of DependencyExtractor and ClassReader to pull common code into the new base class Command.

November 28, 2006

Started refactoring the CLI classes, with the help of FIT tests. It hints that more refactoring is needed in com.jeantessier.commandline.

November 19, 2006

Refactored com.jentessier.commandline to simplify printers for usage and echo of parsed command-line. The latter still doesn't echo parameters; it only does switches at this time.

Refactored com.jentessier.commandline to store parameters in the ParameterStrategy instances instead of the CommandLine. Just like switch values are stored in the CommandLineSwitch objects, now the parameters are also store outside the CommandLine object.

Cleaned up classes in the CLI and Ant tasks packages.

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 6.0.1 -> 6.0.2
November 18, 2006

Added com.jeantessier.commandline.TextPrinter to echo the command-line, as perceived by a program. Some recent problems with the CLI stemmed from improper escaping of shell metacharacters. I hope that with some kind of -echo switch users will be able to see what values made it into the program.

I had to rework CommandLineSwitch so each switch contained its own name. This gave me the occasion to add unit tests to that package.

November 16, 2006

Added filtering to DependencyExtractor. This came at the suggestion of a user that it might help deal with very large graphs by removing dependencies that do not really bring new information, like dependencies on classes in the JDK for instance. I added the functionality to both the CLI and the Ant task, but I will also need to do something about the webapp and the GUI.

November 13, 2006

Simplified the command-line switch processing for DependencyFinder, DependencyCycles, and DependencyMetrics. I need to build aliasing support in com.jeantessier.commandline instead of handling aliases in each CLI tool's main() method.

I also adjusted the output form DependencyMetrics so it does not show NaN or infinity when ratios involve a zero.

I am seeing again the case where the report from DependencyMetrics shows strange numbers. The number under "outbound link(s)" is the sum of the breakdown under "inbound link(s)" and vice versa. I remember looking into this a while back and somehow convincing myself that this was right, but I am still confused, which probably means I need to fix these sections so they are more intuitive.

I also removed the -all switch from the CLI OOMetrics.

November 12, 2006

Removed -all and -show-all switches from DependencyReporter, DependencyMetrics, and DependencyCycles. I also removed their equivalent in the matching Ant tasks (DependencyCycles doesn't have an Ant task yet). Now, they act as if -all is on unless the user explicitly specifies at least one of the scope or filter switches (-package-scope, etc.). The same logic applies to -show-all: DependencyReporter will show everything unless the user explicitly requests only certain things. This means that if you give now switches to DependencyReporter, it will print out the input graph as is (but in text instead of XML). I believe these defaults make more sense than the previous ones that would print nothing unless you remembered to actually ask for something.

November 11, 2006

I want to write tests for the improvements I did to XMLPrinter for Instruction and to CodeDependencyCollector, but the classes in com.jeantessier.classreader were among the first I wrote for Dependency Finder and they are not easy to test. Their constructor takes a DataInputStream with the binary data for a complete class. This makes it very hard to get test data without building actual Java classes and compiling them. Especially when trying to test specific instructions. I will need to change all of them so I can construct temporary structures in tests, but that will take a while and I don't want to delay the upcoming release more than I have to.

November 09, 2006

I have half a mind to unify the HTML styles for dependency graphs in the webapp versus the XSLT transform used by the CLI and the Ant tasks. I think the style in the webapp looks better in the end.

November 08, 2006

It turns out the problem with closures comes down to Windows batch files strip '^' characters from parameters. So if you want to filter out java.* with a regular espression /^java/, the Java program only gets /java/ and filters everything with "java" anywhere in it. I filed a bug report (1592817) for it.

For now, the best solution is to enclose regular expressions in double quotes, such as "/^java/", so the shell and script don't strip anything. Similarily under Unix, if you regular expression contains many meta-characters like '\', '(', or '[', you need to escape them properly. Maybe there is no fix for it besides education. I should add a note on this in the documentation.

November 07, 2006

Came upon an interesting consequence of using JDK 1.5+. Take this simple class:

    package test;
    public class Test {
        public void test() {
            Class[] array = new Class[1];
            array[0] = String.class;

If I compile it using JDK 1.4 and then run DependencyExtractor on it, I get:

    java.lang *
        Class *
            <-- test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
            <-- test.Test.class$java$lang$String
            <-- test.Test.test()
            forName(java.lang.String) *
                <-- test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
        ClassNotFoundException *
            <-- test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
            getMessage() *
                <-- test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
        NoClassDefFoundError *
            NoClassDefFoundError(java.lang.String) *
                <-- test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
        Object *
            <-- test.Test
            Object() *
                <-- test.Test.Test()
        String *
            <-- test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
            <-- test.Test.test()
            --> java.lang.Object *
                --> java.lang.Object.Object() *
                --> java.lang.Class *
                --> java.lang.Class.forName(java.lang.String) *
                --> java.lang.ClassNotFoundException *
                --> java.lang.ClassNotFoundException.getMessage() *
                --> java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError.NoClassDefFoundError(java.lang.String) *
                --> java.lang.String *
                <-- test.Test.test()
                --> java.lang.Class *
                <-- test.Test.test()
                --> java.lang.Class *
                --> java.lang.String *
                --> test.Test.class$(java.lang.String)
                --> test.Test.class$java$lang$String

The compiler created synthetic features to store the reference to String.class. All this machinery adds a lot of complexity to the dependency graph.

In JDK 1.5, they expanded the VM instructions to handle this case and now the compiler can generate much simpler bytecode. If I compile the class with JDK 1.5 and then run DependencyExtractor on it, I now get:

    java.lang *
        Class *
            <-- test.Test.test()
        Object *
            <-- test.Test
            Object() *
                <-- test.Test.Test()
            --> java.lang.Object *
                --> java.lang.Object.Object() *
                --> java.lang.Class *

Notice the conspicuous absence of java.lang.String from the graph. This is because Dependency Finder does not understand the Java 1.5 features of the bytecode, yet.

I make a quick change to CodeDependencyCollector so it could at least account for the new behavior of two VM instructions (ldc and ldc_w) in Java 1.5. With this change, DependencyExtractor now gives this much simpler, yet accurate graph:

    java.lang *
        Class *
            <-- test.Test.test()
        Object *
            <-- test.Test
            Object() *
                <-- test.Test.Test()
        String *
            <-- test.Test.test()
            --> java.lang.Object *
                --> java.lang.Object.Object() *
                --> java.lang.Class *
                --> java.lang.String *

While working on ldc and ldc_w handling, I also realized the XML output for instructions wasn't descriptive enough to let me know which entry they are referencing in the constant pool. In the case I was looking at, the instruction could point to a class_info structure or to a Utf8_info structure and I couldn't tell which one it was. So I added an index attribute to the <instruction> tag so whoever reads the file can see exactly what the instruction is referencing.

Someone contacted me with an issue regarding closures. Apparently, filtering is not working correctly. I tried to recreate the problem, but it worked just fine for me. These kinds of bugs are always annoying to work on since I cannot reproduce it to examine it.

November 03, 2006

Tried to convert the tutorial to HTML using OpenOffice instead of PowerPoint. The resulting HTML works in more browsers, but the embedded images look crappy.

October 31, 2006

Did a quick study of the download rates for Dependency Finder, based on the statistics from SourceForge. It's nice how downloads flow from one release to the next, except that every once in a while, some of the old releases still get downloads even when there are multiple new releases after them. I wonder what could motivate someone to fetch an old release. Release 1.1.1 is holding up at over 300 downloads per month; I'm happy.

Cleaned up HTMLCyclePrinter.

October 29, 2006

More closure functional tests to test hyperlinks in the HTML. Also created some functional tests for cycle detection and metrics. I added an HTML implementation of CyclePrinter to provide hyperlinks for the cycle detector portion of the webapp.

October 24, 2006

Someone complained that the Tutorial only works on Microsoft products and I should move it to open source technologies. I'll try OpenOffice when I have some time.

October 23, 2006

More closure functional tests.

October 20, 2006

Upgraded the following development components:

WebWork : 2.2 -> 2.2.4
October 19, 2006

Clean up extraneous logging in TestQueryBase.

October 18, 2006

Clean up warnings in JSPs.

October 11, 2006

Created preliminary tests for closure.jsp.

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 6.0 -> 6.0.1
October 09, 2006

Added hyperlinks on scoped node names in HTMLPrinter for the web app so the user can narrow down the scope to a single package, class, or feature. It is not perfect, and sometimes behaves in surprising ways, but it is as good (or bad) as the hyperlink on dependency names. Note that each link simply forces the scope-includes field to a certain prefix; it does not change the flags for what is in scope, whether it's packages, classes, and/or features.

Suppose a query result has lots of packages, classes, and features. You can click on a class name reduces the scope to elements prefixed with that name. In the query result, if you click on the package's name, it will expand the scope of the query back to all elements in the package.

Modified advancedquery.jsp so it uses HTMLPrinter. Refactored TestQuery to share tests between query.jsp and advancedquery.jsp. I also added tests that actually follow the hyperlinks to verify they do the right thing.

October 06, 2006

Fixed bug where if the scope was reduced to an inferred feature of a confirmed class, the class and its package ended up unconfirmed in the resulting sub-graph. GraphCopier and GraphSummarizer were using the current node's confirmation status when copying a node a propagating it to its parent nodes instead of creating accurate copies of the parent nodes in the first place.

Fixed the webapp's CSS stylesheet to treat visited links to inferred nodes correctly. The rules for a:visited and a:hover trump an explicit style assigned via the class attribute. I had to create explicit descriptions for a:visited.inferred and a:hover.visited.

October 05, 2006

Adjusted dependecy printout in HTMLPrinter so the '*' for inferred dependencies is not inside the <a> tag. Also used CSS to highlight scoped node names and subdue inferred nodes (both scoped nodes and dependencies).

October 03, 2006

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 5.1.2 -> 6.0
October 01, 2006

Fixed CLASSPATH in the launch scripts for JUnit to include WebWork libraries.

September 29, 2006

Changed classes in the com.jeantessier.dependency.Printer hierarchy to use separate methods for printing scoped node names from dependency node names. This lets me put scoped nodes in bold in the HTML output and leave dependency names in regular font. I should probably use CSS instead of hard-coding the bold using <b> tags, though.

Fixed CLASSPATH in the launch scripts for JUnit to include all the libraries needed by HttpUnit. For the Windows batch file, I had to list all JARs explicitly because I don't have a good way to detecting *.jar like I have in Bash shell scripts.

There is a weird interaction between the JARs that breaks Commons-Logging when using the Swing UI of JUnit. If I don't use the automatic class reload feature, it works just fine. I tried playing with tests/junit/runner/ so JUnit would not reload the obvious candidates (Commons-Logging, Jasper, even ServletUnit), but to no avail.

September 27, 2006

Added an id attribute to <a> tags from HTMLPrinter to help with testing.

September 20, 2006

Made some progress with ServletUnit. It really helped to read through the tutorial. Step 3 had the piece I was missing to correctly submit forms and navigate between pages.

September 19, 2006

I starting to lose patience with ServletUnit. This is a case where I can do something in 10 minutes, but it is taking me weeks to get it under test. This is frustrating. If I don't find a way to get ServletUnit to work soon, I will have to drop it and go without test for the outermost layer of the UI.

I took a look at JUnit 4.1. It uses annotations to mark the test methods and the fixture setup and tear down code. It would be a significant effort to switch to JUnit 4. Plus, I hear that support in IntelliJ and Ant is still behind. I think I'll stick with JUnit 3.8.2 for now.

September 15, 2006

I tried to fix the broken test with ServletUnit, but to no avail. Instead of navigating to the page I want by following links, I tried setting the request parameters directly from the test, but that doesn't seem to work either. I log the HTML that comes back in the response, and it is as if I hadn't set any parameters. Something still escapes me when it comes to using ServletUnit.

September 07, 2006

Minor fix to data2html.cgi to remove target attribute from generated <a> tags.

September 06, 2006

Got my first ServletUnit tests to pass. As long as I just request a single page, it works fine. But when I use the controls on a page (submit button) to navigate to another page, I get a strange NullPointerException from deep within the framework. Sigh.

August 31, 2006

Started writing tests using ServletUnit, but I can't seem to get it right.

August 30, 2006

Searched the web for examples of how to use ServletUnit.

Good news for Dependency Finder: I finally finished Half-Life 2! >:-)

August 29, 2006

Downloaded HttpUnit and checked the documentation for ServletUnit. It doesn't seem as trivial to use as I would have hoped.

August 25, 2006

I want to finish putting web links in the results of the webapp, but how am I going to test them? I searched for "testing servlets" and "testing jsp out of container" and found references to ServletUnit, a part of HttpUnit.

August 05, 2006

Investigated a little more the problems with closure.jsp, but I cannot seem to reproduce the original problem. I tried simple graphs, I tried working from com.jeantessier.dependency.NodeFactory.createClass(), they all seem to work just fine.

August 04, 2006

Played a bit with TeamCity, by the makers of IntelliJ IDEA. While I was trying to set it up for Dependency Finder, I was confronted with the fact that I create the distribution files in the same folder as the build.xml file. I should really put them in their own folder, like dist/, so TeamCity can recognize them as build artifacts. It would also align my build better with the best practices out there.

July 19, 2006

Fixed HTMLPrinter to properly escape the '$' in inner class names. Since '$' has special meaning in Perl regular expressions, it must be escaped otherwise the regular expression does not match anything and you get empty results.

July 10, 2006

Came back from a three-week vacation.

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 5.1.1 -> 5.1.2
June 16, 2006

Looked at fixing closure.jsp so that it always match packages and also match classes when looking for features. It's not quite there yet; I will need to think harder about this problem and why closure.jsp is sometimes unresponsive or plain wrong.

June 15, 2006

Use specialized collections in package com.jeantessier.dependency.

June 14, 2006

Looked a little at closure.jsp and tried to figure out why it returns an empty closure when I give it a perfectly valid starting point. The classes involved with TransitiveClosureEngine are not instrumented with Log4J, which hinders me a little. I will have to take care of that before I can investigate further. I also need to come up with sample data that reproduces the problem. I tried a trivial graph a.A.a() --> b.B.b() --> c.C.c() but that one worked just fine.

I was discussing the com.jeantessier.dependency.Visitor hierarchy with a colleague and complained about the complicated contract for children of VisitorBase, especially for the printers. During the discussion, it dawned on me that I could try composition instead of inheritance. The visitors would delegate traversal to a stragegy, the way they do now, but they could also delegate processing of each node to another collaborator. The contract with the processor would still be fairly complex to preserve flexibility, but might be easier to manage.

A user raised an issue with DependencyClosure as they were trying to compute a class-level outbound closure. Some classes at the edges were missing unless they used -maximize during extraction. Without looking, it looks suspiciously related to some tricky behavior I documented in the Manual already.

June 10, 2006

Functional tests for com.jeantessier.dependency.MetricsGatherer.

June 09, 2006

I decided against having CycleDetector summarize the graph to do class-to-class cycle determinations. For the CLI and Ant users, they can use DependencyReporter to reduce the graph explicitly. For the GUI and web app versions, I will hard-code the reduction in the commands themselves. I'll have to see if it takes too long, maybe I can cache the reduced graph instead of recomputing it for every call.

June 08, 2006

For some reason, I cannot compute closures with the web app anymore. I will have to investigate further. query.jsp finds the node I'm interested in and shows dependencies in and out of it. metrics.jsp also sees it and can compute measurements about it. But when I try the same regular expression in closure.jsp, I get an empty result.

There is a problem with DependencyMetrics. The sub-heading under outbound add up to the total for inbound and vice versa. Sure enough, that's what the code is computing. I'll have to study my own code again to figure out what was the original intent. Maybe I can write some tests, this time around, to document what it is supposed to do.

June 06, 2006

Today is 6/6/6!!!

Wrote a functional test to investigate finding dependency cycles at the class or package level with a graph that goes down to the feature level. The fact that CycleDetector extends VisitorBase, with all its baggage, will not make it easy to sort it all out.

June 02, 2006

Opened a ticket (1499643) with SourceForge about my commit problem. Apparently, I am not the only one. I found at least one other ticket (1499575) with the same problem and others are also having trouble commiting but get different error messages.

Fixed my issue with table width in the new webapp pages for dependency cycles.

I tried to load the webapp with the dependency graph for Dependency Finder and find class-level cycles starting at com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor, specifying it a maximum cycle length of 5. The CPU went to 100% for over two hours and never came back. In the end, I had to kill Tomcat. I'll have to investigate why this happened and if it is a bug or just that CycleDetector is not really useful in real life.

Found out SourceForge added a new permission on user accounts for Subversion access. I granted myself permission but it didn't work right away. I guess there is a propagation delay between the user management system and the permission system. It's all better now.

Upgraded the following development components:

Tomcat : 5.5.15 -> 5.5.17
June 01, 2006

Wrote a page for dependency cycles in the webapp. I still have only a minor issue with the layout of a table.

Cannot commit to SourceForge's Subversion for some reason. I am getting a 403 Forbidden error code.

May 31, 2006

Wrote an Ant task for dependency cycles.

May 27, 2006

Added code to specify the indentation text on CyclePrinter classes and stream data to a Writer.

Wrote a CLI tool for dependency cycles. Next will be an Ant task, a webapp page, and a GUI tab, not necessarily in that order.

May 26, 2006

Wrote a quick XML renderer for Cycle and an initial DTD.

May 25, 2006

Fixed a bug with name length-related metrics. It was assuming method names with parentheses in them and some of the tests were using plain names like "foo". I reworked the name computation so it is more reliable, for features and for classes alike.

May 18, 2006

Re-did the text rendering of Cycle from scratch. This time, I created unit tests around TextCyclePrinter. Getting Fit to process text somewhat properly was more difficult than I expected. At first, I tried using check rows, but it got confused by \r\n versus \n line terminations. Then, I tried using and ArrayFixture to break down the lines of the text, but when Fit reads in the expected cells, it strips the leading whitespace, which again breaks text comparison. For now, I check indentation in unit tests and general order of the lines in Fit.

May 17, 2006

Added the IntelliJ logo on the website, at the request of JetBrains. They asked for it as a small favor and I like IntelliJ so much that it was a no-brainer to put it up. I really think it's the best Java IDE around at this time.

Started working on text representation of Cycle.

May 13, 2006

Added Structure 101 to the Resources page. I think this might be the latest incarnation of reView. Both come from the same company and reView is no longer on their website.

May 12, 2006

Use specialized collections in com.jeantessier.dependency.Cycle and related classes.

Added acceptance tests and code to pass a SelectionCriteria to CycleDetector so I can use scope specifiers when looking for cycles.

May 10, 2006

More Fit tests to show how closures behave in the presence of a stop condition.

May 06, 2006

Created initial acceptance tests for dependency closures.

My license for InteliJ IDEA will expire soon. I must renew it. I hope they still give out free licenses to open source projects.

May 04, 2006

Someone complained that the behavior of the closure engine was not intuitive. I think I will write some acceptance tests to nail down the current behavior and consider some of the improvements they suggested.

April 20, 2006

Added character count and word count for method names. I added all the word and character count measurements to the default OOMetrics configuration.

April 19, 2006

The online documentation of the Ant tasks had fallen behind. I updated it to version 1.1.1.

April 18, 2006

Reduced the scope for version 1.1.2 so I can get it out the door sooner, and maybe even soon.

April 17, 2006

Started working on WordCounter to count the number of words in identifiers, including package names. Adjusted MetricsFactory to use it in computing the number of words in package and class names. I still need to deal with method names.

I might have to start creating metrics for individual fields. That might be quite a bit of work.

Cleaned up MaximumCapacityPatternCache and its tests to remove unsued imports and use specialized version of collections.

April 13, 2006

Fixed JUnit run scripts to have correct FitLibrary in their CLASSPATH.

April 11, 2006

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 5.1 -> 5.1.1
April 07, 2006

Finished converting all my development environments to Subversion.

Fixed TestDirectoryExplorer to use dedicated temporary files instead of some arbitrary folder within the project. The tests would break everytime that folder would gain or lose files. With the switch to Subversion, there was an explosion of ancillary files that finally decided me to do something about this test.

April 05, 2006

Got FitLibrary's FolderRunner to run under JUnit.

Tried Subversion for version control. With TortoiseSVN, a Windows Explorer plug-in, I can checkout the project just fine. With the official, command-line client, it kept dropping the connection. I tried the integration in IntelliJ and SmartSVN, but they were having difficulties too. Strange, and annoying. Now, I wonder if I wouldn't be better staying with CVS.

Moved Fit test images to files folder so FolderRunner can copy it to the reports folder.

April 04, 2006

SourceForge's CVS is back online. Time to merge the development lines I've been taking on three different computers.

Worked on the name character count and word count for packages and classes.

Upgraded the following development components:

Fit : 1.1 -> none
FitLibrary : 15Feb2005 -> 20060116
April 03, 2006

Use specialized collections in com.jeantessier.metrics.

Worked on MetricsGathererFixture, trying to find a good way to represent metrics in a fixture.

I tried to use FitLibraryRunner20060110, which seems to be the latest version of FitLibrary, but it eludes me. DoFixture has changed package. The HTML pages now use CSS to manage colors and state and it seems I have to copy the stylesheet myself between the folder with the input files and the folder with the output files. And apparently, DoFixture now works differently, because I can many complaints about methods not being found, whereas it used to find them just fine using introspection on my classes.

I tried FitLibraryRunner20060110 because there was an incompatibility between FitLibraryForFit15Feb2005 and the latest fit-java-1.1. I was able to do a small change to FitLibrary and recompile it againt Fit 1.1, but I'm not sure how the versioning of FitLibrary works. The new FitLibraryRunner20060110 has all the Fit classes inside of it, so I only need one JAR file. But it seems some of the semantics have changed along the way and I haven't seen any documentation so far. I'll have to dig some more.

March 31, 2006

SourceForge's CVS repository was down yesterday and today.

I signed up for a migration to Subversion. I have been heading some good about it and it looks like the switch is easy. Even though SourecForge's CVS is down, they were able to migrate my project and I could browse it using ViewVC. But when I tried to check it out, it failed. IntelliJ did not report any error, but didn't create the project either and the checkout only had website and was missing DependencyFinder. I tried with SmartSVN, but didn't get any further, except that it complained about a bad socket read at some point. Maybe if I have them migrate it again, after CVS is operational again, it will work better. Subversion would be nice: it has atomic checkins and it knows about folders, so you can move or rename parts of the filesystem and retain the history.

Started working on Fit tests for metrics for identifier length. I want to compute the length of package names, class names, and method names, both in number of characters and number of words.

March 30, 2006

I want to add metrics to find long identifiers. I could have length, in characters, of class names, package names, and feature names. With some clever parsing, I could also compute length in number of words.

Modified code using ClassfileLoader and CommandLine to use the generics version of Collection classes so they can use the new for() loop to iterate over collections.

March 27, 2006

Created a Fit test to try to capture the dependency cycle in the Visitor pattern. Adjusted CycleDetector to drill down packages and classes in its search for cycles.

Added CycleComparator to order cycles within a detector to ease testing. Short cycles come before long ones. Cycles of the same length are ordered according to the lexical ordering of the nodes in their path.

March 26, 2006

Augmented CycleDetector to detect cycles at the class level.

Added Fit tests for cycles at the class or feature levels. Next, I will need to look for cycles that span levels, like in the Visitor pattern.

            --> Visitor
        --> BaseClass
            --> Visitor
            --> Visitor.visitClassA(ClassA)
        --> BaseClass
            --> Visitor
            --> Visitor.visitClassB(ClassB)
            --> ClassA
            --> ClassB

These cycles go from some feature to a class and continues through the features of that class. For this to work, CycleDetector would have to look at lower levels when seeking cycles from a node. It would have to drill down from PackageNode to ClassNode and from ClassNode to FeatureNode as appropriate.

I also fixed the image links in the Journal. Since I switched to a CGI script, the URL is no longer a prefix of the images/ folder where the images are. Links to images must now be prefixed with ../.

March 25, 2006

Added Fit tests to the all tests suite. I don't know why I had not done it before.

March 23, 2006

I figured out how to test each individual path for cycles in Fit tests.

Added more tests.

March 22, 2006

Created a Fit test for detecting dependency cycles. I think I got the basis for a simple fixture to trigger the CycleDetector. But I still need to work on verifying the cycles it detected.

March 14, 2006

Wrote a little more explanation around Perl regular expressions in the Manual.

March 13, 2006

Added new experimental "Related links" banner from Google to selected pages on the website. It does not pay like Google's AdSense, but it might provide useful links to people who visit the site. I added it to the following pages to start with:

I also added a copy of the open source license for Dependency Finder on the website. Someone was inquiring and they couldn't find it on the web. It has always been included in the distributions, but it can't hurt to have it posted visibly too.

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 3.8.1 -> 3.8.2
March 11, 2006

Fixed ModifiedOnlyDispatcher to only ignore .class files and delegate everything else, including JAR and ZIP files. This fixes the problem I had been having when pointing the webapp to a collection of JARs instead of unbundled .class files.

March 10, 2006

A user was asking questions about Monitor and how to reload a graph and pick up new classes. I augmented the Developer Guide to describe how you would use a Monitor and a ModifiedOnlyDispatcher with a ClassfileLoader to support reloading the graph and picking up changes.

As I was writting this, I realized that the monitor and the dispatcher are not linked to one another. This means that if the dispatcher decides to ignore a JAR file that hasn't changed, the monitor will not know about the classes in it and will remove them from the graph if it uses closed sessions.

I had experienced this behavior before, when using the webpp with a collection of JAR files instead of the loose .class files I was used to. I'm thinking that if I let the dispatcher travers collections of classes, like JAR or ZIP files, it would let the monitor know about all the .class files and the monitor would not remove them from the graph. That's already what ModifiedOnlyDispather does with directories.

March 06, 2006

Augmented DependencyMetrics to report the number of confirmed packages, classes, and features in the graph.

A friend of mine brought Structure 101 to my attention. They have a really nice user interface. Maybe some day I'll have something just as nice.

March 03, 2006

Wrote a long Fit test to check name, length, and index calculation for every instrunction in the VM's instruction set.

I fixed a mispelling of dup_x2 (0x5B) and the reserved opcode breakpoint (0xCA).

I also added the new Java 1.5 instruction invokedynamic (0xBA).

March 02, 2006

Updated dependencies.dtd on the website. It appears I had forgotten to do so when I released 1.1.1.

March 01, 2006

Tied Instruction more closely to Code_attribute so that some of the instruction processing could be centralized there. Instruction is now a Visitable and VisitorBase automatically traverses them when processing a Code_attribute. So I was able to pull the code for iterating over bytecode from the various visitors into the abstract base class. Also, now that individual Instruction instances know about their corresponding Code_attribute and its Classfile and its ConstantPool, those that represent opcodes with indices into the constant pool can retrieve the correct ConstantPoolEntry themselves, instead of relying on client code to do it. These two changes together simplified greatly the various operations that walk the bytecode.

Instruction knows whether or not it holds an index into the constant pool. For now, I simply used the list from CodeDependencyCollector, but I will need to take a close look at the entire instruction set to make sure I have a complete solution.

I also take this knowledge into account when comparing instructions in Instruction.equals() and in computing Instruction.hashCode(). If the instruction actually refers to a ConstantPoolEntry, equals() and hashCode() will use the entry's equals() and hashCode() as part of their computation. Otherwise, they just do a byte-to-byte comparision of the instruction's data.

With these new tools, I revisited the case a user had brought to my attention on 2006-02-21. At the time, JarJarDiff only did byte-to-byte comparision when checking for code changes in methods. The user complained that they had changed only one method but JarJarDiff was flagging them all as different after a recompile. It turns out the constant pool was reordered between the two compilations, resulting in different indices and therefore different bytes in the bytecode. Now, instructions are isolated from any shuffling in the constant pool, so I expect that only the modified method will show up in the JarJarDiff report.

There were three. One was the method that had been modified, it had extra instructions. I was able to run ClassReader on the classes to compare the actual instructions for the other two. In both cases, the reordering of the constant pool had pushed the index of a reference beyond 255 and required an ldc_w instruction of 3 bytes instead of a simple ldc instruction of 2 bytes. I could introduce special treatment to equate ldc with ldc_w, but I feel this could lead to fairly convoluted comparison rules.

February 28, 2006

Cleaned up some dead or duplicated code.

February 26, 2006

Upgraded my wireless LAN from 802.11b to 802.11g. Larger bandwidth and somehow a larger range too.

February 24, 2006

Changed CodeDifferenceStrategy to compare instructions instead of the raw bytes. The next step will be to make instruction comparison smarter.

Also added Hex.toString(byte[]) to make it easy to log byte arrays. Previously, Hex could only write to OutputStream or Writer, which forced traces to write bytecode to a StringWriter in order to log it. Now, Hex uses a StringBuffer instead, which should speed things up a bit.

February 23, 2006

Played a little with smarter code difference determination, using the CodeIterator and Instruction classes. Instruction is not tied to its Classfile, so it cannot access the constant pool and lookup indices in the bytecode. I will have to tie it tighter to the object tree if I want it to compare the actual parameter to an instruction when deciding if something is different or not.

I found something interesting. In the compiled code I received from a user yesterday, there is and ldc_w instruction that points to a CONSTANT_class entry in the constant pool. Now, the spec clearly says it has to point to a either an int, a float, or a string. I wonder if maybe they used a non-compliant compiler or something.

Instrumented more debug info in the processing of bytecode from methods, when reading it and when comparing it in JarJarDiff.

Did a massive refactoring to use the new Java 5 for() loop in com.jeantessier.classreader, which meant using specialized versions of the Collections API. I'm not madly in love with generics, but the new for() is really cool.

February 22, 2006

A user complained that JarJarDiff flagged all methods as having code changes when only one methods had changed. They sent me the classes so I could investigate.

I took a quick look. The constant pool is different for the two classes. The compiler didn't put the entries at the same offset in each case. The bytecode makes heavy use of references to the constant pool, so the indices in the bytecode are different because the offsets in the constant pool are different. The way JarJarDiff looks for differences in the bytecode is a simple byte-to-byte comparison; it doesn't interpret the bytecode to see if they are the same instructions with the same parameters. It just compares the byte arrays for each corresponding method together and makes the method as having changed if any single byte is different.

I could probably make it a lot smarter, but that would mean it would have to analyze the bytecode and understand each instruction and its parameters and compare entries in the constant pool to see that they are the same even though they have different offsets. That could take a while, as there are many instructions. I have other tasks that I must finish first before I can think of tackling this one.

If this is critical for you, I might reconsider... Code-level differences is a new feature and I wouldn't want it to start in a useless state. At the same time, I'd like to ship at some point, so if this is not critical, maybe it can wait a future point release. I guess I'll sleep on it for a while...

February 18, 2006

Fixed default value for level in the Ant version of JarJarDiff. Somebody brought to my attention that it wasn't initialized and caused a NullPointerException if you didn't specify it in the <jarjardiff> tag. I also fixed its documentation.

February 15, 2006

Fixed typos in Manual around examples for extracting with the CLI.

February 05, 2006

Cleaned up ExtractAction.

February 04, 2006

Tested actual extraction in new WebWork-based ExtractAction.

January 29, 2006

Dependency Finder is now five years old.

January 27, 2006

I have been wondering how to replicate the current behavior of extract.jsp under WebWork. A WebWork action terminates before the JSP tied to its result is even started. The action has no way to stream data that would end up embedded in the result, the way extract.jsp streams parsing information to keep the user notified of its progress.

But I found that the JSP can use the <ww:action> tag to invoke another action while the JSP is rendered. Maybe I can use this to have a dummy action launch the extract.jsp and from within it, call the real action that extracts the graph and stream progress to the output stream.

January 24, 2006

Added a new XSL stylesheet, DiffToFullyQualifiedNames.xsl, to extract symbols from diff reports generated by JarJarDiff. Someone suggested that they could use these symbols to start an upstream closure to find which tests would possibly exercise the modified code. Apparently, their suites take a very long time to run and this would allow them to quickly run some regression to see that they haven't broken anything. Sounds interesting, I'm curious to see how it turns out.

I added start-includes-list and stop-includes-list switches to DependencyClosure, similar to scope-includes-list on DependencyReporter. This way, DependencyClosure can work from an explicit set of symbols instead of regular expressions. In the process, I had to do quite a bit of code duplication between the two CLI tools, which I don't like very much.

JarJarDiff currently only lists the names of removed/new packages, classes, and interfaces, without any of their internal details. For this trick to work, maybe it would help if it listed all the classes and features in a removed package.

There was already a ListFullyQualifiedNames that operated on dependency graphs. I renamed it DependencyGraphToFullyQualifiedNames to align it with the new DiffToFullyQualifiedNames.

January 19, 2006

Edited the Developer Guide to clarify the source of dependency events and how Dependency Finder removes duplicates.

Incremented the date in the copyright to 2006.

Started writing tests for ExtractAction. The WebWork people did a great job of encapsulating things to make it easy to test. Kudos to them.

January 18, 2006

Started redoing the webapp using WebWork.

Added the following development components:

WebWork : none -> 2.2
January 11, 2006

Played a bit with WebWork. I have been toying with the idea of rewriting the webapp using WebWork, but since it is merging with Struts now, I'm not so sure anymore. I don't want the webapp to bloat just because it needs a whole bunch of infrastructure JARs. ALready, the default type of WebWork webapp requires 1MB of JARs before you've even started doing anything.

Upgraded the following development components:

Tomcat : 5.5.12 -> 5.5.15
January 09, 2006

Built a CGI script to rebuild the Journal from the individual text entries. I had to do a fair bit of scrubbing of the text files.

January 05, 2006

Studied the impact of logging a little further. If I remove all logging in CodeDependencyCollector, I can save about 15%.

Worked at breaking down the Journal into individual wiki-like files. The large, single file HTML was becoming too unwieldy. IntelliJ IDEA was stalling every time I opened a new tag. With the wiki-like notation, it will make writing entries a little easier since I won't have to type all those HTML tags anymore. I still need to figure out how to rebuild the HTML file from the individual pieces.

January 04, 2006

Took another look at the impact of logging. When analyzing Dependency Finder itself with all logging turned on, some of the lines from VisitorBase are over 300 KB long! But these logging calls are guarded by calls to Logger.isDebugEnabled(), so those 300K lines usually aren't generated.

January 03, 2006

Cleaned up build.xml.

December 30, 2005

Making the switch to Java 5.0. If you're still running it with the JDK 1.4, let me know ASAP.

Trying to compile for Java 1.4 with the 1.5 compiler is just too risky. It catches uses of the new language constructs, but not uses of new API elements. Relying on the compiler to keep me straight is just not reliable. And I'm tired of keeping multiple versions of the JDK just so I can compile Dependency Finder in near-obsolete technology.

Removed JARs for Xalan. I'll rely on the version what ships with the JDK. It means that dependencies shift from org.apache packages to packages, which seems a little fishy, especially since some of those have internal in their name. I'll have to read some more documentation about how we're supposed to use those XSL-related classes. On the plus side, I can now use the default XMLReaderFactory.createXMLReader() method instead of hard-coding the Apache implementation.

Upgraded the following development components:

Xalan : 2.6.0 -> none
December 18, 2005

Fixed the Manual section on JarJarDiff.

December 17, 2005

Fixed the Manual section on JarJarDiff.

December 16, 2005

Cleaned up build.xml. I had been running the tests from my IDE for too long and some of the targets had gotten broken.

December 15, 2005

Finally settled to a format for my Fit tests. I got rid of my early experimentations and kept only the most comprehensive ones. I also posted a suggestion for a fix to FitLibrary to bring it in line with Fit 1.1. We'll see how that goes and if it gets incorporated.

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2.8 -> 1.2.13
December 14, 2005

Augmenting the Developer Guide to incorporate the extra explanations from yesterday's email. I also want to explain how com.jeantessier.dependency.VisitorBase uses multiple cases of the Template pattern to present a generic graph traversal mechanism with multiple extension points. And I do mean multiple.

December 13, 2005

Sent a long email to a user who was asking how to use the classes in the Dependency Finder library to extract dependencies and how to operate on the graph. I should work that into the Developer Guide.

December 12, 2005

Tech docs around the event-based processing when loading a .class file using a ClassfileLoder.

Enhanced NodeFactoryFixture so I can test both inbound and outbound dependencies in a single Fit table.

December 11, 2005

Tech docs to describe the ClassfileLoder hierarchy.

Came up with a new subclass of DoFixture to help me test dependency graphs as part of Fit tables.

December 07, 2005

Got a bunch of questions from a user on how to use the various classes in the Dependency Finder library to process .class files and generate dependency graphs ready for further processing.

December 06, 2005

I finally figured out why Fit behaved differently between my desktop and my laptop. It turns out they had a different version of Fit. I must have downloaded Fit 1.0 to my laptop by accident. Anyway, I tried diff'ing the fit.jar and noticed they were different. I followed up with a quick run of JarJarDiff, just to be sure, and there it was, lots of signature and code changes. I copied Fit from my desktop back onto my laptop and voilà! it now works like a charm.

Also wrangled DoFixture into doing what I wanted it to do. It works great for dealing with simple values. Now, I need to figure out how to call Node.addDependency() and pass Node values from the Fit tables. I guess I will need one of those fabled TypeAdapter.

December 05, 2005

Wrote Fit tests using fit.DoFixture so I don't need to write custom fixture classes. The book and the documentation are a little sketchy and I need quite a few trial and errors to get it to do what I want. Or, at least, almost what I want.

Fit still behaves differently between my desktop and my laptop. I am still baffled.

December 01, 2005

Wrote FitTestSuite and FitTest to run Fit tests with JUnit. I got it to automatically pickup HTML files in a given folder and to have tests fail when there are failures in one of the tables in an HTML document. Now, I can subclass FitTestSuite and give it a folder name in suite() to have it process a given folder.

Fit automatically compacts phrases like is confirmed into camel-case identifiers like isConfirmed. It works on my desktop but not on my laptop. The Fit version is the same, pretty much everything is the same. Maybe the JVM patch version is different, but that's it. I am baffled.

November 28, 2005

Started writing Fit tests for creating dependency graphs. I hope that using tables to create test setup will be easier. I still have to figure out how to run them automatically using Ant.

November 27, 2005

Started reading about the Fit testing framework.

November 19, 2005

Refactored the code to instantiate the strategy in JarJarDiff into private utility methods. This helps clean up the main code.

Also cleaned up some of the JSPs in the webapp. Now, both extract.jsp and load.jsp highlight missing files.

November 17, 2005

For now, I'll treat typed arrays as independent classes. We'll see how it goes.

Continued work on the circular dependency detector. Dealt with comparing and ordering cycles.

November 16, 2005

Added a maximum cycle length to CycleDetector.

Healed tests for com.jeantessier.dependency.TestHTMLPrinter. It had been a while since all the tests ran green.

In Java 5.0, some code compiles to strange forms. Enums have an implicit values() method that attempts to copy the internal array of the enum's values. It does this copying by calling the array's clone() method, but the array is typed with the enum's type, so it looks like a call to MyEnum[].clone() and I can't seem to decide what kind of dependency that is. I need to investigate further.

November 15, 2005

Started a new com.jeantessier.dependency.Visitor to look for cycles in the dependency graph. It seems that many people out there who are interested in dependencies really want to detect cycles. I still think that not all cycles are necessarily bad, but maybe at least listing them can be of some use. You definitely want to avoid circular dependencies between large-scale components, but one component might be implemented as many, tightly coupled, packages. Since Dependency Finder is not aware of organizing principles beyond the package, it's usefulness at detecting unwanted cycles will be limited.

Further refined the webapp's style.css.

Posted Dependency Finder on Google Base.

November 14, 2005

Experimented with the webapp's style.css so hyperlinks don't stand out too much.

November 09, 2005

Fixed ClassReport so it does not show modified declarations for classes whose declaration has not changed, according to the strategy in use.

November 07, 2005

Merged the published_API branch back into the trunk.

Fixed file count based tests.

November 06, 2005

Fixed interaction between DifferencesStrategy and its DifferenceStrategy so we can overlook class differences when the stategy dictates that we do. This is to support the case when a class has a backwards compatible change to its declaration but some of its features have non-backwards compatible changes. I still want to report the feature changes, but I want to ignore the class declaration difference.

November 03, 2005

Fixed JarJarDiff so the -level switch that takes a possible class name can look for a constructor that takes a DifferenceStrategy before it falls back on the default constructor. This way, users can specify strategies that extend DifferenceStrategyDecorator and have them decorate the same basic strategy that APIDifferenceStrategy and IncompatibleDifferenceStrategy do.

I want to do the same thing for printers, too.

JUnit launch scripts for Unix. I have had the Windows .bat files since forever, but only got around to writing Unix equivalents last year. I finally checked them in.

November 02, 2005

Last tests for IncompatibleDifferenceStragegy.

November 01, 2005

More tests for IncompatibleDifferenceStragegy. I am done with class-level tests and starting field-level tests. Then, I will have to do constructor and method level tests. It's gonna be a while, still.

October 30, 2005

More tests for IncompatibleDifferenceStragegy. I had a little bout of analysis paralysis, but I think I'm out of it now.

October 28, 2005

Refactored of tests for IncompatibleDifferenceStragegy. Not done yet.

October 25, 2005

Reworked the entire DifferenceStragegy hierarchy. For a short time, I considered using a chain of responsibility pattern, but setting it up in a flexible way, from the command-line, was just too complicated. So I will stay with decorators and some limited combinations, based on command-line parameters.

October 19, 2005

I'm going to make IncompatibleDifferenceStragegy a subclass of DifferenceStrategyDecorator.

I read that JDK 1.5 has JMX instrumentation to help with profiling. I should look further into it to help with performance issues with regard to logging.

October 15, 2005

More test data and initial tests for IncompatibleDifferenceStrategy.

October 14, 2005

More test data and new IncompatibleDifferenceStrategy to replace PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl.

October 13, 2005

Created some more test data to test the new DifferenceStrategy to replace PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl.

October 12, 2005

Reworked the way DifferencesFactory determines code differences. It is now all done by the strategy and the factory only sets a flag in the appropriate CodeDifferences instance. I had to adjust DifferenceStrategy in order to expose isCodeDifference(). I eventually would like for constant value and code differences to have their own instance of Differences instead of just being flags. Objects can hold information about the nature of the difference.

I had an idea of using a chain of command pattern instead of my current strategy pattern for DifferencesFactory, but that would make it much more complicated to insert user-defined strategies. So I'll stick with my current design for now.

October 11, 2005

Removed obsolete method Differences.isEmpty().

October 09, 2005

Got rid of the Validator hierarchy. The only one that was used at all was ListBasedValidator which I turned into a decorator for DiffereneStrategy. The resulting design is much cleaner and it makes DifferencesFactory that much simpler. One last strategy for backward-compatibility-breaking changes and I'll be done with this development item.

October 04, 2005

Changed all the JarJarDiff variations to use the new DifferenceStrategy. Each has a new level parameter to tell it which strategy to use. Level can either be a predefined constant, api for APIOnlyDifferenceStrategy or code for ComprehensiveDifferenceStrategy. In addition, users can set it to the name of a class that implements DifferenceStrategy and that has a default constructor; the program will instantiate it and use the instance to analyze API differences. I might so the same thing for the selection of printers in many of the tools.

October 03, 2005

Finished APIOnlyDifferenceStrategy. Now, I need a switch in JarJarDiff to select the strategy at runtime.

October 02, 2005

Introduced APIOnlyDifferenceStrategy to compute API differences without regard for code-only variations. I also want it to not show the value of constants, but that will require more tweaking. At least, I now have tests in place.

September 29, 2005

Tracking value differences for constants via their declaration is too sensitive. I will want cases where I only look at changes that could break backward compatibility and these will show up. I'm back to finding a way to distinguish declaration changes separately from value changes.

I'm seriously considering simply switching to Java 1.5. It will let me use all the features from the library and also some of the new enhancements in the language, notably the new for() loop for iterating over a collection. At a place I used to work, we wrote software that customers would run as part of their operation. Some customers were still using Java 1.3, so our build environment was limited to 1.3 on purpose so we could detect any change that would not be compatible with 1.3. In order to run Dependency Finder reports as part of the build, it had to run under 1.3. I figured there might be other installations with similar constraints, so it would be nice if they could still benefit from Dependency Finder and I have kept it at Java 1.3 ever since. But it is starting to hurt, and I don't care quite as much anymore. Java 1.3 is approaching retirement, so it should be safe to move up to Java 1.4. But Java 1.5 is even better and it has been out for a while now. Surely anybody serious about Java development has moved to it by now!

If you're using Dependency Finder in an environment that requires Java 1.4, let me know. Otherwise, I'm just going to move up to Java 1.5 and ease my own suffering. :-)

September 28, 2005

Implemented equals() and hashCode() in subclasses of ConstantPoolEntry to help in discovering API differences. It started with the need to compare constant values to detect when they change between versions. Since those make up the majority of this hierarchy, I decided to do it all.

One interesting point is when comparing two values of either Float_info or Double_info, where I need to compare float or double values respectively. I cannot use operator ==== because rounding errors could make it fail when the values are otherwise the same. Since Java 1.4, I can use, float) and, double), but not in Java 1.3. So far, my policy has been to keep the code runnable on a Java 1.3 virtual machine. I used to do it by compiling the release version with JDK 1.3, but as of 2004-06-18, I use the source and target attributes to the <javac> Ant task in build.xml. This way, I only need JDK 1.5 on my machine. But this control mechanism does not guard against calling features that were not in JDK 1.3, like those compare() methods. The compiler compiles them just fine, and the code runs fine until JarJarDiff hits a float or double constant that didn't change and it tries to call my new equals() method to verify it. It then explodes with a NoSuchMethodError for either, float) or, double).

September 26, 2005

Introduced DifferencesStrategy and started using it in DifferencesFactory. In the process, I noticed that I never modified FieldDifferences to take into account the change in value for constants. I fixed it, but I'll have to also fix ClassReport and the XSL stylesheet in DiffToHTML.xsl.

September 23, 2005

Upgraded the following development components:

Tomcat : 5.5.9 -> 5.5.12
September 22, 2005

Started using PackageMapper in DifferencesFactory.

September 20, 2005

Created PackageMapper to have one place where a collection of classfiles get mapped to packages. Reworked its use into ComprehensiveDifferencesStrategy.

September 12, 2005

Renamed JarDifferences to ProjectDifferences, since it deals with the entire project and not any single JAR file.

Finished ComprehensiveDifferenceStrategy. Now I have to use it in DifferencesFactory.

September 11, 2005

Continued work on DifferenceStrategy to encapsulate the behavior behind Differences.isEmpty(). Got through the tests for packages. Now, I need to handle entire projects and create a subclass for backward-compatilibity breaking changes.

September 09, 2005

Continued work on DifferenceStrategy to encapsulate the behavior behind Differences.isEmpty(). Got through the tests for classes and interfaces.

It turns out that constants have their value embedded directly into their field entry. I adjusted the new difference engine to look at those values too (the old one was ignoring them).

September 08, 2005

Started work on DifferenceStrategy to encapsulate the behavior behind Differences.isEmpty(). Got through the simple tests for fields, constructors, and methods.

Ran a quick test with a large JAR file: removing all calls to Log4J reduces extraction time by 50%. I should look into more discretionary use of logging to make the application more responsive, specially for large codebases.

September 07, 2005

After staring at the code for some time, I am finally convinced the various subclasses of Differences each expose enough information that I can come up with a strategy object that can look at each one and determine if it is empty or not. At first, I had thought of using a visitor, but that would mean either changing the Visitor interface to have a return value, or make the visitors stateful. Neither is appealing to me, so I'll stick with my idea of using the Strategy pattern instead.

Fixed RemovableDifferences that was directly referencing fields internally instead of going though accessors. Since the places it was doing the accessing will move to a strategy, it made sense to go through an accessor instead so the calling code will be easier to move later on.

September 05, 2005

I am stuck. On two fronts. With JarJarDiff, I can't seem to see a way to insert some kind of strategy in the difference engine to choose between all differences and only those I judge might break backward compatibility. With the HTML-ization of the web app output, I can't seem to find a clean way to go from preformatted text output to hyperlinked HTML. This is frustrating.

September 01, 2005

Fixed a typo in the manual.

August 25, 2005

Tried to create an HTMLPrinter for the webapp so dependencies can be hyperlinks to further queries. Right now, it is just a quick hack. It will need more work to make it pretty and generic enough.

August 24, 2005

Turns out my manual tests for JarJarDiff's filtering were using the wrong filter files. I am glad to report that the filtering function is working just fine. And now, I have tests to prove it.

Upgraded the following development components:

IntelliJ IDEA : 5.0 -> 5.0.1
August 22, 2005

Toyed with the idea of removing deprecation-related entries from JarJarDiff reports, in addition to the documentation-related ones I removed two days ago. In the end, I decided to keep them since they impact the compilation messages you get when building code.

Further modified JarJarDiff to use Validator as a filter instead of the two documentation parameters it had before. Now, it uses a new ComprehensiveValidator by default but if supplied with the -filter switch, it uses a ListBaSedValidator instead to limit the report to selected elements. I have to modify ListBaSedValidator to throw an exception when its input file is missing. I am not finished yet. There are no tests for filtering and when I pass in the switch, the resulting report is empty. This shouldn't take too long to sort out.

August 21, 2005

For some obscure reason, my laptop won't let me start SmartCVS anymore. It complains that I don't have Java 1.4 or later installed. I have JDK 1.5! I tried everything, up to and including uninstalling both SmartCVS and JDK and reinstalling them, to no avail. I figured I'd use the CVS support in IntelliJ IDEA, but the branch only exists on the source code and not on the website module, which confused my IDE for a little while.

Upgraded the following development components:

SmartCVS : 4.0.5 -> 4.0.6
August 20, 2005

Started fixing JarJarDiff to remove all the parts that dealt with the level of documentation as separate entries in the XML report. The next step will be to use the lists from -old-validator and -new-validator to trim the report itself, not with an XSL stylesheet. I will do this work on a separate branch and merge it in when I'm done. The branch is named published_API.

Fixed textjunit.bat and junit.bat to allow for spaces in the JAVA_HOME environment variable.

August 15, 2005

Found more ideas for object-oriented metrics from the works of Kenneth L. Morris. I will have to research it a little further.

August 13, 2005

Thought about my current dilemma regarding what to display in JarJarDiff reports between entire APIs, published ones only, and selective display. I thought I could do it with XSL transformations, but those are becoming too complex. Plus, there is an issue with using function calls in predicates that I still haven't resolved. I'm starting to think I'd better generate different reports from JarJarDiff and have a single stylesheet to render them in HTML. I might do the same for the stylesheets that narrow down dependency graphs instead of using DependencyReporter.

Upgraded the following development components:

JDK : 1.5.0_01 -> 1.5.0_04
IntelliJ IDEA : 4.5 -> 5.0
August 06, 2005

Back from vacation (yeah, it was three weeks).

July 26, 2005

Fixed typos in Manual for UNIX installation instructions.

July 16, 2005

Gone on vacation.

July 13, 2005

Finished support for negative closure.

Checked in a "cleaned up" version of DependencyGraphToRDF.xsl and associated script.

July 11, 2005

Gave some thoughts to computing negative closures using the tools that are already there. All I really need is a new stylesheet to extract the fully qualified node names from the XML graph without any indentation.

July 06, 2005

I started to reorganize the package com.jeantessier.dependency (on paper) to separate the classes that deal exclusively with the graph from those that deal in terms of dependencies (from those about transitive closures). Maybe it's not as bad as I think.

Started looking at how Java 5.0 stores some of its more exotic constructs, like variable argument methods and generics. I found some links to the updated JVM specification. I have some work ahead of me. The good news is that its all new special attributes and new access flags, so everything kinds works already. It's just that they are not really accounted for when extracting dependencies or computing metrics.

Moved Hex from package com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder to package com.jeantessier.text so classes in other packages can use it to dump binary data to log files, like Custom_attribute when logging the content of unknown attributes.

July 05, 2005

Somebody suggested using Dependency Finder to generate data flow graphs. They asked if inbound dependencies on fields couldn't map to setting the value and outbound dependencies to reading the value. The goals are different between dependency graphs and data flow graps. But this got me thinking that maybe just having a different collector could do the trick. The Node class and its related classes are generic enough to represent any kind of relationships. It is up to the consumer of the graph to infer meaning from things like "inbound" and "outbound" nodes.

June 23, 2005

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.6.2 -> 1.6.5
JDK : 1.4.2 -> 1.5.0
Tomcat : 5.0.28 -> 5.5.9
June 18, 2005

Took one more look at using JDK 1.5 to generate the code for JDK 1.3 instead of JDK 1.3 itself. The differences are very minor, from what I could see. Mostly, it has to do with how JDK 1.3 was resolving method calls to their latest definition, while from JDK 1.4 forward they are resolved to the most specific class of the reference. This has no ill effect on running the code in the JDK 1.3 virtual machine.

June 17, 2005

Worked a little more on SelectedDiffToHTML.

June 16, 2005

A coworker requested that pages from the web app be bookmarkable. The easy solution is to replace the "method" attribute of <form> tags in the JSPs. The URLs can get pretty large. Just the parameter names for advancedquery make it 600 characters long. With web proxies that can truncate URLs at 1K, that leaves about 400 characters for specifying regular expressions. I haven't checked it in yet.

June 08, 2005

Added code difference information to the XML reports that come out of JarJarDiff. The XSL stylesheets are giving me trouble. They can't seem to pick up the new XML tags. Strange.

It turns out that my CVS configuration in IDEA missed two test data files the other day. I guess I'll stick to SmartCVS for checkins.

June 06, 2005

Started on computing code differences for methods that have not changed otherwise.

Working with IntelliJ IDEA and all its refactorings is really nice. I still have a little difficulty configuring the project just right, especially with support for JSPs without turning the entire project into a web app.

June 01, 2005

SourceForge stats are back and WOW! they're great. Check it out! Release 1.1.0 got over 1000 downloads and Release 1.1.1 is already past 250 after just two weeks. This is awesome. I'm really happy.

May 29, 2005

Still looking at tracking changes in the bytecode as part of JarJarDiff report.

A few additional fixes from IDEA's analysis.

May 28, 2005

Started looking at tracking changes in the bytecode as part of JarJarDiff report.

May 25, 2005

Installed IntelliJ IDEA. Ran the built-in analysis tool and found a few places where signatures included exceptions that were no longer thrown and some unused parameters. I'm used to IDEA on the Mac, so I need to adapt to the key bindings on Windows.

May 24, 2005

Updated the code coverage analyses on the website with runs against Release 1.1.1.

Got my free license for IntelliJ IDEA.

Googled for "Dependency Finder", out of curiosity, and found two interesting hits.

The first one was reView. I had already stumbled on it a while back and I must say the demo on their website was pretty impressive. It has a lot of what I'd want to see in a graphical UI for Dependency Finder. They sell licenses for $1,999 each. Whew! Their brochure has a lot of great arguments for managing dependencies from a financial point of view. And since Dependency Finder is free, it's an even better deal.

The second one was Hackystat. This one is a metrics framework that has Dependency Finder as one of its tools for getting information about a codebase. It is from the University of Hawaii. They use a dependency graph, which they post- process, to extract coupling information about programming elements. I think they might have an easier time collecting their data if they used OOMetrics instead. I'll have to get in touch with them and see if see if that is the case.

May 23, 2005

Updated the website with data regarding Release 1.1.1.

Applied for a free license for IntelliJ IDEA as part of their Open Source License program. I may finally move away from Emacs. It does have a lot more refactories and a lot of smart features. We'll see.

May 18, 2005

Generated some of the data for the Samples regarding Release 1.1.1.

May 17, 2005

Release 1.1.1.

Also found about a new graphics package for rendering graphs: JUNG.

May 12, 2005

Looked at using JDK 1.5 to compile Dependency Finder for the 1.3 runtime. I can use source and target attributes on the Ant targets, but the .class files are different from the ones compiled with JDK 1.3. I need to investigate further to make sure they will run fine with the 1.3 runtime.

May 02, 2005

Tech docs.

Finished release 1.1.1.

Considered merging ClassFinder and ClassList into a single tool. But in other areas, I have simple tools that each do one thing only, so I might as well let these two follow the same pattern.

April 30, 2005

Tech docs.

April 29, 2005

Someone brought Ivy to my attention. It is a package for analyzing dependencies and producing reports with integration into Ant, Maven, Cruise Control, and even Eclipse. I couldn't understand the sample reports on the website, and I don't think it offers the same kind of dynamic interaction capabilities as Dependency Finder. It is good that there is slowly more and more tools to support object-oriented design.

Tech docs.

April 28, 2005

Tech docs.

April 24, 2005

Realized I had mistakenly swapped the current CVSDiff and CVSChangelog reports when I last updated them.

April 19, 2005

Adjusted the JSPs that manage the graph in memory to keep track of extrat, update, and load times separately. This way, extract.jsp limits itself to extract and update times, as appropriate, while load.jsp takes care of load times.

April 18, 2005

Dependency Finder: social networking for your code!

Cleared up the documentation regarding the web application and how to get a dependency graph loaded.

Also changed the obscure delta application variable to the more aplty named duration. It tells how long the last extraction or loading took. In the case of extracting a graph, I should probably have separate numbers for the last full extraction and the last update only.

On my new PC, I can't seem to start Tomcat on port 8080. It keeps complaining that port 8080 is already in use, but I can't figure out by what. I've changed the default config to port 8000 in the meantime and it seems to work just fine.

April 17, 2005

Started working on a new printer for transitive closures. This will be harder than I thought. com.jeantessier.dependency.Printer has way too much machinery geared solely at printing graphs to be useful. I also need to figure out a way to find the closure's starting point after the engine has computed it and possibly after the graph has been reduced possibly as far as package-to-package.

April 14, 2005

Tech docs for closures.

April 12, 2005

Someone is having problems computing closures and finding paths between components. Can't blame them, the output from DependencyClosure is very hard to follow.

They claim that in JDK 1.3.1, there is a path from JTree to Toolkit through MouseEvent. DependencyClosure found one through Component and I looked at the source for MouseEvent from 1.3.1_09 and there is no mention of Toolkit in there. There is in JDK 1.4 but not in 1.3.

At the time, I didn't have rt.jar handy to repeat the tests, so I used DependencyFinder.jar instead. At first, I tried to find a closure from com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli.DependencyExtractor to com.jeantessier.commandline.MultipleValuesSwitch. I thought it called CommandLine.addMultipleValuesSwitch() and would then find MultipleValuesSwitch from there, but it doesn't. Of course, DependencyExtractor does not have multiple value switches, so there is no feature-to-feature path from it to MultipleValuesSwitch. I will need to document this situation, in case someone else comes upon it too.

Gave some more thought to a specialized printer for transitive closures.

Finishing the documentation shouldn't take too long. Definitely not long enough to justify having a beta release while we're waiting.

April 10, 2005

Uploaded screenshots to SourceForge.

April 07, 2005

Adjusting wording on the GUI to make it a little more intuitive. Also played with fonts to get something close to Courier in graph displays.

Had a "teachable moment" with a colleague today. I think he finally saw the benefits of using Dependency Finder when dealing with a large, intricate codebase.

I'm going to make a beta release while I finish the updating the documentation.

I also need to start working on a new printer for closures. The normal graph printer makes results too difficult to read.

April 06, 2005

Talked to a former coworker who is still using JarJarDiff. He mentioned that having it also report on methods whose implementation changed without impacting their signature. This is the same as Request for Enhancement #900448. So don't despair, it'll come one day.

April 05, 2005

Checked in fix for case where group is a single .class file.

April 04, 2005

Fixed the ClassfileLoaderEventSource to record the first dispatch call and use it when dealing with a group of a single .class file.

April 03, 2005

Wrote a sequence diagram of what happens when you call ClassfileLoader.load(). This will help me figure out how to handle the case where processing a group consisting of a single .class file.

April 02, 2005

Wrote a unit test to replicate the problem with groups of a single .class file.

March 31, 2005

Found a problem when analyzing individual .class files. For some reason, the GUI keeps on skipping them. It turns out the dispatcher gets called twice: once when initiating the group processing and a second time to deal with the file as part of the group. The GUI uses a ModifiedOnlyDispatcher, which instructs the ClassfileLoader to ignore the file after the first time, so the file is never read. The intricate collaboration between the various ClassfileLoader subclasses will make this hard to figure out.

March 30, 2005

There is a problem with DependencyFinder: it ignores .class files passed in explicitly. Somehow, the dispatcher seems to think it should ignore the files. This is because the dispatcher is asked twice about the file: once as a group and once as an individual file. Since the file hasn't changed between being looked at as a group and as a single file, the ModifiedOnlyDispatcher tells the loader to ignore it the second time around. Maybe ClassfileLoaderDispatcher needs both a dispatchGroup() method and a dispatchFile() method instead of the current single dispatch() method.

March 28, 2005

Looking into setting Font for UI elements in the GUI.

March 27, 2005

Finished adjusting all the remaining dependency graph-related stylesheets to use the new information about inferred versus confirmed nodes. I took the opportunity to update all the HTML stylesheets to use the CSS styles instead of hard-coded HTML tags.

March 26, 2005

Fixed NodeHandler to use the new confirmed attribute in the XML description of graphs. In the process, I added new tests for NodeHandler and NodeLoader, which will help a little with the code coverage of the test suite.

March 24, 2005

Copied confirmed status when computing transitive closures.

March 22, 2005

Adjusted dependency graph-related stylesheets to use the new information about inferred versus confirmed nodes. More to come.

March 21, 2005

Added support in the dependency graph's TextPrinter and XMLPrinter to show inferred versus confirmed status of nodes. I had done most of it during a spike back in January, but I didn't have any tests for it. Now, I need to fix the DTD and the XSL transformations. And NodeHandler too.

March 17, 2005

Added windowtitle to <javadoc> target so the Javadocs have a proper window title when viewed with a browser.

Final clean up for using logoicon.gif.

Since October, I've been struggling for a good term to distinguish nodes in the dependency graph that match elements that were actually extracted versus those that were merely referenced, but not extracted per se. Back on 2004-10-08, I came up with referenced versus concrete. Both are troublesome because they have other accepted meanings in closely related contexts, such as concrete class. Today, I finally came up with a better replacement: unconfirmed references produce inferred nodes until the element is actually extracted, at which point the node gets promoted to confirmed.

Made sure that GraphCopier and GraphSummarizer maintain a node's confirmed vs. inferred status across graph copies.

March 15, 2005

Finished setting up a favicon.ico for the documentation and the website.

March 14, 2005

Final checks for switching from TABs to spaces.

March 13, 2005

Switched from using a combination of TABs and spaces for indentation to using spaces only. This way, the code will look the same no matter what is used to view it, especially in SourceForge's ViewCVS.

March 10, 2005

Added a checkbox to extract.jsp to choose between updating the current graph (using Monitor) or extracting a new graph from scratch.

Started putting a favicon.ico in the web application and on the website. I tried to cheat by using logoicon.gif and using <link> tags in the HTML. It works fine with Firefox but I couldn't get it to work with Internet Explorer. I tried to create a .ico file with some free editor, but I still couldn't get it to work. Maybe it is a caching problem.

March 09, 2005

Fine tuned spaces in JSPs for the web application.

March 08, 2005

Finished installing Monitor in the GUI. The Monitor now has a notion of open vs. closed sessions. An open session keeps accumulating data across load sessions. It never tries to remove files that were "not visited". A closed session works like the previous version of Monitor and follows closely the load sessions, removing classes from files that were not visited in the latest session.

March 06, 2005

Worked on better integration between Monitor and DependencyFinder in the GUI.

Someone raised an interesting problem. Say class MySuperClass defines methods m1() and m2() where m1() calls m2(), introducing a dependency m1() --> m2(). Now imagine a subclass SomeSubclass that overrides m2() and defines a method m0() that calls m1(). Because m1() depends on m2(), which is redefined in SomeSubclass, m0() really depends on SomeSubclass.m2() and not MySuperclass.m2(). But the dependency graph does not know about this. It looks at all dependencies from a very narrow context and does not see the bigger picture. This is unfortunate, but it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. It would take a lot of work to have Dependency Finder walk through the program's logic, almost simulating a program run, and I just don't have the resources to get into it.

March 04, 2005

Finished revamping of JSPs. I changed the labels around the controls for showing inbound or outbound dependencies. Instead of saying "inbounds" and "outbounds", they now show "<--" and "-->" respectively. Hopefully, this will make it a little clearer what each one does. I will need to find a way to do the same in the GUI.

March 03, 2005

Continued revamping of JSPs. Tested using title attributes to make popup hints; they seem to work great, but the amount of text I can put in them varies by browser. I'll have to keep it short and get rid of the sample Perl expressions, I'm afraid.

March 02, 2005

Someone asked how to find which JAR contains a class using Dependency Finder. I created a new tool, ClassFinder that uses the group stack from VerboseListenerBase to collect that information and print it out.

They also asked for the same information for packages.

Found out about using title attributes to make popup hints in HTML instead of weird Javascript. I'll make it part of the redesign of the JSP pages.

February 28, 2005

Bad news for Dependency Finder: I just got Half-Life 2! >:-)

February 27, 2005

Bad news for Dependency Finder: I just got Doom 3! >:-)

February 26, 2005

Started to revamp the JSPs in the web application to use <fieldset> and <legend> tags to group UI elements, instead of twisted <table> tags. This is going to take a while and there is way too much duplication between the JSPs.

February 21, 2005

Fixed DependencyFinder to use the new Monitor when re-extracting .class file. In the process, I fixed it so it retains all extracted locations instead of just the last one, like it used to do. I had to make changes to many of the action classes, but overall the structure has improved a little. It still needs more testing.

Adjusted load.jsp to remove the monitor and dispatcher when loading the graph from XML files.

February 18, 2005

Updated the code coverage reports, both jcoverage and Clover. The last time went all the way back to 2003-07-20. The number have improved a bit but they are still rather laughable. I added the procedure for generating them to the Developer Guide.

Upgraded my testing environment from Clover 1.3_01 to 1.3.4.

February 16, 2005

Fixed build.xml to use <junit> and <junitreport> tasks to run the unit tests and get a nice HTML report. It works fine on MacOS, but not on Windows XP, for some reason. I get an OutOfMemoryError no matter how much memory I put in ANT_OPTS.

I'm also going to use spaces only for indenting build.xml. I was using combinations of tabs and spaces, but it looks very strange in some editors that show tabs as four spaces. Eventually, I might do the same in Java files, too.

February 13, 2005

Adjusted OpenFileAction so it gets its NodeFactory from the model instead of creating its own. This is in preparation to having it use a Monitor instead.

February 05, 2005

Started to work out how to have DependencyFinder use the new Monitor. That GUI code is a mess!

February 04, 2005

Compiles and passes all tests with JDK 1.5.0 on Alienware. Compiles in 15 seconds and tests run in 10.203 secs. My laptop, with JDK 1.4.2, would take 31 seconds to compile it and the tests would take 20 secs. to run.

February 03, 2005

Started thinking about reorganizing the build process to compile everything into a build directory, like many other projects do. I must investigate further what the current Ant best practices are like.

February 02, 2005

New hardware: Alienware.

January 29, 2005

Dependency Finder is now four years old.

It turns out the problem with re-extracting graphs had to do with CodeDependencyCollector not setting concreteness correctly. That would throw off DeletingVistor when rolling back a class during re-extraction. One problem fixed.

Now, I need to get the GUI to use the new Monitor too.

January 28, 2005

Finally got Monitor to behave properly. But now, it's the DeletingVisitor that seems to be missing some dependencies. I extract a graph, change a space in one file, recompile, and re-extract (just the one file) and all of a sudden, the graph has different numbers of inbound and outbound dependencies. Worse, if I remove all .class files and re-extract, effectively removing the entire graph, I end up with a partial graph with no outbound dependencies but some inbound ones left. Puzzling

January 26, 2005

Started coding Monitor, but I keep on missing some aspect of tracking files because the behavior is not quite there yet.

January 24, 2005

Further design for Monitor (on paper only).

January 22, 2005

Worked on a possible design for an object that could monitor what files are being read and what classes are in them, so it can roll back changes to the dependency graph from a class before it is re-read. I don't have a name for it yet, so I'll just call it Monitor in the meantime.

January 20, 2005

It's one of those bugs. The moment I put in logging statements, the ModifiedOnlyDispatcher suddenly starts to work. Well, now the classfile loader is loading the correct files.

Used ModifiedOnlyDispatcher in DependencyFinder. But along with extract.jsp, it does not yet adjust its dependency graph correctly. I need to make them keep the old graph, remove reloaded classes, and somehow remove classes that have altogether disappeared. More work ahead.

January 19, 2005

Tried ModifiedOnlyDispatcher with extract.jsp. It was a little overeager, skipping directories without even looking if files in them had changed. So I modified it to not do anything special with directories and always delegate to the underlying dispatcher. Somehow, it doesn't seem to really skip unmodified files, so I'll have to investigate further.

January 18, 2005

Added more tests for DeletingVisitor to make sure that deleting nodes with inbound dependencies does not remove them from the graph but only makes them as referenced elements.

Added flags to the web application to control whether or not to display the source and file parameters on extract.jsp and load.jsp respectively. This can help in debugging where a given installation is getting its data from.

January 17, 2005

Finished te support for removing nodes from the dependency graph. It turns out the logic was so twisted that I had to resort to using a visitor in the end. The new class is called DeletingVisitor. It traverses the graph and removes specified nodes and cleans up after them.

January 11, 2005

Found a bug in the Unix script for OOMetricsGUI. It tried to be clever and use a local variable based on the named under which the script was invoked to determine the class name to start. It works for all other scripts, but in this case, the class name is different from the script name. The script OOMetrics starts com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli.OOMetrics and the script OOMetricsGUI starts com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui.OOMetrics.

I fixed the bug and issued patch #1100722.

Fixed the bug using a CVS branch: bug-1100131.

January 08, 2005

The logic to pull out nodes is too complex. I'm getting lost in all the bookkeeping required.

January 06, 2005

Started putting support in NodeFactory to remove nodes. I still need to handle the dependendcies themselves.

January 04, 2005

Stated implementing a ClassfileLoaderDispatcher decorator to support reloading only .class files that have changed.

January 03, 2005

Amended the User Manual to have the simpler way of narrowing down an API diff to the subset actually used.

Incremented the date in the copyright to 2005. Incremented the working version number to 1.1.1.

December 30, 2004

Came up with a much better way to narrow down a diff to the API actually used by some software. I use ListSymbols first on the library and then use the symbols to extract a subgraph from the calling software. By using DependencyReporter -show-empty-nodes, the graph only has the nodes for used symbols. Converting this subgraph from XML to text with DependencyGraphToText gives me the subset of symbols that are used in the software. Pass this shorter list to PublishedDiffToHTML and that is all there is to it.

December 29, 2004

Finally got around to cleaning up some of the HTML on the website. The documents say they use HTML 4.01, but I try to follow XHTML as much as possible. This sometimes yields strange results on some browsers. For instance, I like to have empty named anchors as <a name"someName" />= but some browsers won't see the empty tag but a start tag instead and proceed to underline all text after it. So I have to write it as <a name"someName"></a>=. But that doesn't work for <br> or <hr> because they do not allow any content and therefore the notations <br></br> and <hr></hr> are illegal. For those, I can still write <br /> or <hr /> because the browser doesn't expect any content and simply ignores the trailing /. So my rule has been to write closing tags for elements that can have content, and the XML empty notation when the elements cannot have content. That should fix it for most people.

December 28, 2004

Release 1.1.0.

December 22, 2004

Updated CVS diff and change log data.

Generated some CVS statistics using StatCVS.

December 20, 2004

Adjusted tech docs in the User Manual.

Updated version number to 1.1.0. I'm ready for the release.

December 19, 2004

Adjusted tech docs in the User Manual.

December 18, 2004

Reviewed latest additions to the User Manual.

December 16, 2004

Wrote examples of using OOMetrics for tracking usage of deprecated elements and computing the D' metric in the User Manual.

December 13, 2004

Wrote a section of the User Manual to describe how you can keep track of usage of deprecated programming elements using DependencyReporter.

December 12, 2004

Wrote a section of the User Manual to describe how you can limit the API diff report of a third-party library to the subset of that API that you are using in your code.

Found a bug with the CLI scripts. When I generated the template for 1.1.0 beta3, I used an example that lacked the Xerces libraries. This means that all tools that need to read XML coudn't find a proper parser. Since no one has complained yet, I guess they all use the GUI or the Ant tasks. I won't write a patch for this since the official 1.1.0 release is very close and will have the correct scripts.

Had a similar problem with the XSL scripts, but in reverse. Most of them are straightforward XSL transformations and only require Xalan JARs. But PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl uses some custom code and needs Dependency Finder's JARs. I changed the template to include them all the time, just like the Unix template was doing.

December 11, 2004

Figured out how to detect if a file has changed since it was last extracted. I'll use the decorator pattern to wrap the ClassfileLoaderDispatcher of the ClassfileLoader with a decorator that will remember the modification date of files and instruct the loader to ignore files that have not been modified. By using a decorator, I don't have to change any interfaces and I get to intercept the call to the real dispatcher before it gets made. Other solutions, like a common super class for dispatchers, had the problem that the subclass method was being called first. This would necessitate some kind of communication between the subclass and its superclass to get the new behavior. A decorator is a simpler, more elegant solution.

This will not go in the 1.1.0 release, but most likely the very next one.

December 10, 2004

Got an idea for undoing extraction of a single class on the graph. If I can do that, then I can re-extract a single class that I just recompiled and see it's effect on the graph without re-extracting the whole graph. I'm still strugling with detecting if a file has changed since it was last extracted, so I can launch a re-extraction on a whole codebase and have it pick only the files that have changed.

December 09, 2004

Added a section to the User Manual to deal with very large codebase by breaking them up and analysing the pieces separetely.

Added version information to the documentation.

December 01, 2004

Fixed binary files for version 1.1.0 beta3 which had been compiled with JDK 1.4 by accident. I recompiled them with JDK 1.3 and uploaded them again to SourceForge. I'm curious if anyone noticed.

Removed some old sample files that dated prior to version 1.0.

November 30, 2004

Updated <cvstagdiff> and <cvschangelog> reports to account for the release of version 1.1.0 beta3.

November 28, 2004

Third beta release for version 1.1.0.

November 27, 2004

Finished updating the documentation to account for the Unix distribution. I also used this occasion to update the documentation for the web application and explain load.jsp.

November 26, 2004

Tested the Unix distribution on MacOS X. Also changed the distribution to have .zip files for Windows and .tar.gz and .tar.bz2 for Unix. I also have matching archives for source code.

November 24, 2004

I've been struggling for some time with how to deal with start scripts for Unix. I also find it tedious to maintain a large number of scripts that are identical except for one identifier. At first, I thought of having some kind of install program that could link up the right version of the right script, but I was hesitant at making the installation procedure more complex. A friend suggested to generate the scripts at build-time. This solves two problems: maintaining nearly identical files and having start scripts for Unix. Now, I can generate both and select which ones get in the ZIP file for Windows and which ones get in a new compressed TAR file for Unix.

Right now, I'm generating a ZIP file with .bat scripts only and a separate compressed TAR file with shell scripts with no extension only. Neither one has all the scripts but they are otherwise identical. I could have the two files be identical and have both sets of scripts, and possibly give the shell scripts a .sh extension. But I hesitate since I don't think this is the standard in Unix-land yet.

Code contribution!

Joe Fisher submitted a new version of the GUI's SaveFileAction so it reports its progress to the user. I have incorporated it into the codebase, it will ship with the next release. Thanks, Joe. You get to be the very first external contributor to the project.

November 22, 2004

Moved the detailed dependency-related measurement explanations from the Developer Guide to the Manual. Finalized the documentation for measurements, at least for now.

Renamed SymbolList to ListSymbols. Finished its documentation and wrote a corresponding Ant task.

Started looking at FitNesse and the FIT framework again. One thing I don't understand is how to set these up as part of an automated build and put the contents under source control. Someone on the FitNesse Yahoo! group gets weird behavior when they put the contents of the FitNesse wiki under CVS and the gurus don't seem to have an easy solution. One option is to use the FIT framework by itself, but how do I run all the tests automatically and have them report that everything went fine or not?

November 14, 2004

Fixed the Unix script for OOMetrics and OOMetricsGUI. Because they were symbolic links to one script used by all other tools, they were missing their mandatory -default-configuration switch. Now, they are their own scripts, shared by no one else.

Tech docs around metrics and dependency-related measurements.

November 13, 2004

Fixed DependencyMetrics in both the CLI and Ant task. It used to process each graph input file as it was loaded, which could result in some nodes being counted more than once if they show up in more than one file. By reading all graphs beforehand, they get merged together before the measurements are taken, preventing double count.

November 11, 2004

I decided not to mess with the UI on the GUI application. It would require massive reorganization to account for the different semantics of the UI elements between closures and the other functions. I will need to rework it anyway when I have a new renderer for closures, I'll take care of it then. I want to finish this release.

Also cleaned up the build file a little more.

November 10, 2004

Adjusted the UI for closure.jsp and advancedclosure.jsp to use radio buttons when specifying the degree of summarization to apply to the closure.

Adjusted build.xml to use Tomcat's manager when deploying the web application. At the same time, I extracted some of the properties to external properties files, such as those dealing with Tomcat or CVS tasks.

Added better examples to the documentation of the dependencyclosure Ant task.

November 09, 2004

Fixed the Tools docs and Ant task documentation to account for new switches to DependencyClosure. I also started reworking the UI for closure.jsp and advancedclosure.jsp, but I'm going to need some more time to finalize it and apply it to the GUI too.

November 04, 2004

It turns out the problem with the switch -start-includes /^com.jeantessier.dependency.NodeFactory/ was related to the DOS command interpreter. It somehow stripped the caret from the regular expression. Putting double quotes around it fixed it.

November 03, 2004

Fixed the parameters for DependencyClosure in both the CLI and Ant task. But at least the CLI version seems to still have problems: the switch -start-includes /^com.jeantessier.dependency.NodeFactory/ still matches anything with NodeFactory in it, as opposed to only names beginning with it.

Someone filed bug #1058905 where PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl still uses the old method names from before the naming change. I fixed the bug and issued patch #1060021.

October 28, 2004

Thought of a new feature for transitive closures. I was tracking calls that go through an interface-implementation transition a few times. Because of the dependency severing nature of those transitions, I could not compute the closure for the whole call sequence automatially. This got me the idea that if the dependency graph were to keep track of inheritance and implementation information, the tools would be able to cross the interface-implementation transition and compute larger sequences. This will take some while.

Fixed the broken link to Perl help in the web app.

Fixed extract.jsp where I had forgotten to account for the fact that CodeDependencyCollector was no longer a LoadListener.

Fixed a number of setters that were mistakenly named getXXX() when I changed the naming scheme.

October 27, 2004

Checked in the new version of TransitiveClosure that uses the new TransitiveClosureEngine. All the unit tests are now passing, for the first time in nearly two years. I still need to fix the UI and documentation of the transitive closure tools.

October 25, 2004

Changed GraphSummarizer so it does not create extraneous dependencies, going from a.A.a --> b.B.b to a.A --> b.B and a --> b unnecessarily.

October 24, 2004

Adjusted TransitiveClosure to use two engines, one for upstream and one for downstream closures. The two engines share the same factory, so the results are all in a single graph, like it used to be with the old processing. Still, a lot of tests are broken and it will take some time to fix them.

I was able to test my theories about separate summarization on TestTransitiveClosureWithTestClass. Mostly successful, but one test ends up with too many dependencies because GraphSummarizer is a little too eager.

October 21, 2004

Thought up of a way to have TransitiveClosure work on the raw graph and do the summarization separately. This works fine for CLI and Ant tasks, but is awkward for the GUI and web application where the user cannot easily save intermediary results. These last two will need to include the summarization function internally and rework their UI accordingly.

October 20, 2004

Retrofitted TransitiveClosure to use the new TransitiveClosureEngine. Many tests are now broken because it used to include summarization capabilities that are no longer there.

October 19, 2004

More tests in preparation for retrofitting TransitiveClosure to use the new TransitiveClosureEngine.

October 12, 2004

Found and took initial steps to have Dependnecy Finder listed there too.

October 11, 2004

Found an interesting article by a group at CERN who built a dependency analyzer for looking at their software: large C++ systems used in high-energy physics. This was really interesting since they had roughly the same motivations I had to come up with Dependency Finder. They have a nice introduction as to why you need to manage dependencies very closely and how painful it can be if you don't automate the whole thing.

October 10, 2004

Build initial support for distinguishing between referenced versus concrete nodes in the dependency graph. NodeFactory now has versions of its createX() methods that take a boolean parameter to mark nodes as concrete. The default is for them to be marked as referenced only. Marking a node as concrete makes its ancestors concrete, but not its sibblings nor descendants.

October 08, 2004

Came up with a name! Nodes are referenced by default, until the dependency extractor actually encounters them in analyzed code and then marks them as concrete.

October 06, 2004

Thought about categorizing dependency nodes some more. I was concerned that dependencies on things that are not part of the body of code under analysis might muddy things up and that everything might end up in Object somehow. If I find a non-visited feature in a visited class node, and I start walking up the inheritance tree to locate where that feature is actually defined (wait a minute, I will need to store inheritance information too), I might not find the definition if it is in some third party library.

October 05, 2004

Got an idea to characterize nodes in the dependency graph between nodes that represent elements that are only referenced by analyzed code versus nodes that represent elements that underwent analysis. I was trying to track dependencies in a piece of software and hit a wall when I tried to see if anybody accessed private methods of an implementation class. All the other methods it inherited from superclasses kept showing up too.

Under JDK 1.4, dependencies are resolved to the exact type of the reference. For example, in the case of the Template Method pattern, if the client calls the template method on the concrete subclass, it creates a dependency to a shadow template method on the subclass, not the actual template method in the abstract superclass. This is a new form of interface polution where a class can have symbols that it does not necessarily define but that it rather inherits from a superclass. These can create false impressions when running dependency analysis because you can miss actual calls to a method that are attributed an hypothetically overriden version in a subclass.

I could have Dependency Finder figure it out, somehow.

October 04, 2004

Finished LoadListenerVisitorAdapter.

I also noticed that I have quite a few tools that do similar things. I need to align the naming of all these tools. ListDeprecatedElements lists symbols from compiled code. It focuses solely on elements marked as deprecated. It uses a Printer to print elements as it finds them. SymbolList lists symbols from compiled code. You can choose between class names and feature names, but it offers no filtering. It uses a Collector to assemble the output and prints it as a separate operation. ListDocumentedElements lists symbols from source code by filtering of special javadoc tags.

October 03, 2004

As I developed SymbolList, I realized that the way it ties a LoadListener and a Visitor was common to a few classes and that each one was reimplementing it, always in the same manner. I decided to get rid of this code duplication by putting it in a LoadListenerVisitorAdapter. From now on, if you want a visitor to get called as classfiles are loaded, you will be able to wrap the visitor in a LoadListenerVisitorAdapter and then register it as a load listener.

October 01, 2004

For some reason, I thought Log4J had moved to Jakarta Commons as the Logging library. But after a little bit of investigation, I realized that was not the case. And there are no new version of Log4J yet.

Started looking at Maven.

September 30, 2004

Discovered that new versions of Ant have a <war> task to help creating .war files.

September 20, 2004

Second beta release for version 1.1.0. I opened the developer discussion forum for people who use the API to write extensions or custom processors. Hopefully, the familiarity of Java camel-case names will outweigh the pain of moving their code to the new method names.

September 19, 2004

Generated a few finer-grained CVS reports to show changes between beta releases for 1.1.0.

September 14, 2004

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.6.1 -> 1.6.2

Revived the CVS diff reports using Ant's CvsTagDiff task. I'm also trying to have Ant generate change log reports, but the ssh authentication is getting in the way. I need to use pserver access but it seems cvs won't let me use it on a directory that was not checked out with pserver. So now I have to keep two copies of the development tree just so I can generate reports. This is annoying.

I also looked at StatCvs from SourceForge. It still needs its own copy of everything, so it might not help all that much. But it has nice little charts. :-)

September 12, 2004

Phase IX: assess work to change naming in test code.

Phase X: fixed test code. I'm done.

September 09, 2004

Phase VIII: fix the JSP files for the web app.

September 07, 2004

Wrote a new tool to list all symbolic names in a codebase: SymbolList. It shows all class names, all methods' full signature, and all fields' full signature. In addition, if the code was compiled with -g and retained its local variables table, the tool can list method parameters and local variables too.

Phase VI: find what previous phases might have missed.

Phase VII: fix what previous phases had missed.

September 06, 2004

Phase V: everything else under src/. Now I have to deal with tests/ and straggling parameters and local variables.

September 05, 2004

Phase IV: finished com.jeantessier.dependency.

September 04, 2004

Phase II: finished com.jeantessier.classreader.

Phase III: did com.jeantessier.commandline and started com.jeantessier.dependency.

September 03, 2004

Looking a little further into renaming symbols. There are over 3,000 methods, but from those I can remove constructors, which will retain their initial capital, and methods that already follow the Java convention, such as toString() and equals(java.lang.Object). But I must also account for fields, where I use all lowercase with underscore to separate words. Constants in all caps don't count, and fields with only one word are just fine. So I wrote a little Perl script to list what's left and ended up with 2,611 symbols that need renaming.

That still leaves local variable to take care of. I'll need to tweak com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsGatherer to find a way to list them. It currently counts them, but doesn't keep track of their names. Then again, maybe a simple classfile printer could do the trick.

Phase I: got started on com.jeantessier.classreader. I'll check it in, and when I'm done, I'll release beta 2 and see the reaction it gathers.

September 01, 2004

Toying with the idea of changing the naming convention to adopt the regular Java convention instead of my beloved C++ convention. This would mean renaming accessors to getX() and setX() and renaming all methods and fields so they start with a lowercase letter and use camel case. That's a lot of work and will obviously break the code of anyone who's be programming to the API. Is it acceptable, if it brings the code in line with what people expect of Java code? And it's quite an undertaking: 239 classes and over 3,000 methods.

August 24, 2004

Configuring FitNesse and HtmlFixture still eludes me. I need some kind of tutorial on how to set them up together. And once that is done, how do I put the tests under source control? Let alone running them automatically from an Ant script? That includes starting a web container, deploying the web app, and connecting to it.

August 23, 2004

Started looking at FitNesse in combination with its HtmlFixture to test the web app.

August 18, 2004

At work, we're using HtmlUnit to test a web app through a browser. I really like the way it simulates the user connection and allows you to query the resulting HTML, including following hyperlinks and submiting forms. This could be very helpful in testing Dependency Finder's web app.

July 21, 2004

Had a baby boy. Work on Dependency Finder will have to slow down for a little while.

July 12, 2004

Someone pointed out that the HTML in the website have a DOCTYPE for HTML 4.01 but actually contain XHTML markup. Things like <br /> and <a name"..." />=. This last one is specially troublesome since most browsers start looking for the closing </a> tag and consider everything past the opening tag a hyperlink. I should change them to <a name"..." ></a>= instead. I'll try to fix them shortly.

July 06, 2004

Some more thoughts about combining selection criteria.

So the target boolean expression is:

    (include1 || include2) && (!exclude1 && !exclude2)

Which we can generalize and rewrite as:

    (include1 || include2 || ...) && !(exclude1 || exclude2 || ...)

Now, most of the time, there is only a single include clause and a single exclude clause. Especially in the GUI and the web application, where I have limited the range of options and where responsiveness is critical. It does not feel right to have all this overhead for traversing composite lists of one subcriteria. In the case where there is only one subcriteria, I should be able to use it directly and forgo all of the composite overhead. But I will need some kind of builder pattern to get to that point, somewhere I can encapsulate the decision of which classes to instantiate as I figure out what the selection expression is going to look like.

July 01, 2004

I realized that my approach to combining regular-expression-based and collection-based selection criteria is flawed. Each one verifies that a given node matches its include terms and does not match its exclude terms. That is, it satisfies the boolean expression:

    (include && !exclude)

But if I combine two criteria with an AND, I get:

    (include1 && !exclude1) && (include2 && !exclude2)

That is, the node must match both includes and neither excludes. What I want, is for the node to match either includes, so I might try combining criteria with an OR:

    (include1 && !exclude1) || (include2 && !exclude2)

But this fails to ensure that the node matches neither excludes. What I really need is:

    (include1 || include2) && (!exclude1 && !exclude2)

That is, I want it to match either includes but none of the excludes. To do this, I will need to split the current criteria classes between include and exclude classes. I will also need a NotCompositeSelectionCriteria.

June 30, 2004

Attended a session at JavaOne on the new annotation mechanism in the upcoming JDK 5.0. This is going to be interesting, from the point of view of parsing .class files and defining language constructs.

June 28, 2004

Attended a session at JavaOne on sorting and filtering in Swing JTables. They had a nice approach to combine multiple levels of sorting and filter on multiple columns. I'll try to incorporate it into OOMetrics when I get a chance.

June 27, 2004

Checked in the new composite selection criteria. Now, I need to put them to good use in the CLI and the appropriate Ant tasks.

June 24, 2004

Extracted common behavior from AndCompositeSelectionCriteria and OrCompositeSelectionCriteria into a common abstract base class CompositeSelectionCriteria

Read a white paper on dependency management by Jorn Bettin. It is very formal when talking about dependencies and complexity, but provides some interesting rationales for controling dependencies. Basically, without strict, mechanized monitoring of dependencies, the project's complexity will spiral out of control and maintainability will go out the door. And what better tool to mechanically look at dependencies than Dependency Finder!

June 23, 2004

Created OrCompositeSelectionCriteria with either / or logic. I think that's the one I want to use. I'll keep AndCompositeSelectionCriteria around as a curiosity. It might come in handy eventually.

June 22, 2004

Created AndCompositeSelectionCriteria so I can combine regular expression-based and list-based selection criteria. This will only be useful for CLI and Ant tasks, since the GUI and the web app do not support list-based selection.

June 16, 2004

Fixed CollectionSelectionCriteria so it has separate include and exclude lists. This way, I can leave the include list as null to indicate a wildcard and explicitly exclude names from a list. The previous implementation applied the the excluded list to a predefined inclusion list, preventing me from doing "anything but ..." type of logic.

Next, I'll need to combine regular expression-based with list-based selection criteria for maximum flexibility. This will mean some kind of AndSelectionCriteria.

June 15, 2004

Checked the help discussion on the project page in SourceForge and found a few new messages since the last time I checked. Somehow, I don't receive emails from that discussion anymore, even though SourceForge still says I'm monitoring it.

June 05, 2004

Discussed possible new icons with my friend who worked on Shrek 2. We brainstormed some ideas around a possible theme and made some promising sketches. I'm eager to see what he'll come up with.

June 03, 2004

As I was tryin to explain scoping and filtering to someone, I came upon a new way of explaining it. The graph really has two dimensions: aggregation betweeen packages, classes, and features, and dependencies between the nodes as a separate dimension. Scoping select specific nodes along the aggregation dimention, while filtering selects specific dependencies along the other dimension. Maybe that will make it a little easier for people to understand what I mean and how to use regular expressions in either context.

There was also some confusion around the com.jeantessier.dependency.Visitor classes. Most of them traverse a graph and leave it intact, but LinkMaximizer and LinkMinimizer actually modify the graph in-place. This means that if you run either one of them on the nodes in a given factory, you can access the maximized or minimized graph through that same factory. But if you use a GraphCopier to get a subgraph, you need to go to the copier's internal factory to get at the subgraph.

May 31, 2004

Fixed documentation for DependencyReporter to include the switches that control what gets shown in the output graph or not.

May 30, 2004

Finished moving my office to the next room down the hall. I do have quite a few books!

Someone asked me how to tie additional information to com.jeantessier.dependency.Node objects for their application. My answer to them is to use the Node instances as keys in a java.util.Map. It implements equals() and hashCode() based on the name of the node, so comparisons will match just fine. This allows you to associate any arbitrary data to nodes without introducing any additional dependencies in the node classes.

May 29, 2004

Started moving my home office to the next room down the hall. Got all the hardware and wiring done.

May 24, 2004

Upgraded the following development components:

Tomcat : 5.0.16 -> 5.0.25

I also came upon a new UML tool called Jude. It has decent sequence diagrams but only supports UML 1.4 yet, not UML 2.0 with the nice ball and socket notation for interfaces. Maybe I can use Poseidon for clas diagrams and Jude for sequence diagram, at the cost of maintaining two models.

May 23, 2004

My neighbor works for DreamWorks and did the illustrations during the rolling credits at the end of Shrek 2. They look like medieval vignettes of various activities, but he somehow managed to have them represent modern activities of moviemaking, such as sound mixing and such.

I asked him if he could do icons for Dependency Finder in the same style and he said he'd look into it. So I put together a list of the icons and how they're used for him to look at. I hope it works out, it would be very cool.

May 22, 2004

New beta release for version 1.1.0. And I forgot to mention, I relabeled 1.0.2 to 1.1.0. I figured the changes to the tools, with the introduction of list-based scoping and filtering warranted a higher version number change.

I tried to generate a distribution that didn't include Xalan or Xerces and relied on what is provided by JDK 1.4.2, but I hit a wall when it came to creating SAX readers. Right now, I explicitly name a reader class from Xerces, which allows me to use custom attributes to trigger validation of the XML. But this custom class is part of Xerces while JDK 1.4.2 ships with Crimson; almost the same, but my reader is not in there. Once I had found the corresponding reader class, the custom attributes didn't match, so I was stuck. Changing reader might lock the code into JDK 1.4.2, which I am still reluctant to do. People relying on prior version of the JDK should still be able to just get the source, get Xerces and Xalan, and simply recompile.

I also tried to package the documentation in a separate JAR file. At one point, the main distribution file was about 800 KB instead of the current 5+ MB, once Xalan and Xerces and the documentation were removed. But since I cannot get rid of Xerces and Xalan just yet, I will wait a little longer before separating the documentation too. Right now, the difference is not worth the added complexity of downloading two files for people who want the documentation.

May 21, 2004

I don't know what SourceForge changed in their system, but their advice for my CVS problems were to get the latest version of my client. I did, and now everything's fine. I find it very hard to believe that they would change something as important as their CVS support without telling anyone. But what can you do.

Upgraded the following development components:

SmartCVS : 2.4.2 -> 3 rc

I was finally able to check in my most recent changes, including documentation of new switches on Ant tasks and use of long names for measurements when writing to .csv files.

Finally got around to updating my copyright notices to 2004.

I want to do a beta release for the next release, tentatively 1.1, compiled only for JDK 1.4.2 and above. This will allow me to see if anyone cares for me to stick with lower versions of the JDK. If enough people complain, I'll do the real release with JDK 1.3 again. Or, they could simply get the source code and compile it themselves with JDK 1.3 and track Xalan on their own, but I would have to stick with Log4J and Jakarta-ORO for this to work.

May 20, 2004

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.6.0 -> 1.6.1

Opened a new trouble ticket with SourceForge. I haven't been able to contact the CVS repository for over a week now.

May 13, 2004

I could depend only on JDK 1.4.2 instead of 1.3. This way, I would not have to ship Xalan with Dependency Finder. I could even go further and use Java Logging and Regex instead of Log4J and ORO respectively. Then, Dependency Finder wouldn't need any third party software.

A while back, I compared Log4J with Java's Logging API and preferred Log4J. It is more flexible and easier to configure. It would feel strange to move away from it now.

I chose ORO because it supports pretty much all of Perl's very rich regular expression language. From what I understand, its coverage even outdoes Java's Regex. But Dependency Finder only uses a small subset of that language, which is equally covered by both package, so I could easily switch.

So switching to JDK 1.4.2 would give me access to both the Logging and Regex APIs. It also includes a complete copy of Xalan. JDK 1.4.1 had a bug in its Xalan, but 1.4.2 is all better.

I wonder how many people out there currently use JDK 1.3 or a version of 1.4 that is below 1.4.2. If I switch now, how many users will not be able to follow? If I don't switch, then I need to keep dragging Log4J and ORO along.

CVS on SourceForge is still out.

May 10, 2004

Documented the new attributes of theDependencyReporter and OOMetrics Ant tasks.

Adjusted the metrics's CSV printer to include each measurement's long name, in addition to their short name, to reduce confusion.

CVS on SourceForge is out. Again.

May 09, 2004

Documented the new switches on DependencyReporter and OOMetrics.

CVS on SourceForge is back.

May 06, 2004

Deleted DeprecationReporter.

Updated the UML diagrams for the package com.jeantessier.metrics.

Fixed javadocs for DocumentableDifference.

CVS on SourceForge is out again. Grrr.

May 05, 2004

CVS on SourceForge is finally back.

May 04, 2004

Cleaned up MartinConfig.xml to compute Robert C. Martin's D' metric. I also drew a diagram of the various measurements and how they feed into each other. This might be useful documentation.

CVS on SourceForge is still down. This is annoying. I don't want to have too much code not checked in; it's not safe.

May 02, 2004

Added scope lists for OOMetrics similar to its current filter lists. I don't know what good they could serve yet, since any such filtering could already be achieved by extracting only the desired classes.

Added -show-all-metrics switch to OOMetrics to show metrics for classes that were not extracted. This is so I can list metrics regarding inbound dependencies on classes outside the examined codebase, so I can group dependencies on deprecated symbols by those same deprecated symbols. It still uses -filter-includes-list to limit the tracking to dependencies on deprecated symbols, but all non-deprecated classes and methods will now be empty. With the new switch, it will list all non-empty metrics, including those metrics attached to symbols outside the codebase.

CVS on SourceForge is down again.

April 30, 2004

Document dependency-related metrics in Developer Guide.

UC Irvine team to do Eclipse plugin using Dependency Finder.

Managed to get Poseidon license on laptop. Latest version supports UML 2.0 with new notation for interfaces. Might be interesting.

CVS on SourceForge is back.

April 29, 2004

Stylesheet for HTML of dependency graphs

Removed Poseidon from my desktop. Had trouble installing license on my laptop.

April 28, 2004

Removed trace, new OOMetrics now takes 6 minutes instead of four hours.

CVS on SourceForge is down. I cannot check in changes.

April 27, 2004

The new OOMetrics on that production code and it still took 4 hours, but at least it worked and stayed under the 500MB heap size. I still need to figure out what it is taking so long. Im tempted to try a custom version of MetricsGatherer that only deals with dependencies.

The metrics configuration had some errors in it, so I mapped it first to verify where each piece of data came from, and then entered a new, much simpler version.

Had to adjust StatisticalMeasurement so it bases its empty status on that of the measurements it monitors. Otherwise it would say it was not empty when it was monitoring a bunch of empty measurements in submetrics.

MetricsGatherer does not track dependencies on fields directly, but rather only the class they are part of. In the context of this latest work, this means it cannot detect dependencies on deprecated fields. Maybe it is not such a big deal, since it will never be able to track dependencies on fields of primitive types (int, float, String, etc.) anyway because they are inlined by the compiler.

April 26, 2004

Tried the new filtered dependency metrics report on some production code at work. Gave it 1GB heap and it crashed after 4 hours with an out of memory error. Filtering in accumulators is too expensive. The elementary measurements (IICM, OIP, ...) still gather all dependencies before we start filtering and they use up all the memory.

So I moved the filtering to MetricsGatherer instead. This way, I can take out dependencies at the source. I only had time to do filter lists now. I'll look at scope lists later. Also, right now the resulting report is broken down by dependency source. Showing them broken down by target is going to be more difficult, but I can use MetricsFactory.AllxxxMetrics() to get at metrics for deprecated symbols outside the codebase.

April 25, 2004

Finished Metrics.Empty(). It recursively looks at any submetrics and also looks at all measurements, ignoring those that are not visible. The stylesheet is also shaping up. I want to take the same approach with my other HTML generators.

Now, OOMetrics skips empty metrics by default. You have to pass it the -show-empty-metrics to see all metrics like before.

I haven't updated the documentation yet.

April 24, 2004

Finished the new types of measurements.

April 23, 2004

Shifted strategy. I'm going to use OOMetrics instead of a simple dependency graph. This allows me to have automatic counts tallied at the class and package level. But the changes are extensive. I need variations on the AccumulatorMeasurement and the ability to ignore empty metrics and focus on the actual offenders.

Also started playing with XSLT stylesheets for converting metrics from XML to text and HTML. I also experimented with using CSS to format the HTML. But with the introduction of external stylesheets, it raise the question of where am I going to put them? I can provide defaults in etc/ or simply embed the stylesheet in the generated HTML. I'm not completely decided yet.

April 22, 2004

DeprecationReporter is working great to track usage of deprecated APIs. Now, I need to provide a summary with counts broken down by package. I should be able to do this using OOMetrics with the right configuration. I will need a new type of measurement to take into account the lists of deprecated elements.

Adjusted the stylesheet for the website and the documentation to remove the underlining in hyperlinks. I think it makes them a little easier to read. They're still blue, so they stand out, of course.

April 21, 2004

DeprecationReporter is not flexible enough, so I found a way to adjust DependencyReporter so I can use it instead. I'm adjusting the printers in the com.jeantessier.dependency package so they can all hide inbound or outbound dependencies or empty nodes. In due time, I'll be able to remove that business logic from XSL stylesheets.

I still have to document the new switches.

I will physically remove DeprecationReporter very soon, before anyone really starts to use it.

I also want to write an HTML printer so I can generate the HTML directly from within the application. Then I could use it in the web app to have nicer output with hyperlinks.

April 20, 2004

Wrote a whole new tool to monitor usage of deprecated APIs. ListDeprecatedElements scans JARs and collects a list of names for deprecated classes, interfaces, fields, methods, and constructors. DeprecationReporter is a variation on DependencyReporter that uses the list instead of regular expressions to figure out the scope and does no filtering. There are CLI and Ant versions of each, with associated documentation.

Refactored TestRecord to use StringReader to read back generated XML documents in strings.

Refactored TestRegularExpressionSelectionCriteria to make all its fields private.

April 19, 2004

Wrote unit test that uses XPath to validate the generated XML from com.jeantessier.diff.Report. This will later help me write tests that use Xalan to test the XSL transformations.

April 18, 2004

I started writing more tests to check that interactions with Xerces are tested. In the process, I cleaned up some of the tests for classes that generate XML documents.

I found some mistakes in classfile.dtd: missing elements, typos in element and attribute names, those sorts of things. I fixed them. I also changed the generated XML so it does not pretend to be standalone anymore. The DTDs are on the project's website, how can these documents be standalone!

Now, I need to write some regression tests for Xalan too.

April 16, 2004

Upgraded the following development components:

Xerces : 2.5.0 -> none
Xalan : 2.5.1 -> 2.6.0

I am not going to chase after Xerces anymore. I do not use anything fancy that would require me to be absolutely up-to-date. I will do just as fine with the version that comes with Xalan. And thie way, I don't have to worry about my Xerces version working with my Xalan version.

April 07, 2004

Someone else asked me about JAR-to-JAR dependencies. Last time I pondered this question was on 2003-11-14.

Since then, I thought of adding another layer at the top of the dependency graph, above the package layer. But passing the JAR information around all the way to the dependency extractor would introduce changes in the data model that I am not completely comfortable with.

Plus, this new layer would be incomplete. What should I do with outbound references to classes beyond the scope of the tool, that are possibly in other, unknown JARs? What should I do with packages that span multiple JARs?

Maybe with a parallel layer besides the packages instead of above it. This would impact visitors and printers and any other parts that deal with the dependency graph. And it still doesn't solve the problem of dependencies on classes outside the ones being analyzed.

I'll need to give this some more thought, still.

April 01, 2004

Built a stop condition for the new closure engine and came up with the public interface so I can control how many layers it computes.

Remove all remaining signs of support for object serialization. This consisted namely of removing code that used to read files and having com.jeantessier.dependency.Node not implement anymore.

March 30, 2004

Release the Dependency Finder tutorial at last. I managed to crop all my screen captures in a consistent fashion. At the last moment, I noticed that a tool tip was on one of the GUI captures. Too bad.

I started thinking about an OO Metrics tutorial too. Setting up a custom configuration is non-trivial and could use some kind of introduction.

March 29, 2004

Removed all support for serialization of the dependency graph. I was never able to deserialize the graphs anyway. I was semi-useful for guesstimating the size of the graph, but DependencyMetrics is much better for that. Serialiazed objects are not forward- compatible anyway, so they do not make a good mechanism for persistence.

I started to compress the sample XML files on the project's home page. They were taking up too much space and making me overrun my quota over there.

March 28, 2004

Did some screen capture for the tutorial. My previous version had crappy mockups in PowerPoint. I captured the same pictures in both the web application and the GUI, but the images are too big (800x600) to put in the PowerPoint slides that make up the tutorial. If I shrink them down to make them fit, I cannot make out the details that I need to show. So I will need to crop the important parts out, on all images.

March 22, 2004

Outfitted the closure engine with an inbound selector in unit tests.

Fixed broken links on the Resources page.

March 21, 2004

Refactored closure selectors to share common code. This will also help me pass an abstract selector to the engine when calculating closures.

March 20, 2004

Added an InboundSelector to compute "upstream" closures.

March 19, 2004

Looked at the bug list and feature request list. It had been a while. There was one bug request regarding broken links on the web site, and two requests for interesting new ways to use JarJarDiff.

It turns out that I had thought of one such way back on 2003-08-19. The idea is to use a dependency graph to list the parts of a third party API you are using. Then feed this list to JarJarDiff to limit the hange report to the subset that you are really using. All the tools are there, it's just a matter of how you use them. I scanned my notes and added them to feature request #900446 until I come up with a formal description.

March 18, 2004

Figured out how to keep the graphs separate while I compute the transitive closure. The selectors and the engine need to keep two lists of nodes, one for each graph. This allows the closure to only copy the nodes and dependencies that will make up the closure.

But I have another problem. What if class A depends on class B, and method foo() of B depends on class C. When I traverse the graph to compute the closure, is it reasonable to visit features of classes for additional dependencies? Does A transitively depend on C in this case?. At runtime, it would only if foo() is called as a result of interactions on with A. If that were the case, the graph would have a path from some feature of A to foo() anyway, so maybe the transitive closure engine doesn't need to go the extra distance. I'll think about it some more.

March 17, 2004

More work on TransitiveClosureEngine. I'm stuck in the selectors and how they navigate the original graph and copy only what's needed to the destination graph, all the while keeping track of individual layers as I build the closure.

March 15, 2004

Finished the initial step in the new transitive closure algorithm. Now, I need to work on each step's processing, where I incrementally build the closure, one level at a time.

March 14, 2004

Started working of a NodeSelector to handle the initial step of the new transitive closure algorithm. I need to take a scope criteria and traverse the graph, collecting nodes matching the closure's starting point as I go.

March 12, 2004

I have a problem with test-driven development. People say you can use the test suite to document how to use a system; but if I'm new to this software, which one of the hundreds of tests should I look at first? I have been toying with the idea of using the dependency graph to categorize the tests and maybe provide a order in which to approach them. I wonder if I could use some clever heuristic estimate the complexity of a given test. I would have to start with a test method and look at dependencies to other classes and methods in the same package. I don't know what the heuristics would look like, yet.

I tried to list OO metrics for test classes by using a group definition. I noticed that the group counters for the group I had created were all at zero. It looked strange since the first one is the number of public classes and it said zero. Statistical measurements were just fine. After investigating a bit, I realized the counters are incremented by MetricsGatherer, but only for the package group of a given class. My custom group never had a chance.

I also noticed one more problem. The statistical measurements at the project level take all groups into account, packages and user-defined. This means that SLOC counts some classes more than once, for example. I don't have a solution at this time.

March 07, 2004

Following a recommendation from a user, I reworked the documentation for scoping and filtering in Ant tasks.

March 04, 2004

Adjusted PermissiveDispatcher so it ignores HTML files. I also gave it its own unit tests.

A number of people have been asking about why Dependency Finder does not list line numbers where dependencies occur. I added a section in the User Manual that explains how the line number information in .class files is so fragmented as to be useless. I put it under the "Limitations" heading.

March 02, 2004

Scott Stirling pointed out IBM's SA4J to me. Apparently, IBM acquired SmallWorlds and this is based on the SmallWorlds tool. It would explain why my link to SmallWorlds on the Resource page is broken. Thanks Scott for pluging Dependency Finder in a related article on TheServerSide.COM.

Scott also gave me some feedback on the documentation and submitted some improvements. He's also investigating graphical rendering of graphs on his own. I'll keep you posted.

March 01, 2004

IBM released a review of Structural Analysis for Java (SA4J).

February 26, 2004

I've been reading "UML for Java Programmers" by Robert C. Martin. In one chapter, he talks about dependency management and recommends using tools to automatically track them in code. He goes so far as to recommend JDepend to readers. I wonder if he'd recommend Dependency Finder too. Maybe if I add a package-level dependency cycle detection feature, it would make the tool even more useful. At some point, I will have to start thinking about going beyond the raw data and have the tools do more work when it comes to analyzing design quality factors.

February 25, 2004

Got started on a TransitiveClosureEngine to handle the next version of transitive closures. The engine should select a starting point in the graph and incrementally grow a subgraph from that initial set of nodes until some termination criteria is met. This could be that a given node is reached or that a certain number of steps have been taken.

Added a link to the patch tracker on SourceForge from the project's home page.

February 21, 2004

Finished passing XML encoding to XML writers.

February 20, 2004

Worked on having XML writers take an optional encoding identifier. The default is UTF-8 but may not be enough if some Java identifiers contain multibyte characters. I tried UTF-16, but IE and Xerces had trouble with it. So I'll just let the caller pick something they like.

February 19, 2004

Fixed ClassReader so it processes multiple .class files correctly. I modified the DTD to allow multiple <classfile> tags within an all inclusive <classfiles> tag. I logged it as bug #900938.

I fixed it immediately as patch #900942.

February 18, 2004

Someone has been having a number of issues. I'll be able to fix some of them, but not all.

First, they analyzed classes with non-ASCII characters in identifiers. For example, a class name or method name that includes an "é" character. I was surprised that javac will let you do such a thing; it turns out this is perfectly legal. Anyway, the encoding for XML output is UTF-8. XML parsers cannot read the data correctly because the characters in the stream do not correspond to the UTF-8 encoding. They would like me to ad an option to specify a custom encoding.

I looked into this an since Dependency Finder simply write out String objects, maybe I should simply use Java's default encoding instead. The documentation says this should be UTF-16, but when I try it, Xerces complains about byte ordering. And IE complains about the encoding not being supported. More thought needed.

Second, the .class file parser throws a ClassCastException when it encounters unknown, illegally constructed attribute_info structures. Apparently, this was with output from Visual Age for Java. I logged it as bug #900060.

I fixed it immediately as patch #900062.

Third, they encountered the situation I described on 2004-02-03. I am starting to think that maybe I should do something about it. But what?

Fourth, and last, they tried to run ClassReader on a whole JAR file. It is designed for use on one file at a time (in spite of what the documentation says), not on a whole codebase. The result is an invalid XML document with repeated DOCTYPE and no root tag. I'll try to fix that tomorrow.

Ran this journal throught a spelling checker.

February 17, 2004

Fixed a broken link to Poseidon for UML in the user manual.

February 16, 2004

Someone at work brought TouchGraph to my attention. It's a graph package for complex graphs that lay themselves out. You can collapse nodes and stretch things around. It looks very cool and maybe I could make use of it in Dependency Finder for some kind of rendering of dependency graphs. I looked at the code on SourceForge, but there is no documentation and I don't have the time to investigate further right now. Maybe later...

February 09, 2004

Last November, I nominated Dependency Finder for the 2003 Jolt Award at Software Development magazine. Today, they announced the finalists. I'm afraid it didn't make the cut. Not that I had high hopes or anything. It did get a mention in the magazine after all.

February 06, 2004

Software Development magazine published a piece on open source software in which they mention Dependency Finder. It is listed right alongside heavy hitters like LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), Perl, and JUnit. My name is listed with the likes of Richard Stallman, Larry Wall, Linus Torvalds, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Kent Beck, ...

... eh! ... wait a minute! ...

... all these guys are übergeeks! ...

They've put me in with a bunch of geeks! Args!!!


Or more precisely: :-D

February 03, 2004

Someone came up with some weird behavior in Dependency Finder and asked me for an explanation. It turns out to be caused by some interesting things done by the Java compiler. I touched upon it back on 2004-01-07, but I'll elaborate further here.

First, suppose you have the following classes A and B:

    class B {
        void b() {}
    class A extends B {
        void a() {

Now, imagine for a second that we have the following class C:

    class C {
        A a = new A();
        void foo() {

The compiler resolves the line "a.b()" as a call to method b() on object a of type A. The JDK 1.3 compiler will see that method b() is actually defined in superclass B of class A and will generate bytecode to call "method b() in class definition B, or one of its superclasses".

This is fine and dandy as long as nobody overrides b() in subclasses of B, like A for instance. Imagine that someone overrides b() in A but does not recompile C, maybe because this client code was developed by someone else and the person making the change is unaware of its existence. Now C will go on calling "method b() in class definition B", even though the instance a is of type A and now has a new definition for its method b(). The compiler said "call the method defined in B" and that's what the VM will do.

So the good people at Sun changed the compiler in JDK 1.4 to use the type of the reference instead of where it thinks the method is located. The VM will walk the inheritance tree at runtime to find the method. So in the JDK 1.4-compiled version of C even if class A does not override the method b(), the bytecode essentially says to call "method b() in class definition A, or one of its superclasses". Now, even if we modify A without recompiling C, the method will resolve correctly.

Let's take a closer look back at class A's method a(). In reality, it is calling method b() on the implicit this variable, which is of type A. So if you compile A with JDK 1.3, it will try to call method b() in class B. If you compile it with JDK 1.4, it will try to call method b() in class A.

Dependency Finder gets its information from the bytecode in the compiled Java class. It provides you with an exact rendition of what the compiler did. In the case of the code above, compiled with JDK 1.4, it will list a dependency A.a() --> A.b(), even though there may not be any method b() in class A.

Now you may ask "Can't Dependency Finder figure it out and assign the dependency to method b() in class B?" The answer is no, it can't. For starters many dependencies go to classes that the tool will never see such as classes and features in external libraries that may not get analyzed, such as rt.jar. Then, there is the issue of starting to make assumptions. I've resisted the temptation to make any assumptions so far. I would rather have to tools present an unmodified view of reality and not run the risk of misleading users with possibly invalid assumptions. Even if this means that results look strange from time to time.

I also had someone else ask me about a launching script for JarJarDiff on AS/400. I have never even seen as AS/400 system, so all I could do was to point them to the current Windows and Unix scripts, and what it is that the JarJarDiff tool classes do, in the hope that they are able to fix it for their system.

February 02, 2004

Looking at the release plan, I think I'm a little dispersed right now. I need to focus and get things rolling again. The holiday break really threw me off and left me with a couple of unfinished tasks. I'm going to complete the documentation and fix the dependency closure bugs and ship the net release ASAP.

January 30, 2004

Turns out the discussion on praprog was aimed at code analyzers that are part of the language compilers and how they traverse parse trees to determine the type of expressions in loosely typed languages. It was not directly related to the work done by Dependency Finder, but there were still some interesting ideas. Like Tarjan's algorithm for finding minimum spanning trees using depth-first search. It was a good exercise, even if the knowledge will not be immediately useful.

January 29, 2004

Dependency Finder is three years old!

I have been thinking some more about tracking inter-JAR dependencies. I could come up with some kind of GroupNode that would be the parent of PackageNode. But this assumes that packages are wholly contained in one location, which is not necessarily the case. An alternative would be for groups to be made of arbitrary sets of classfiles, kind of like the group functionality in OOMetrics, where classes can be part of more than one grouping. Some groups represent packages while others could represent JAR files. Still needs more thought.

The praprog mailing list had a discussion on dependency cycles and some of the theory behind cycle detection and resolution. Looks like I'll need to hit the books to keep myself current. :-)

January 27, 2004

Started working on a tool to list packages by JAR file in a given codebase. I'm thinking I could turn this into a way to track classes by their location, be it a loose class file or as part of a JAR file. I have had a few requests for tracking inter-JAR dependencies and this could be a step in that direction.

January 26, 2004

Yesterday, I forgot to refactor the JSPs to use the new SelectionCriteria instead of the previous SelectiveTraversalStrategy directly. Of course, the Ant task for compiling JSPs using Jasper has changed between Tomcat 4.1.27 and Tomcat 5.0.16, so I had to spend a fair amount of time getting my custom Ant build script up to stuff. After that, upgrading the JSPs was pretty easy.

There was a thread on the praprog mailing list about code inspection tools. At first, I didn't want to mention Dependency Finder because the original message asked for tools to evaluate code style and unused variables/methods. Dependency Finder can't do much about style, and while it can find elements that are not referenced directly, that does not necessarily mean they are not used. They could be interface methods or things called via reflection. But then, someone else brought up JDepend, so I had to say something. Some of the other tools mentioned:

I haven't tried any of them myself, but some of the brochures looked nice.

January 25, 2004

I'm done with the refactoring. It was a lot of work but went on smoothly. Now, I move on to the next task in fixing the closure logic.

January 24, 2004

I started revamping the dependency closure computations. First, I need to extract node selection logic to its own class and refactor SelectiveTraversalStrategy to use the new SelectionCriteria to determine both scope and filter. This is getting to be quite an undertaking, but it will help the new closure logic figure out starting nodes and stopping conditions.

January 21, 2004

Tried the web application with Tomcat 5.0. Someone claimed they had trouble deploying Dependency Finder with it. I'm afraid this is going to turn into one of those nasty "It works fine on my machine" as I was unable to reproduce their problem.

January 19, 2004

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.5.3-1 -> 1.6.0
Jakarta ORO : 2.0.7 -> 2.0.8

There is a nice new feature in Javadoc that Ant 1.6 now makes available to me. The -linksource switch to Javadoc links the documentation to the source code. An HTML-ized version of the source files is created alongside the javadocs. I also saw something called either "j2h" or "java2html" a while back that created hyperlinked version of the source code, complete with syntax highlighting. I wonder if I could somehow get to two to work together. The links between documentation and source could definitely be useful, and the syntax highlighting is quite cool too.

I hesitated to checking the new version of build.xml that uses the linksource attribute to the <java> task. This would require that people upgrade to Ant 1.6 just to compile Dependency Finder. But then again, it is only if they try to generate the javadocs, so it shouldn't really be a problem.

January 16, 2004

Found a reference to Dependency Finder on the OSSwin project page. They had mistakenly listed the licensing scheme as GPL when it is actually BSD, but it has all been fixed now. This project is a nice, comprehensive list of open source software for the Windows platform.

I also found someone who listed Dependency Finder in their resume under a "tools used" heading. I will take it as a testimony to the broad acceptance and wide adoption of Dependency Finder. :-)

Someone asked if I could add the line number where the dependencies occur in the dependency graph. Back on 2002-10-31, I had toyed with the idea of modeling each dependency with their own object. This would allow me to collect a lot more data about each dependency, but at the cost of massive object creation. I'm afraid this would impact performance too much. I'll keep thinking about it some more.

January 14, 2004

Latest SourceForge tallies show downloads only for old release files:

These coincide with the first time these names were used, when I removed the release label from the file names. I suspect that some new logic for tallying downloads at SourceForge looks at filename now instead of what maybe used to be either a combination of release ID and filename or some form of file ID.

Actually, looking at the links on the download page, the links for the various files are identical. I wonder what people are downloading? The most recent file or one from over 18 months ago? A quick download at least reassured me that they are indeed sending the most recent file, but that's regardless of which link I click. I cannot download any of the previous versions; I always end up with the most recent file.

So I always download the most recent file by a given name, but the download gets tallied with the oldest file by that name. Strange. I hope this is temporary and the SourceForge people fix this soon. Otherwise, I'll have to reinstate the version label in the filenames (which might actually not be a bad idea).

January 12, 2004

Updated this journal.

Added quotes to the website.

Cleaned up leftover text on the resources page.

Now, I need to go and update all the copyright notices to 2004.

The SourceForge website mentions that project statistics are currently impacted by known issues. They are working on it. They have been affected since 2003-12-22.

January 11, 2004

I fixed my HTML scraper to account for the new HTML on SourceForge's download page. It now seems to work just fine. But the data on SourceForge is stale. The statistics page only go to December 30, 2003. I fear that SourceForge is having problems with its statistics collection again.

Apparently, there were over 50 downloads of release 20020127 during the holidays. I don't see why people would be interested in that old version. Something is definitely fishy with SourceForge's statistics and download tallies.

January 08, 2004

Rosalyn Lum, of Software Development magazine, sent me an email to enquire about Dependency Finder. It seems it might get mentioned in their upcoming March issue. Yeah!

January 07, 2004

Researched how inherited methods are represented in compiled code. Method access is resolved based on the type of the object reference through which the call is made. In the case of a concrete class calling its inherited methods, it does so against the this implicit variable which is typed to the concrete class itself. Hence, all the dependencies are to the concrete versions of the methods.

Here, JDK 1.3 and JDK 1.4 differ slightly. In JDK 1.3, the compiler would resolve method calls to where the methods are defined in the inheritance hierarchy. In JDK 1.4, the calls are resolved to the lowest point in the inheritance hierarchy. This allows redefinition of the method in subsequent versions of subclasses, where appropriate. With the JDK 1.3 compiled class, it would have to be recompiled to benefit from the new definitions.

Look to 2004-02-03 for an example.

Someone is having trouble deploying the web application in Tomcat 5.0. I will have to research this further.

January 06, 2004

Someone is asking about classes depending on methods they inherit from interfaces or abstract supeclasses. If a concrete class calls one of its own methods that it inherited from an interface or an abstract superclass, there is no dependency recorded between the concrete class and its ancestor. I'll need to research this a little further.

January 03, 2004

I have an automated task that scrapes the SourceForge "Files" page for Dependency Finder and saves the download tallies in a .csv file. I've been running it for over a year now. I have a nice graph in Excel showing trends and releases. I was a little apprehensive about my Windows 98 PC not crashing while I was away on vacation, so I was relieved to find it still running upon my return. But unfortunately, SourceForge changed the HTML for the page the day after I left, with the result that I collected no data for the whole time I was away. And now, I must rewrite the HTML scraper to account for the new HTML.

December 31, 2003

I'm away on vacation, but I still found the time to check in on messages. Someone has been having difficulties but I think it's just a corrupted .class file.

They also asked to track database calls. I hope they meant calls on the JDBC API. It is very difficult to track the actual SQL from within Java. You need to setup dynamic proxies to trap all calls to statement objects and resolve parameters and all other kinds of transformations. This is way beyond the capabilities of Dependency Finder, and well nigh impossible with static analysis alone.

December 15, 2003

Came up with much better screenshots.

Started working on how to break up analysis of large codebases. I am struggling with where to put it, though. Should it go in the Manual or as part of the samples?

December 14, 2003

False alarm. They reinstalled the latest version of Dependency Finder and it now works just fine. I am extremely relieved to hear this. I was not looking forward to tracking weird flushing bugs.

Created a patch for fixing the long names for IEPM and OEPF and published it as patch #860191.

Fixed Ant tasks that are subclasses of GraphTask to accept multiple graphs. Like <javac> and others, you can use either the srcfile attribute or a nested <src> element, or you can even use both. It uses a path-like structure, but I wanted to use a FileSet instead. You cannot really provide a directory, you have to specify XML files. But as I was editing the documentation, I came upon tasks that are subclasses of FileSet and can have nested <include> elements. I'll have to look into doing something similar instead of what I did just now.

I wanted to look at the size of serialized graphs to compare full graphs to class-to-class graphs. The way references are handled in serialized graphs is closer to how it's handled in memory than my own XML format. But I ran into a stack overflow situation when I tried to serialize this one graph. This whole idea of serializing graphs is just getting worse and worse.

December 13, 2003

Well, it didn't work out. They tried to break down their codebase but all their DependencyReporter output is either of size zero or badly truncated.

Back in July, I had problems with truncated files, but back then it was because instances were not being closed. I removed all calls to because the stream is supposed to be automatically flushed when it is closed. It has worked just well for me since then and I am troubled that they should be having these kinds of problems.

They gave me a copy of their codebase to try and recreate the problem, but it worked fine for me. I'm down to thinking maybe it's because they're on Linux, for some reason. But that can't be it.

As I was working out their problem, I realized how great it is to have DependencyReporter to merge graphs together. I can give it as many graphs as I want and it can combine them all together. I noticed the Ant task version doesn't do that; it can only take a single graph at a time. I'll need to fix that.

I fixed measurements IEPM's and OEPF's long name. Now, I'll need to create a patch for this.

December 12, 2003

That one customer with the large codebase and low memory still has problems. They had tried OOMetrics without much success. The dependency-related measurement proved too hard to figure out right. I really need to do something about them.

So, they need to count dependencies between classes.

One approach is to use the dependency counts from OOMetrics. The downside is that it uses an AggregatingClassfileLoader to load all the class structures before making any measurements. Some measurements attempt to traverse multiple classes and the tool must make sure they are present in memory at that time.

Another option is to use DependencyExtractor to extract a dependency graph first, and then get the information from it. DependencyExtractor uses a TransientClassfileLoader and discards each class structure as soon as it's gotten the dependency information it needs. The memory requirements are much less.

But for a large codebase, the resulting graph can still be quite large. If you are really restrained memory-wise, it may still be too much. My customer was trying to run DependencyExtractor to create one large graph and then reduce it with c2c. Since all they needed were class-to-class dependencies, we figured they could run DependencyExtractor multiple times on subsets of the codebase, run c2c on the resulting graph subsets, and finally recombine the now much smaller class-to-class graphs. After trying this with DependencyFinder.jar, it turned out that the class-to-class graph reduced complexity by 98% compared to the equivalent extracted graph. I'm anxious to see if this worked for them.

December 11, 2003

Someone has been trying to analyze a large codebase with limited memory. They're interested in counting class-level dependencies and have been using DependencyReporter to reduce the graph and then count inbound and outbound dependencies. I suggested they use OOMetrics instead. It has a whole group of oddly named measurements (OEP, IIPM, etc.) that already track dependencies. As I was reviewing them especially in the context of MartinConfig.xml, I realized they were kind of cryptic and I need to document what each one does and how you can combine them to arrive at the counts you're interested in.

I noticed that measurement IEPM and OEPF had the wrong long name. They said "Extra-Class" when they are actually "Extra-Package".

December 10, 2003

Got a new laptop. Now I can have something closer to a real development environment.

Upgraded the following development components:

OS : Windows 98 -> Windows XP Home
JDK 1.3 : 1.3.1_05 -> 1.3.1_09
JDK 1.4 : 1.4.1 -> 1.4.2_03
Tomcat : 4.1.27-LE-jdk14 -> 5.0.16

With the Windows XP based on Windows NT, I can actually use the startup scripts that ship with Dependency Finder. On Windows 98, I had to use variations that worked around limited memory and an impossibility to create temporary environment variables.

December 09, 2003

Added help links to the resources page.

Started an embryonic screenshot gallery.

December 06, 2003

Added a feature to ClassMetrics that counts the occurrence of each VM instruction in the analyzed codebase. I had to do some minor refactoring of classes Hex and Instruction. The feature is actually in the class com.jeantessier.classreader.MetricsGatherer and used by the UI classes for the CLI and the matching Ant task.

December 05, 2003

Steve Kirk sent me his rt.jar file. I tried ClassList on it with logging turned on to see exactly where it fails. I also discovered "javap -c classname" which dumps the instruction sequence for each method. I compared the sequence from my logs with the one from javap to see if I'm interpreting the bytecode correctly.

It turns out the class com.jeantessier.classreader.Instruction had the wrong size for the instruction "fstore". It listed it as 1 byte when it is really 2 bytes. This threw off the bytecode reader and eventually led to some runtime exception that crashed the program. I have fixed it and published a patch for it as patch #855085.

I find it had to believe that it took over two years for this bug to surface. I'm very tempted right now to write a tool that counts the number of times each instruction is present in a give codebase. With it, I could see if maybe some other rarely used instruction is also be wrong in com.jeantessier.classreader.Instruction.

December 04, 2003

Steve Kirk has been having problems analyzing rt.jar from JDK 1.4.2_01 on Linux. From the error message he sent me, it seems the bytecode is screwed up. One instruction tries to look up entry 47105 in a constant pool that has only 445 entries. It would appear that the compiler generated bad bytecode. In any other software, I'd believe that. But in the JDK itself? I'll have him send me the file so I can investigate this myself.

December 03, 2003

Someone brought NoUnit to my attention. From what little I read, they seem to be using a .class file parsing library from NetBeans to get a method call graph. I guess they then use logic similar to dependency closures to figure out if methods are called directly from unit tests or if indirectly, how many degrees are they removed from the tests. Since they only analyze .class files and then use XSL transforms for rendering the information, they cannot take into account conditional logic. As far as I can see, the information can only be an educated guess at best. I think you'd be better off using a code coverage tool like Clover or jcoverage to run the tests. Maybe NoUnit can give a quick estimate since you don't need to run the tests, and that is worth something.

November 30, 2003

Nominated Dependency Finder for the 2003 Jolt Award at Software Development magazine. When I have a URL for people to use to vote for Dependency Finder, I'll post it here.

November 29, 2003

Release 1.0.1. Of course, as I was closing down, I noticed that I had forgotten one image file. So the new release is not even 12 hours old and it already has a patch. Bummer.

November 28, 2003

Fixed bug #804400. It dealt with "start ..." commands in both DependencyFinder.bat and OOMetrics.bat batch files. I added a quoted string right after the initial start so the shell interprets the executable name correctly under all circumstances.

Ant's latest version of their list of external tools now includes Dependency Finder. That was quick!

November 26, 2003

Sent a message on Ant's user mailing list to request that they add Dependency Finder to Ant's list of external tools. I'll have to keep an eye on their file to see how long it takes them to include the reference.

Did some code clean up to replace error reporting via system println() calls with logging via Log4J instead.

I want to revamp the release schedule. I'm going to break it up into smaller chunks so I can have smaller, more frequent releases. I am going to put most of the small, miscellaneous tasks as "unscheduled", that is I will not hold up a release just because of them, but I will work on them as time allows.

November 25, 2003

Used Ant to compile JSPs for dependency analysis. I'll have an Ant build.xml soon.

November 14, 2003

Someone asked me about a tool to do jar-to-jar dependencies. I've been thinking for some time now about a tool to list dependencies between JAR files, but it hasn't gone beyond being just a thought, yet.

I was about to say that if the project is small enough, you can always do the jar-to-jar analysis manually with the help of some package-to-package reports. I was going to show an example using Dependency Finder, but even this small example ends up being quite big. In the end, I don't think this would work on anything beyond a trivial example.

For example, if I run this against Dependency Finder, I get:

    % DependencyExtractor -xml -out df.xml DependencyFinder.jar
    % p2p -scope-includes /^com.jeantessier/   \
          -filter-excludes /^java/             \
          -filter-excludes /^com.jeantessier/  \
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.apache.oro.text.perl
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.apache.oro.text
        --> org.apache.oro.text.perl
        --> org.xml.sax
        --> org.xml.sax.helpers
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.xml.sax
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.apache.oro.text.perl
        --> org.xml.sax
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.apache.oro.text.perl
        --> org.apache.log4j
        --> org.apache.oro.text
        --> org.apache.oro.text.perl
        --> org.xml.sax
        --> org.xml.sax.helpers
        --> org.apache.oro.text
        --> org.apache.oro.text.regex

There are a number of problems:

  1. There are quite a few packages and a lot of repeated information. If some JARs are quite obvious, like ant.jar, jakarta-oro.jar, and log4j.jar, it is not clear where "org.xml.*" would come from. I'm thinking that the JVM would probably get them from its BOOTCLASSPATH.
  2. It the tool analyzes A.jar, it will find dependencies on packages outside of A.jar. It would then be quite difficult, maybe impossible, to find out in which JARs these extra packages are located. The tool would need a mapping of packages to JAR; this mapping would preferably be generated automatically by some other tool.
  3. It is possible to put two classes of a package in two separate JARs. This means that the tool would have to work at the class level instead of the package level.

I'm sorry there is no obvious answer to this problem, but I will keep thinking about it. In the meantime, there are some tools on the Internet that track jar-to-jar dependencies. Just google it. :-)

November 13, 2003

Finished the "about..." box for the GUI. I used Swing and JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(), the Internal version was for MDI applications.

Reorganized the release plan. Pushed back documentation and moved unscheduled HTML output forward.

November 12, 2003

Looked at building and "about..." box for the GUI. I started with the one in JUnit, but it is based on AWT. I think that I may be able to cook up something similar using Swing instead. I'll start with JOptionPane.showInternalMessageDialog() and see where it leads.

November 11, 2003

Fixed the progress bar in the GUI. DependencyFinder and OOMetricsGUI now scan ahead to count files and classes and use this information to drive a more accurate progress bar.

November 07, 2003

Svetlin Stanchev brought up the idea of having the web application produce HTML instead of pre-formatted text. I already have an unscheduled task for this, so now I must decide whether or not to move it forward. I could use a dedicated Printer subclass, like I do for text rendering. This has the disadvantage of duplicating the logic of rendering a dependency graph to a Java class and an XSL transformation. But I already did it for the text form, so there is a precedent ... I'm just not sure it really is a good thing.

October 30, 2003

Fixed MaximumCapacityPatternCache. It turns out that Perl5Util use a second cache internally which is initialized with the pattern cache's capacity. This additional cache pre-allocates memory proportionally to the capacity, in my case proportionally to Integer.MAX_VALUE, or about 2 billions. I changed my cache to use a hard-coded value of 20. That should be enough to keep things going.

I added my new cache in a few other Perl5Util instances where they might run into many regular expressions. I had to create a new package, com.jeantessier.text for the ORO-related class.

Added xml-apis.jar and xercesImpl.jar to the web application's WAR file.

Fixed junit.bat and textjunit.bat to use xml-apis.jar instead of the former xmlParserAPIs.jar.

October 29, 2003

Svetlin Stanchev requested a variation of the web application that can read in a dependency graph saved as an XML document. This way, one can build on one machine, including generating the graph, and only copy the graph to the web server machine instead of copying all the classes resulting from the compilation. It sounded like a good idea and so I added load.jsp to do just that. I might have to redesign the footer a little and the web app's parameters. One drawback is that in order to read the XML document, the web application needs an XML parser. This means I need to add Xerces to the web app, bumping up the WAR file's size considerably.

By configuring Log4J correctly, Svetlin Stanchev took graph extraction from 6 hours down to 10 minutes. I'm happy about that.

I was trying to analyze the main JAR file of Together Control Center as an example of working with a large piece of software (i.e., with a huge number of classes). I didn't get very far because one of the classes in the JAR appeared corrupted and broke the whole .class file loading process. I adjusted ClassfileLoaderEventSource so it can skip single, malformed classes without aborting everything. It turns out they used an obfuscator and it added a text file with a .class extension, fooling Dependency Finder ginto trying to parse it like a regular .class file with bytecode in it.

I gave a shot at Feature Request 825582, the one about the pattern cache for Perl5Util. I tried to build a cache based on a simple HashMap with "unlimited" capacity, but when I use it in SelectiveTraversalStrategy, I get a bunch of OutOfmemoryError even from seemingly unrelated areas of the code. More later...

October 28, 2003

Expanded the documentation for dealing with Ant and XSL transforms. Check out the documentation, under the "Ant Tasks" heading.

As I was preparing a reply to the original call for help, I noticed that whether or not Log4J is configured properly can have a huge impact on the performance of the tasks. In one test, running DependencyExtractor on Dependency Finder itself took over 7 minutes with the missing Log4J configuration versus 14 seconds with the configuration that ships with Dependency Finder. So if you find that Dependency Finder is a little unresponsive, you might want to check your Log4J configuration.

October 27, 2003

The "No more DTM IDs" problem with using Ant's <xslt> task has surfaced again. I had not given it any thoughts since last April. The solution is to upgrade Xalan in JDK 1.4.1 or use its java.endorsed.dirs settings. I added an additional documentation page under "tasks", but I will need to explain it further and tests workarounds.

Added so defining Ant tasks is made easier.

October 24, 2003

Svetlin Stanchev asked me to include a property file for Ant tasks directly into DependencyFinder.jar, and also asked for more extended Ant documentation. I have had a task on my desk to provide more process-related documentation for the Ant tasks and provide examples of how to use them together to provide added value. I guess it's time I get to it.

Jason Bell, in his JDJ editorial for October 2003, talks about "dependency rot" and how tracking dependencies is critical. I need to make him aware of Dependency Finder! :-)

October 21, 2003

Fixed progress bar notification in GUI. It had trouble dealing with the processing of nested groups and was getting off track. In doing so, I ended up renaming events under DependencyListener and MetricsListener from StartX() and StopX() to BeginX() and EndX() respectively. This way, all events follow the same convention. It could impact people who developed on top of Dependency Finder, I'll see if it causes an uproar. They should be able to upgrade by simply renaming their methods and adding empty implementations for the new BeginSession() and EndSession() events.

October 18, 2003

Added copyright dates to the version information. I will need to do something about the code duplication in all the CLI tools.

I want to nominate Dependency Finder for the next Jolt Awards. I couldn't last year because products needed to have had a major release in the year, but now with 1.0 out and 1.0.1 on the way, I'm in the clear.

October 17, 2003

Someone tried to run a dependency query with an exclusion list that had over 10,000 regular expressions! On a sizeable codebase, the whole thing took about 13 hours. They dug around a bit and found that Perl5Util only caches 20 regular expressions at a time by default. Their query was taking forever because the ORO engine was constantly recompiling regular expressions. They entered Feature Request 825582 at to request some way to adjust the caching configuration for Perl5Util.

I added a -version switch to most CLI tools. It prints version information from the JAR file's manifest and then exits the tool.

I have a problem with some of the tools that require some mandatory switches, such as ClassClassDiff and JarJarDiff. The command-line parser throws an exception when the mandatory switches are missing, therefore bypassing any further processing. Right now, I can't do anything about it and the user must provide the mandatory switches to see the version output. I see one possible way to handle it. The parser could throw a different type of exception when mandatory switches are missing. The caller could catch the exception and still inspect the command-line for the -version switch. If it is present, the caller could then print version data instead of usage data.

For the GUI, I want to use an "About ..." box in the menu bar. I will look at the code in JUnit for "inspiration".

October 15, 2003

Someone claimed that ListDocumentedElements was missing some elements, "whole classes". They wouldn't give me more details. How can they expect me to find and fix a potential problem if they won't even help me recreate it? It'd be one thing if they were some unrelated party working on proprietary code that they can't show me, but this was a coworker. We work together on the same code. They just didn't want to be bothered. So if anybody out there ever sees this too, where ListDocumentedElements is missing some valid elements, please let me know. Until now, it has worked just fine for me, so I'll just assume that my coworker had a bad configuration.

October 09, 2003

For a while, I had thought about modifying OOMetrics to output multiple formats in one call. You could call it with -csv, -txt, and -xml to generate all three formats at the same time. And I could do the same thing with other tools than generate multiple output formats. I finally decided against. There is very little value in this feature and it would need broad sweeping changes in the way tools interpret command-line arguments, such as figuring out the extension for the output filename. I'll just leave things as they are for now.

October 01, 2003

Adjusted the verbose output in the CLI and Ant packages. I still have to deal with the progress bar in the GUI.

Possible third-party software that might be useful:

JCharts SourceForge graphical charting package
JOpenChart SourceForge graphical charting package
The Big Faceless Java Graph Library The Big Faceless Organization graphical charting package
The Big Faceless Java PDF Library The Big Faceless Organization library for handling PDF documents
Japhar JVM
Kaffe JVM
Jeode esmertec JVM

I haven't checked them yet. More on this later.

September 30, 2003

Someone wrote to me saying they had problems with ListUnused. It was showing their constants as unused. This is because the compiler inlines them in the bytecode if they are simple enough. I amended the documentation for ListUnused to explain this in a little more details.

September 29, 2003

Someone wrote to me saying they had they couldn't figure out the measurements names from their short acronyms in CSV output. I pointed them to the metrics configuration XML document, which lists the long name next to each measurement's short name. I also pointed out that the text and XML outputs list both side by side.

Back when I was preparing version 1.0, I toyed with the idea of having part of the documentation describe each measurement the same way that I have detailed descriptions for each tool in Dependency Finder. I gave up it when I figured that the long names were already fairly indicative and keeping this document in sync with the configuration file would be a lot of work. Maybe I can still add a simple description section in the descriptor...

September 25, 2003

Moved the GUI's LoadListener implementations to use the new VerboseListenerBase. Instead of mingling it in the action class, I moved it out into delegate listener classes. Again, classes should do one thing only, and do it well. A lesson to remember.

Now that the GUI, the CLI, and the Ant tasks have access to the full group processing stack, I can work on to how use that information in the progress messages.

September 24, 2003

Found some interesting leads for free graphical packages in next month's JavaPro magazine. I will need to look more closely into JChart and JOpenChart. There also seems to be a few packages out there for dealing with PDF files. That could also be an interesting avenue for future development.

That same issue of JavaPro also listed Small Worlds as an analysis tool. I will need to write to them that maybe they should have listed Dependency Finder too. :-)

Moved the CLI's and Ant's VerboseListener classes to use the new VerboseListenerBase. I aligned their output to match more closely that of extract.jsp.

Interestingly, I had CLI's VerboseListener extend from for some reason. Of course, it made changing in to extend from VerboseListenerBase instead a rather interesting experience. Let this be a lesson against inheriting implementation. Incidentally, the other candidates for extending VerboseListenerBase are in the GUI and already extend javax.swing.AbstractAction. I am not sure how I'm going to deal with this one, yet.

September 22, 2003

I'm rewriting the VerboseListener classes to use the group tracking behavior I wrote for extract.jsp. I started by extracting the basis from it and moving it into the com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder package.

September 18, 2003

Martin Fowler reorganized the articles on his web page, so I had to adjust the URLs on the resources page. Thanks to Vadim Nasardinov for pointing it out.

September 10, 2003

Added an extraction timestamp to the JSPs' footer. I was tired of always having to manually type the URL to extract.jsp every time I wanted to know if I could rely on the data.

Someone has mentioned that API diff reports still list modified methods even when the class is deprecated. Would it not be better if a class that is now deprecated simply repress all further modifications to it? I say no. Even though the class is now deprecated, it is still part of your supported API until it is completely removed. As such, its modifications should still be listed since users of the library are likely to still be using the class.

Upgraded my testing environment from Tomcat 4.1.24 to 4.1.27.

September 09, 2003

Looked into using the JSP compiler from Tomcat to automatically compile the web app's JSPs. This way, I can include their dependencies in reports and so forth.

At the same time, I noticed some nice patterns in how to use Ant with external properties files. I might even apply some of them to Dependency Finder.

September 08, 2003

Came up with an idea for a LoadListenerBase that would handle the group-related events and maintain a stack of group data. This way, all VerboseListener classes can share that behavior, including rendering the group stack consistently. This new abstract base class would include much of the LoadListener logic from extract.jsp. I still not sure if I should call it LoadListenerBase or LoadAdapter.

September 05, 2003

Created a release plan for version 1.0.1.

September 04, 2003

Added some links to the resources page.

Semantic Designs, Inc. has a suite of tools to analyze source code, compute metrics, and perform refactorings.

Infotectonica has a tool called Juliet that tracks dependencies and cross-references with a lot of details and a rich query language. It works off of source code and integrates with popular IDEs.

Robert C. Martin came out with a book on software that is gathering a lot of praise. I have taken many ideas from his various papers and presentations. All that material is collected and augmented in "Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns, and Practices". I just got my copy and I have been going through it slowly. So far. so good. It holds up to expectations.

September 03, 2003

Added MANIFEST.MF to the list of files for the PermissiveDispatcher to ignore.

Added tests for both PermissiveDispatcher and StrictDispatcher to increase code coverage.

September 02, 2003

Added a more permissive ClassfileLoaderDispatcher that tried to use ZipClassfileLoader on files of unknown type. I also made this new, more permissive dispatcher the new default.

Finally figured out how to use @link tags for javadoc and fixed the one file where I was using it: the package description for com.jeantessier.classreader.

Also edited the website's introductory page to adjust some of the phrasing.

September 01, 2003

Fixed backlog in journal entries.

August 31, 2003

Rewrote the web application so that the copyright notice at the bottom is actually coming from footer.jsp, which gets included using <jsp:include>.

For the longest time, I have tried to keep the JSPs as simple and self-contained as possible. I figured they would make handy examples of how to use the various parts of Dependency Finder. But now, they are becoming more and more difficult to manage, with all that duplicated HTML between them, and I am not even touching the duplicated code between all versions of the tools. Anyway, I decided to make my life a little easier and at least break out the duplicated HTML to a shared satellite JSP.

August 29, 2003

Adjusted all implementations of LoadListener to handle the new events. It is still a little quirky and I will need to fine tune them later.

I also renamed some of the attributes in the LoadEvent. What was the filename is now called the groupname_ and what was the element is now called the filename. This way, the naming reflects more closely the use for these attributes.

I have been considering removing ClassDependencyCollector and FeatureDependencyCollector. I am not using them anymore, and CodeDependencyCollector does a much better job.

August 28, 2003

Got all unit tests to pass again, except for those four that deal with closures. Finished the work on ClassfileLoader. Now I need to adjust all LoadListener as well as come up with a more permissive ClassfileLoaderDispatcher that is also configurable. Maybe another XML descriptor?

August 27, 2003

Finally figured out the flow between ClassfileLoaders. Did most of the coding for ZipClassfileLoader, which also takes care of JarClassfileLoader. But I could not get to DirectoryClassfileLoader, so the unit tests are still failing.

August 26, 2003

I have been thinking some more about the flow of control to manage to recursively process ZIP-like files. But I can't quite wrap my head around it right now.

August 24, 2003

Wrote the tests for the new events. They are all failing, of course.

August 22, 2003

Came up with a sequence diagram to better understand the interactions between various ClassfileLoader instances. This will help me organize the interactions to deal with recursive processing of ZIP-like files.

I had to explode the ClassfileLoader instances to show how the behavior is spread across the inheritance hierarchy. This yields a cleaner diagram, thanks to the fact that each class is responsible for one and only one thing.

August 21, 2003

Started coding BeginFile and EndFile load-time events. I also want to automatically expand ZIP and JAR files, so I can open compound ZIP-like files, such as WAR and EAR, directly. This will complicate the flow of events, though.

August 20, 2003

When extracting from ZIP or JAR files, the progress reports always fall short of 100%. I realized that this is because the size estimates include directory entries and non-.class files. The progress function only counts .class files, and therefore always comes up short a bit. So I have added two new load-time events for when the ClassfileLoader start on a file, regardless of its extension, and when it is done with a file. These events occur before and after the BeginClassfile and EndClassfile respectively.

August 19, 2003

I thought of a new way to use JarJarDiff. So far, I have talked about how you can use it as a producer of software libraries to monitor the evolution of the published interface you expose. But another usage is as a consumer of software libraries, where you want to know if a new version of the library introduced changes on the part of the library that you use. I am putting together detailed instructions on how to use Dependency Finder to automatically compute which part of the third-party library you are using and use this information to filter the output of JarJarDiff. More on this later.

August 15, 2003

Added a BeanInfo helper class to the Version class. This way, I can use <jsp:getProperty> tags in JSPs and not have to call my accessors getX() and setX(). It works on Tomcat, but I remember having problems with using BeanInfo with other application servers in the past. I just hope they have made progress since.

I found a bug (#789373) with using the XSL stylesheet PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl from Ant with the <xslt> task. I will have to investigate, but I should really rewrite that entire stylesheet so it complies with proper XSL rules. In the meantime, people can use the <java> task to run Xalan's XSL processor, org.apache.xalan.xslt.Process, instead. Just make sure you set fork"yes"= on the task's attributes so that JDK 1.3 VMs pick up the Xalan JAR file. The bug report has a sample Ant build file that shows how to do it. I will also add it to the documentation eventually.

Ran JarJarDiff on Xerces and Xalan for the latest upgrade.

August 12, 2003

Moved the version stuff to its own class, but since it reads information from its JAR file's manifest, I cannot find a way to test it properly. The good news is that with its no-args constructor, I can use it in JSPs with the <jsp:useBean> tag. Next, I will outfit the CLI tools with a -version switch. And maybe I can even get an "About" box for the GUI.

On the downside, I am not too sure where to put this new class. It is in the new package com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder, soon to be joined by tools to group the cut and pasted code that ends up duplicated between the CLI, the GUI, the JSPs, and the Ant tasks. I might even go as far as creating custom tags for the JSPs, or at least JavaBeans for the parameters to the query, closure, and dependency metrics engines.

I created a feature request to address the start scripts for Unix (#787904). Since I don't have an environment setup to develop and tests and package on Unix (yet), I am going to leave these scripts in a patch for now. These scripts don't use the contribution from Jonathan Doughty because I am not done studying it, yet. More on this later.

August 11, 2003

Figured a way to get at the information in the JAR file's /META-INF/MANIFEST.MF entry. I now use it in the web application's JSPs to generate the "Powered by ..." branding with a URL back to the Dependency Finder website. I will soon refactor it into a class I can use with -version switches in the CLI and in an About box in the GUI.

I tried to use getClass().getResourceAsStream("/META-INF/MANIFEST.MF"), but the classloader has to defer to its parent first, before it tries to resolve anything. So I always go the manifest for the JDK itself. I had to get the resource URL for the class itself first, and parse it to extract the path to the JAR file instead, and extract its manifest via the java.util.jar package.

August 09, 2003

Upgraded the following development components:

Xerces : 2.3.0 -> 2.5.0
Xalan : 2.5 D1 -> 2.5.1

For Xalan, I used the distribution with two JAR files, xalan.jar and xsltc.jar. I don't need the material in the second one, so I only ship xalan.jar and this keeps the size of the distribution down.

August 05, 2003

Published patch for choosing between a GraphCopier and a GraphSummarizer when running dependency queries. This new patch (#784040) replaces two previous ones (#776154 and #776161) and also fixes a bug in ClassReader where it sent its Printer to the output stream and generated erroneous XML data.

Found that StatisticalMeasurement.CollectData() was both synchronized and had a synchronized block inside that synchronized on this. This being redundant, I removed the synchronization in the method signature and kept the internal block. This way, it runs a tinny bit faster when the data set has not changed.

August 01, 2003

SourceForge download counters are working again.

July 28, 2003

Added a copy-only feature to DependencyReporter (both on the CLI and the Ant task), DependencyFinder and advancedquery.jsp. When turned on, the tools always use GraphCopier to answer queries. This is useful if you want a class-to-class graph with only inheritance, for instance. I still have to document this new feature in the manuals.

I added navigation controls to extract.jsp. I was tired of always editing the URL to go to the query JSP after extracting a graph. The navigation is the same as on the other JSPs and I adjusted the title at the top of the page to match that of the other pages.

July 23, 2003

Thanks to Jonathan Doughty, who donated a Unix shell script for launching the tools in Dependency Finder. I haven't had the time to look at it yet, but I am curious about how he got around to doing it.

Incidentally, for those who wonder, the main reason I don't have a Unix version of the scripts is not that I don't know how to write them, but it is that I don't have a convenient environment to build and to test them. I was thinking of Bourne shell scripts (/bin/sh) that could discover DEPENDENCYFINDER_HOME from their invocation path and figure out the exact name of the class to invoke from their invocation name. I have a prototype on the SourceForge shell server that dates back to 2003-01-23, but I cannot build a .tar.gz file with symbolic links in it on my Windows machine, and I don't want to distribute my build process either. And working via that dreadful SSH terminal is out of the question. I need three or four launchers to handle the various patterns in scripts, and symbolic links to create all the scripts. Since I cannot create the symbolic links at build-time on my Windows machine, I might have to write a quick install script that creates all the symbolic links to each launcher. Running it would become part of the installation process. Jonathan Doughty took a slightly different approach, so I look forward to comparing what he did with what I had in mind. Maybe I can get a patch together while we wait for the next release...

I had put the wrong patch file in patch #776104. I was able to recreate the correct file and upload it to SourceForge. Luckily, this patch was very minor and did not address anything that was broken; it simply removed redundant calls to I actually considered removing the patch altogether and keep the fix for a release. Maybe I will change my mind again at some point in the future. :-)

July 22, 2003

Someone found a bug with DependencyReporter. It does not close its PrintWriter and ends up truncating the output. I created a patch for it, after verifying that it was the only tool experiencing this problem.

I also created a patch for the "refresh" button (a.k.a. "reload") on DependencyFinder.

I also created a patch for the clean up of calls to flush() from a while ago.

I cleaned up some indentation text. There were still places where there were four spaces instead of TAB characters.

About the whole optionally using a GraphCopier thing, I have been thinking that this functionality really belongs to the advanced controls and I don't need to clutter the simple controls with it.

Upgraded my testing environment from Clover 1.1.1 to 1.2.

July 21, 2003

Upgraded my testing environment from Tomcat 4.1.18 to 4.1.24.

July 20, 2003

Regenerated the code coverage output from Clover. Added the code coverage output from jcoverage.

July 18, 2003

Toyed with the idea of using a GraphCopier instead of a GraphSummarizer again. I could prototype JSPs very quickly that I'll need to work into CVS. I might also apply the same logic to the CLI and Ant tools.

July 17, 2003

Fixed the typos in the page on A vs. I graphs.

Added a "reload" button to DependencyFinder. It re-extracts the last extracted file and clears the result areas in the GUI.

July 15, 2003

Found some typos in the page on A vs. I graphs.

The GUI could really benefit from a "reload" button. I keep having to do "New" and then "Extract", but that resets the controls, which can have complex regular expressions in them. All this is too tedious.

Again in the GUI, it would be nice to save the results from dependency queries to an XML document for future reference.

July 08, 2003

I'm back.

Suppose you place a query against a dependency graph. You only want to see class-to-class dependencies. If a method is class A calls a method in class B, but class A does not refer to class B directly, there is an implicit dependency A --> B but not an explicit dependency A --> B. 99% of the time, you want to see the implicit dependency. But on rare occasions, you don't. Is that justification enough to add a switch to the user experience to show only explicit dependencies? The code is already written; it means using a GraphCopier instead of a GraphSummarizer to perform the query. This is what the tools do when the graph is maximized anyway. I think I'll sit on this one a little while longer. I can always use DependencyExtractor and look at the raw output for the rare times I don't want to see implicit dependencies.

June 13, 2003

Someone is having problems with JarJarDiff when their JAR files are generated by Maven, an Apache tool that looks like a super-Ant. I'm going on vacation, I cannot look into it right now. It will have to wait until I return. The problem seems related to the MANIFEST.MF file, so maybe if they rename the files to .zip it will bypass that file and work.

Uploaded a patch to fix the extraneous text in the output of OOMetrics.

June 12, 2003

Minor correction in the documentation of Ant tasks. When defining the CLASSPATH for Dependency Finder, always put the classes directory before the DependencyFinder.jar file.

My download counters are still at zero, but so are others at SourceForge. I suspect that SourceForge has some kind of bug.

I am going to be on vacation for three weeks, starting this Sunday. I will be back around the 4th of July. I still have a patch to produce before that. I will do a 1.0.1 release upon my return.

I have been struggling with rewriting the JSPs and break them up into headers and footers and navigation pages. Maybe even use tags for the processing and JavaBeans for the request parameters. One argument against doing this is that the JSPs provide examples of how to use the classes in Dependency Finder. I'm not fully decided yet.

June 06, 2003

This is my luck. The day after the 1.0 Release I find a number of oversights.

First, OOMetrics still tries to print its printer. This made sense when the printers contained a StringBuffer and returned the text as part of their toString() method. But now, they print directly to the output stream and don't have a toString() method anymore. The output now has weird strings in odd places, which actually breaks the XML output.

Second, the version information in the JAR file's manifest is the stripped version: "10" instead of "1.0". I added additional properties in build.xml to handle CVS vs. version labels.

Third, some classes call flush() on streams before closing them, and others don't. The documentation says this is redundant, so I removed all of these calls.

Added "Powered by ..." statement to all the JSPs. This also gave me an occasion to do minor touch ups in the HTML.

I realized that I ran OOMetrics on non-debug code yesterday when I gathered metrics for the 1.0 release. This means that SLOC metrics are way off. I'll have to figure a way to recompile that version and rerun OOMetrics.

June 05, 2003


June 04, 2003

Renamed some of the XSL stylesheets. The names confused me and I always get confused about which one does what.

DependenciesToX --> DependencyGraphToX
DependablesToX --> DependablesToX
DependentsToX --> DependentsToX
ListDependablesToX --> HideOutboundDependenciesToX
ListDependentsToX --> HideInboundDependenciesToX

I have been thinking about an installer that would generate all the .bat files and adjust them for Windows 98 vs. Windows NT and JDK 1.3 vs. JDK 1.4. I cannot use Perl because the machine where you want to install it might not have Perl installed. I cannot write the installer as a DOS script either because string substitution would just be too hard, or the Windows 98 version is quite limiting. But I could make it as a simple Java program. And this way, it could figure out the JVM version by itself, and even the OS from system properties. Unless I have an epiphany, I won't delay the 1.0 release for this; it'll go in the next release.

June 03, 2003

More fixes for the quotes in the .bat file. This time, I am quite confident that they work fine.

Ad hoc testing of the printer modification show that the memory footprint went down by roughly 80% and the processing time remained pretty much the same. This is nice.

I added a new tool to the web app to provide dependency metrics the same way that the CLI and the GUI do. I also added navigation controls to move between graphs, closures, and metrics. In the process, I moved com.jeantessier.dependency.MetricsReport to a instead of a java.lang.StringBuffer, like I did for other printers yesterday.

Added the web/ directory to the source archive

Fixed com.jeantessier.dependency.MetricsReport that did not interpret inbound and outbound dependencies correctly.

June 02, 2003

I got a fix for spaces in DEPENDENCYFINDER_HOME. I have not tested it fully yet, so I need a little more time before I give it my seal of approval.

Someone mentioned they are running out of memory when extracting dependencies from large JAR files. This is because the various printers use internal StringBuffer instances that grow as the graph gets rendered. I need to take one more look at using character streams instead, like I mentioned on 2003-03-12.

I went ahead and modified com.jeantessier.classreader.Printer, com.jeantessier.dependency.Printer, and com.jeantessier.metrics.Printer to take a instead of their java.lang.StringBuffer. The modifications were quite extensive, and com.jeantessier.diff.Printer is still untouched. It will need more rewriting than I am willing to deal with at this time.

May 31, 2003

Someone found a problem with the .bat files. If DEPENDENCYFINDER_HOME contains any spaces, they don't work. I need to put quotes around variable uses in each and every file.

May 29, 2003

I have been thinking about adding another set of JSPs to the web app to duplicate the functionality in DependencyMetrics. I am also thinking of putting in a navigation structure to switch between the query, closure, and now the metrics tools. I would also like to pass the parameters around so you can run a query in query.jsp and click on "metrics" to get the dependency metrics relating to the subgraph issued from the query: number and type of nodes, number of dependencies, etc. I might put it in the 1.0 release if it does not take too long to do. Now, all I need to do is figure out how to render a nice navigation structure.

I have also been toying with the idea of a second web app to provide the functionality of OOMetrics. I'm still not clear if a separate web app is really required. The main difference between the two is that the current extract.jsp does not hold on to parsed .class files. It discards them as soon as it has extracted their dependencies. The metrics tools read everything in first and then go about their business. So the memory footprint is larger, which might become problematic.

May 27, 2003

Added some documentation for the com.jeantessier.commandline package. I had kept the main() method on CommandLine as a sample, but it started to bug me. So I replaced it with actual written documentation, both in Javadoc and in the developer guide.

May 26, 2003

Memorial Day has come and gone and I was too busy with other things to spend much time with Dependency Finder, let alone do the 1.0 release as I had hoped. In the meantime, the number of daily downloads is still at zero; I must get this release out quickly so the downloads start up again.

May 24, 2003

Made some minor renaming in the com.jeantessier.commandline package.

It is interesting that since I announced I might do the 1.0 release imminently, there has been no downloads of Dependency Finder. I would like to think that the world is standing still, waiting for this 1.0 release. :-)

May 20, 2003

Worked on the design for the new closure calculator. It will be a little more structured and keep track of each layer as the closure is expanded. This way, I should be able to print actual paths instead of just dumping the graph and let users figure it out. I will also be able to use this calculator in finding the shortest path between two groups of elements (packages, classes, and/or features).

I haven't heard anything about the ongoing beta trial, except for the nasty problem with the ZIP file. I'm thinking of closing the beta and release 1.0 over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend (this weekend). I'll see.

May 16, 2003

I have been looking at the output from Clover. It includes a few metrics, such as:

It is interesting to compare them to the metrics from OOMetrics. First, the number of classes are the same. But this is where the similarities end.

Second, Clover counts the number of methods explicitly defined in the source code. Dependency Finder counts all methods in the compiled .class file, which includes default constructors added by the compiler and synthetic methods. So the Dependency Finder count ends up being slightly higher than Clover's count.

Third, Clover's LOC counts all lines in a file, indiscriminate of whether the line is code, a comment, or even empty. Its NCLOC count limits itself to lines that actually contain code, but it includes lines with non-executable code, such as a single closing curly brace (i.e., '}'). Dependency Finder's SLOC uses information from the compiler, when it is run with the -g switch, to count the number of lines with really executable code. It then adds a few more lines to account for class, field, and method declarations. It overshoots a little because it even counts implicit constructors and synthetic elements, but it stays in the ballpark.

Metrics Clover OOMetrics delta
Number of packages 12 12
Number of classes 275 275
Number of methods 2,642 3,609 +967 +37%
Lines of code 26,544 (NCLOC) 24,694 (SLOC) -1,850 -7%
42,939 (LOC)

Overall, it is just curious that Dependency Finder comes up with more methods, but less overall lines of code.

May 15, 2003

Finally got around to running Clover on Dependency Finder. Overall coverage is at 52.2%. About 16 tests in the com.jeantessier.metrics package failed because the code instrumentation from Clover messed with the expected metrics. I have put the preliminary results here. I can move the tests for com.jeantessier.commandline package from the main() methods to proper JUnit tests. That should raise coverage somewhat. I'll look further into Clover for what else I can get from it.

I came across someone who was actually trying to extend Dependency Finder. This person had downloaded the source code, modified the classes directly, and recompiled Dependency Finder with the modifications. While this might have seemed like a good idea, it will create problems later on when I release an upgrade to Dependency Finder and this person will have to merge their custom changes with the new version of the files. It would be much better if they had put their custom code in separate classes, in their own custom packages, and compiled them against DependencyFinder.jar. When a new version of Dependency Finder comes along, they can just drop it in.

May 06, 2003

Updated the samples to add 1.0 beta data.

I had been having problems with the ZIP files that come out of the builds. For some reason, I could not see their contents using WinZIP and could not extract them. Other tools, such as unzip, jar, and even Emacs did not have any trouble. For some time, I thought this was a problem between Java-generated ZIP files and WinZIP 8.1. It turns out that Ant was the culprit. They even had an open bug report about it. It got fixed in the latest release, but it is too late for the 1.0 beta release. I hope people can make do with jar for the duration of the beta. Future releases will work with WinZIP as expected.

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.5.2 -> 1.5.3-1
May 04, 2003

Forgot to clean some of the diagrams on the website. All is better now.

May 02, 2003

The good people at SourceForge have removed the stale locks and the 1.0 beta is finally here! Go get it!

May 01, 2003

I was all set and ready to go with the 1.0 beta release and "billfan" strikes again. He keeps locking the CVS repository and keeping me from doing anything in there. This is very frustrating. I tried to contact him, but my emails bounced. Each time this happens, I have to open a ticket with SourceForge admins and wait until the next day for them to get to it and blast his locks.

"billfan", if you're listening, GET OUT OF MY REPOSITORY!!!

Thanks to "billfan", you all have to wait until tomorrow for the beta.

April 30, 2003

Finished the documentation. I added a section for contributors. For now, I feel very paternal about Dependency Finder and I am not quite ready to give up control. I guess I'm more on the cathedral than the bazaar side of things. For those who don't get it, it just means I can be quite stuck up. :-)

I will be releasing the 1.0 beta shortly. Stay tuned.

April 29, 2003

Started playing with a code coverage tool. They gave me a free license because Dependency Finder is open source. So far, it looks interesting; it consists of Ant tasks to instrument code and gather measurements. Check it out on the Clover website. I'll publish the coverage report for Dependency Finder when I have one.

It turns out the problem with Ant's <xslt> is well known. It is a bug with the version of Xalan that ships with JDK 1.4.1. To fix it, you have to upgrade the JDK's Xalan; the best way of doing this is with the java.endorsed.dir property. I'll document it in more details either in a bug or on the help discussion board.

Dependency Finder is starting to show up on Java indexing sites. Just do a search for "depfind" and find out for yourself.

April 27, 2003

I have been trying to add Dependency Finder tasks to the build file, but Ant's <xslt> tasks has problems with some of the XSL transformations. At least DependenciesToHTML generates and error about "not enough DTMs", whatever that means. I can still run the transform with the CLI script, so I will have to investigate some more.

I just need to add a legend to the diagrams for JarJarDiff and write up the project's policy regarding code contributions. Then I can release the beta.

April 25, 2003

Redrew the diagrams for JarJarDiff.

April 23, 2003

Finished the equivalence table. In the end, I decided to put it in the manual.

April 22, 2003

Added TOC elements to PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl, so it looks more like DiffToHTML.xsl.

April 21, 2003

Took a break for a few days, but now I'm back and bent on getting the beta out. I need to build some kind of equivalence table for features between the CLI, GUI, Ant tasks, and web app. I don't know quite where to put it. One place might be as part of each tool description in the tools docs, but that spreads it a little too much. I might just go with a table in the manual instead.

After this, I should be done. The Beta is near!

April 11, 2003

Completed Ant task documentation.

April 09, 2003

Added status messages in the processing of Ant tasks.

April 07, 2003

Ant task documentation.

When I changed PrettyPrinter to TextPrinter, I forgot to update the JSPs. This is now fixed.

April 05, 2003

Ant task documentation.

April 02, 2003

Ant task documentation.

March 31, 2003

Wrote the Ant task for ListDiff. Just a little more documentation for the Ant tasks and the beta will be ready.

Fixed a typo in the license's text. I went to check it all in, but the same person who locked the CVS repository on 2003-02-10 has locked it again. I logged a bug report with, but it might be up to 24 hours before they break the stale locks.

March 29, 2003

I decided not to make an Ant task for ClassReader, but I will need one for ListDiff to complete the workflow outlined in the manual. Now I'm going to pay for not separating behavior properly. ListDiff has all the behavior and a utility class that is in the com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.cli package. How am I going to reuse this from the com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.ant package?

March 27, 2003

Wrote the Ant task for OOMetrics.

March 26, 2003

Wrote the Ant task for DependencyMetrics.

March 25, 2003

Wrote the Ant task for DependencyClosure.

Cleaned up some of the documentation.

March 24, 2003

Finished the Ant task for DependencyExtractor and also wrote those for ClassMetrics, DependencyReporter, and JarJarDiff. I decided to stick with the Ant naming convention and use destfile for the output attribute.

Introduced a new tool, ClassClassDiff, which compares two classes, even if they don't have the same name. I found a need for it when a renamed one class to work on temporarily and wanted to see later on what differences I had introduced. The class was too large for me to do this with regular diffs.

March 23, 2003

Wrote Ant task for DependencyExtractor. It turns out that using a path-like structure is actually easier than extending MatchingTask. I hesitate about the name of the attribute for the output file. The other tools use out but Ant recommends destfile instead. So do I make it consistent with other Dependency Finder tools or with other Ant tasks?

March 21, 2003

Getting familiar with writing Ant tasks.

March 20, 2003

Tech docs for the developer guide. Added an additional reference to the OOMetricsGUI screenshot for after the extract.

March 19, 2003

Had a bout with the flu.

Jeff Harman asked questions about dependency visitors and such, which prompted me to document that control flow a little more. I'll add the new information to the fledgling developer guide when I get a change and when I can find a decent (free) editor for UML diagrams.

Had some ideas about correlating project size and complexity and estimating each via the current metrics. I might be able to do something about complexity with a combination of intra-class, intra-package, and extra-package dependencies at both the class and method levels.

March 12, 2003

Gave some more thought to having Printer work off a instead of a StringBuffer. This would lessen the burden on memory by streaming large graphs straight to file or output stream, but the character conversion might add processing overhead. The design below separates formatting of the text by DecoratorPrinter from how that text is actually saved by FilePrinter and StringPrinter. The latter behaves like the current Printer so I can compare both approaches. But beyond that, it makes little sense since I could just as easily pass a to the decorator.

This first scenario shows saving to a file. Saving to an output stream would look just the same.

This second scenario saves the graph to an in-memory string, though I could just as easily do the same with a

This design looks like overkill, since FilePrinter and StringPrinter end up with empty implementations for their VisitX() methods. In fact, they don't even need to be related to Visitor at all since they are not accessed directly by the client code. If I am going to define a new interface for them, I might as well simply use

I will probably just replace the StringBuffer in Printer with a and be done with it.

I'm not too happy with the way the sequence diagrams came out too, but that's the fault of the tool I've been using. And even the class diagram has undesireable artifacts. I have no budget for this project, so I could not use the one I would have really wanted. And the one I ended up using was quicker to use than a plain drawing editor.

I also kept looking at the new Xerces and Xalan. All the unit tests are passing, but PublishedDiffToHTML prints nothing when I pass it a validation list. I must figure out if this is due to the new Xalan or the test data. I tried a couple of code samples, but they are still too large for me to track exactly what is going on.

I upgraded the libraries anyway, I will figure out the kinks later:

Xerces : 2.2.1 -> 2.3.0
Xalan : 2.4.1 -> 2.5 D1
March 11, 2003

Created some UML diagrams for com.jeantessier.dependency and com.jeantessier.metrics packages. As I'm trying to describe the internals of dependency graphs to Jeff Harman, I figured they would come in handy.

March 10, 2003

Still investigating Xerces/Xalan upgrades. Having troubles with PublishedDiffToHTML; for some reason, it prints out nothing.

Was approached by Jeff Harman about writing dependency graphs to database. This could be the first contribution to the project that did not originate from me! I'll let you know how it turns out.

March 09, 2003

Still investigating Xerces/Xalan upgrades.

March 08, 2003

Looking at upgrade for:

Xerces : 2.2.1 -> 2.3.0
Xalan : 2.4.1 -> 2.5 D1

I need to investigate how this will impact usage with JDK 1.4.

March 06, 2003

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2.7 -> 1.2.8
Jakarta ORO : 2.0.7-dev-1 -> 2.0.7
March 05, 2003

Fixed TableHeaderListener so the tooltips in table header display correctly. It wouldn't change the tooltip when you moved the cursor between columns within the header. I had to put the tooltip login in mouseMoved() instead. My current use of this treats the whole header as one large component.

Then further tweaked the text of the tooltips, adding the range information even to column headers and enhancing the tooltips' descriptive quality.

Refactored the text rendering of StatisticalMeasurement and centralized it. This may change some more since I am not too fond of mixing application logic and presentation logic, but I don't have a better place at this time.

Fixed the named scope of two measurements in the default metrics configuration. There were mistakenly labeled per group when they are in fact per class.

March 04, 2003

Added tooltips to OOMetricsGUI. Column headers show the measurement's full name, cells show the element's name, measurement's full name, abbreviation, and value.

Removed the documentation of metrics and measurements. With the new tooltips, it is not all that necessary anymore.

I thought of putting a target in build.xml to update the codebase from CVS, but I had trouble getting it to work on Win98 and to authenticate properly, so I just dropped it.

Only the Ant tasks left. I've had some ideas about extracting the cut & pasted code in the tools and put it in central tool classes. The Ant tasks would just be another way to invoke those tool classes. So far, they would be in a new com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder package.

March 03, 2003

Finished tools docs.

Removed useless -dispose switch to OOMetrics.

February 27, 2003

Tools docs.

February 21, 2003

Removed -plain and -raw switches from ClassReader, DependencyExtractor, and DependencyReporter. Their output was not adding any new information and looked ugly.

Fixed MetricsTableModel. DependencyFinder uses it to render dependency distributions in a JTable. A small glitch was making it miss the last row of data. I also renamed com.jeantessier.dependency.MetricsGatherer.ChartSize() to com.jeantessier.dependency.MetricsGatherer.ChartMaximum().

Normalized naming of human-readable text printers from PrettyPrinter to TextPrinter. In com.jeantessier.dependency, I had to merge the two classes. I also got rid of com.jeantessier.dependency.UglyPrinter. As a result, I could get rid of -plain and -raw command-line switches and simplify the output of ClassReader, DependencyExtractor, and DependencyReporter.

Tools docs.

February 20, 2003

Tools docs.

Figured out how to get Ant's <cvsTagDiff> task work from "now" instead of "last midnight". It turns out that adding the time to the date screws up how Ant generates the resulting CVS command. There is an open bug report with Apache, so maybe they'll fix it in the future. While we are waiting, I had to add the quotes in the tag's attribute myself.

I'm thinking of getting rid of the -plain switch to some of the CLI tools. It is useless. I should be able to get rid of com.jeantessier.dependency.TextPrinter by the same token. We'll see about this last one.

February 19, 2003

Tools docs.

Added an HTML index page to the documentation directory.

Got rid of the -trace command-line switch. If you want that level of details, edit

Reworked the -verbose command-line switch. It prints progress as files are read and data is created, kind of like the status bar in the Swing applications. The tools use the new VerboseListener to trap events and print them to the specified output stream or file. This has helped simplify the code around main() in the tool classes.

Considered optimizing event sources so they don't do anything if there are no registered listeners. With the new mechanism for -verbose, there is always at least one listener, this optimization is therefore useless, so I dropped it. For it to make sense, I would have had to complexify the life cycle of VerboseListener too much.

Added IntelliJ IDEA and Xrefactory to the resources page.

February 18, 2003

Tools docs.

Rewrote the intro page for the website. I thought it needed some words of encouragement to prospective users as to why they should use Dependency Finder instead of the other available solutions.

February 17, 2003

Tools docs.

February 14, 2003

My JavaOne proposals were not picked up. :-(

After I launch the beta, I'll work on some articles.

February 13, 2003

Tools docs.

February 12, 2003

Tools docs.

February 11, 2003

SourceForge broke the locks on the CVS repository and I was able to check in the minor improvements to the JSPs.

February 10, 2003

Used onMouseOver and onMouseOut JavaScript event handlers in the JSPs instead of onFocus and onBlur respectively. This way, the hints appear in the status area as the mouse goes over each field and the user does not have to click into them, or use TAB to move between them and see the hints.

Fixed the tables in the JSP so they show up correctly in either Mozilla or IE. Lucky I recently learned about <tbody> and <colgroup> tags.

Someone locked the CVS repository for the project. I tried to contact them through SourceForge, but the email bounced. I opened a trouble ticket with SourceForge in the hope they can blast the lock themselves.

Added tasks in build.xml to convert the text files that make up the documentation to HTML. I also added by conversion perl script, bin/ It is finally under source control. I had to adjust the dist target so it does not include it in the distribution.

I realized that someone made a feature request on the SourceForge project page. This is the first time in over a year that Dependency Finder has been open to the public. The request is for Ant task equivalents to the CLI tools. This should be easy enough. All the XSL transforms can already be done with Ant's <xslt> core task. For the other tools, you could use Ant's <java> task and pass in the equivalent parameters. But I think I will go one step further and actually create a new package with classes that extend I will add sample usage in the Manual. Thanks to Andy Laun for a great proposal.

February 06, 2003

Tweaked the website.

The tables for the controls in the JSP do not come out correctly in Mozilla. The frames are missing. I will have to rewrite them so that they show up correctly in either Mozilla or IE.

February 05, 2003

Finished the User Manual.

February 04, 2003

Updated the example for LinkMinimizer and LinkMaximizer and merged it with the User Manual.

I also had a idea to use a Writer in the various Printer classes. This would ease the resource needs of various command-line operations since the tools would not need to hold all the output in memory. Anyway, I'm just thinking about it at this time.

February 03, 2003

Added an icon to DependencyFinder and OOMetricsGUI.

February 02, 2003

Quick comparison of minimized vs. raw vs. maximized graphs.

February 01, 2003

Tech docs.

January 30, 2003

Fixed table colors for OOMetricsGUI.

January 29, 2003

"Refactorings" Happy Hour.

January 28, 2003

Rewrote part of A vs. I study.

Reorganized the menu for the website.

January 27, 2003

Added an analysis study of Robert Martin's metrics, as described in Robert C. Martin's Design Principles and Design Patterns article.

Also added output from <cvsTagDiff> tasks in Ant that list files that changed between release.

January 23, 2003

Played with SourceForge resources. Someone mentioned that I might be able to use SourceForge shell server to test Unix launch scripts. The shell server does not have compilers and connecting through SSH is tedious, so I will not do this on an extended basis. But I did setup the website as a checkout from CVS. Now I need to figure out how to setup the cron job so it updates itself automatically.

I think I've got it...


January 22, 2003

Tech docs.

January 21, 2003

Tech docs.

January 20, 2003

Changed initial status message in MetricsExtractAction and DependencyExtractAction to account for long waiting time while DirectoryExplorer scans for .class files.

I was having problems with SumMeasurement today. I added trace statements to track down what was going on and it started going haywire. Took me a while, but I realized its Compute() method was not thread-safe. I synchronized its processing and it is now fine. I looked at the other measurements and NbSubMetricsMeasurement was in the same situation. I fixed it too.

I noticed that cut & paste of values in OOMetricsGUI were coming through as calls to toString(), yielding the default stringification from java.lang.Object. I added an implementation of toString() to MeasurementBase so that measurements print their numerical value by default. It works well, except for StatisticalMeasurement which ends up displaying itself five times.

Added standard deviation subvalue to StatisticalMeasurement.

Added an InRange() method to Metrics that returns false if any of the measurements is not in range.

January 19, 2003

Found a way to separate between visited and non-visited methods, classes, and groups by keeping separate lists in MetricsFactory.

January 18, 2003

Looked at ways to restrict listed metrics to the classes and methods actually visited, instead of all referenced elements. I tried to distinguish between getting a metrics and creating it only as part of a VisitX() method, but that didn't work since metrics would only start accumulating after their call to VisitX(). I'll have to try something else.

January 17, 2003

Tech docs.

Looked into Poseidon for UML, Community Edition, to generate UML diagrams of Dependency Finder for the documentation. It still has a few quirks, but hey, it's free.

January 16, 2003

Tech docs.

January 15, 2003

Tech docs. I started a developer's guide.

January 14, 2003

Tech docs.

January 13, 2003

Found and fixed bug #667642 about MetricsFactory not recognizing static initializers of the form "static {}".

Switched to use CHAINSAW instead of log files.

Found another article on Small Worlds. This time, it was a review in Software Development Magazine.

The more I think of it, the more I was to revamp -verbose and get rid of -trace switches. I'll have -verbose behave somewhat like extract.jsp or the status bar of the GUI tools.

January 11, 2003

Upgraded my testing environment from Tomcat 4.1.12 to 4.1.18.

January 10, 2003

Tech docs.

January 01, 2003

New release!

Updated the copyright notice for the new year.

December 30, 2002

I now have progress bars on the GUIs!

I am going to do one more release before the beta, either tomorrow (12/31) or the day after (1/1). Like I said before, this will let people out there use the new features and bug fixes without having to wait on the user guide.

December 28, 2002

Fixed all the broken unit tests for metrics.

Added metrics-processing events so the UI can track progress in OOMetricsGUI.

For a while, Jakarta ORO had two versions of Perl5Util.split() that differed in how they split the empty string "". They seem to have fixed the discrepancy in their latest version, so I moved my code to the new version that uses java.util.Collection instead of java.util.Vector, which is deprecated.

December 27, 2002

Finally got to fixing the broken unit tests, for metrics, at least.

It turns out that JDK 1.4 is doing some funny accounting for line numbers in try ... catch blocks and this fixes some inaccuracies in my SLOC estimation. These changes in the generated bytecode will help debuggers step through these clauses with more meaningful feedback. By removing the special accounting in MetricsGatherer, the SLOC count of code compiled with previous versions of the JDK will be slightly underestimated. But it is a rough estimate to begin with, so I guess it is safe.

I am going to standardize the tests for JDK 1.4 and the way that it generates bytecode. In the future, I might put special instrumentation in the tests to detect bytecode that has been compiled with previous versions of the JDK, but it is not a priority for now.

December 26, 2002

Finally got around to checking that the upgrade to Xalan did fix bug 13106. It works, but I must still rewrite the stylesheet to comply with XSLT rules.

December 21, 2002

Refactored com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui.DependencyFinder.

Also refactored some of the metrics handling code to simplify processing of multiple measurements.

December 19, 2002

I have been thinking some more about the progress status and what information would be displayed in a dialog, such as elapsed time and a guesstimate of how much more time will be required.

December 11, 2002

More refactoring for the ClassfileLoader event model. I've added a concept of session, basically a call to Load(Collection). This will allow me to start measuring how long extraction is taking and maybe even make an estimate has to how much longer it'll take. In the meantime, I have "percent completed" measurement in place.

I'm thinking of having one more release before the beta. This would let people out there use the latest features and bug fixes without having to wait for the user guide. One thing that I would like to release quickly is the new, simpler user interface.

December 10, 2002

Refactored ClassfileLoader and its subclasses. The decorators are now hidden inside the ClassfileLoaderEventSource class, so clients of the package don't have to bother with which decorator to instantiate. This paves the way to including progress measurements in the LoadEvent passed in LoadStart() and LoadElement() events. This way, I can have either a "percent complete" or a progress bar as things are loading. I might even be able to have an elapsed time and a predicted remaining time.

Documented the methods of LoadListener, but I must revise the description of the various attributes and under which cases each one has a value.

December 06, 2002

Refactored CanAddDependency().

Fixed references in slides for the tutorial. I need to think about this before I publish it on the website. I used the slides from a previous presentation, but this would mean that I would have to come up with some new material if my submission to JavaOne is picked up. Then again, I would have to come up with some new stuff anyway!

December 05, 2002

Worked on tools documentation.

Found a bug with GraphSummarizer. I describe it fully on SourceForge; it is bug #649375. Basically, when adding dependency between nodes from two different node factories, such as in GraphSummarizer, the logic that prevents self-dependencies relied on all classes of a package being present, which may not be the case while summarizing a graph. I rewrote the validation logic in Node and its subclasses to use a template method instead. Since it does not rely on list traversal anymore, it should speed things up a bit (but I have not tried to measure it).

Relabeled the beta from "0.1 beta" to "1.0 beta 1". It might have a little more appeal, so more people will try the software.

December 04, 2002

Worked on tools documentation. Got rid of original Tools.xml, copied the information so far into Tools.txt. Pretty soon, I will have to put the Perl script generator under source control too.

December 03, 2002

Checked in a bunch of changes that were just accumulating on my machine.

Upgraded the following development components:

Xerces : 2.2.0 -> 2.2.1
Xalan : 2.4.0 -> 2.4.1

The upgrade to Xalan should have fixed bug 13106. I'll check it out tomorrow.

December 02, 2002

Worked on tools documentation.

November 26, 2002

Finished the generator and generated a template for documenting the tools that make up Dependency Finder. Now, I must fill in the template.

I'm afraid that I must forget about the Jolt Awards this year. No way I can get an official major release out before December 31. But next year, for sure.

November 25, 2002

Started working on a generator for a template for documenting the tools that make up Dependency Finder. I am using a Perl script to scan the bin/ directory and automatically generate information about each script. When I am done, the template will use the same kind of annotation that I have been using for the user guide. This way, I can use the same translator for both files to convert them to HTML. At first, I thought of generating XML and then use XSLT to convert it to HTML, but managing XML with embedded HTML tags proved too much. This way, the notation is simpler and the embedded HTML does not get in the way.

November 21, 2002

Technical documentation.

Fixed some minor bugs in how I generate the manual.

November 20, 2002

Submitted a proposal for the Spotlight on Open Source column in Java Developer Journal.

Found an article on dependencies titled Managing Java Source Code Dependencies for SCM in Java Developer Journal, vol. 7, no. 11, November 2002. It deals mainly with compile-time dependencies and keeping track of components under revision control, but still makes a few good points regarding dependencies in general.

Fixed some minor bugs in how I generate the manual.

November 19, 2002

Technical documentation.

Discovered another free tool that deals with metrics: JavaNCSS. It includes two measurements: McCabe's cyclomatic complexity and its own non-comment source statement. I really need to move com.jeantessier.metrics off of the Visitor pattern and let people code and add their own measurements.

I looked up McCabe's cyclomatic complexity and it shouldn't be too hard to implement. It's basically just a matter of counting specific instructions.

Found another, older article by Robert C. Martin about his "distance from the main sequence" dependency metric.

November 18, 2002

Technical documentation.

November 12, 2002

I worked out the design of a new TransitiveClosure that uses breadth-first search through the dependency graph. It is not based on com.jeantessier.dependency.Visitor and uses the Strategy pattern to decide how far to go from the scope, either up to a given path length or unbounded, with separate strategies for following inbound versus outbound dependencies.

I also laid out the design for a scope selector to help with computing transitive closures on non-maximized graphs. This will also come in handy for the next item today.

I have also outlined the algorithm for finding the shortest paths between two groups of nodes, using the engine that computes transitive closures. By growing closures from both groups, one following inbound dependencies and the other following outbound dependencies, and growing them until I have a non-empty intersection, I will get a subgraph that contains all the paths from A to B with minimal length. I can use the scope selector described above to select source and sink groups.

I also found out that Software Development magazine is taking nominations for its Jolt Awards. I'm going to submit Dependency Finder. But they don't want betas, so I will have to push up my release schedule. I'll have a very short beta period and a release in December. ;-)

November 11, 2002

I have been catching up on graph data structures and their operations by reading my old college textbooks again. I was pleased to see that my implementation of dependency graphs was not too far from implementations they discuss in the book. I was also pleased to see that TransitiveClosure uses a depth-first search algorithm, but the breadth-first search algorithm in the book is more in tune with what the class is trying to do. I will write a breath-first class when I get a chance.

The book also has an algorithm for finding a path between two vertices (nodes) in a graph. I will modify it to find paths between two groups of vertices.

Before I forget, the books are:

This last one was written by teachers at the Université de Montréal, where I went to school.

November 09, 2002

Wrote a new unit test for TransitiveClosure. Right now, it requires a maximized graph to be useful. I want to have it accept any graph, like I did for GraphCopier with GraphSummarizer.

Running the tests reminded me that I still have a bunch of unit tests for metrics to fix, with regard to the fact that I moved to JDK 1.4.

November 08, 2002

Found two references to Perl regular expressions in Java. I will be able to point people to them in the manual and the JSPs. This will help with teaching people how to use the regular expressions to get them data they want.

I will also write a more decent samples section in the manual. The current one is rather laughable.

November 07, 2002

Submitted another session for the next JavaOne conference. This one is about JarJarDiff and API evolution management. I also got someone from work to give first hand experience of how this stuff is used as part of an actual development process.

November 04, 2002

Submitted a session for the next JavaOne conference. I used the presentation from 2002-10-23 as the basis. I might add sessions for JarJarDiff.

I will use the presentation's slides for the tutorial. I must get back to finishing the manual, too.

October 31, 2002

Got some new ideas on fixing the serialization of dependency graphs. I can separate the nodes from the dependencies and put everything in a Graph-like object. Each dependency would become its own object, allowing me to record additional information about each dependency such as its type (dependency, association, generalization, realization) and weight (how many times it occurs in the code).

Looked at possible graphical renders for metrics.

October 27, 2002

Manual.html now has a table of contents and named anchors for each section title for easier reference.

The web app now has an error page. The next step will be to have invalid regular expressions reported within each JSP instead of shifting context to this special error page.

October 26, 2002

Write out AccessField values as bit sets.

October 24, 2002

Got some more ideas regarding layout of dependency graphs.

Found interesting thing that JDK 1.4's javac does with method calls. The bytecode now points to the actual type of the reference now, instead of the last class in the inheritance hierarchy to implement the method.

Cleaned up com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter to better print field accesses and method calls.

Added manifest information to the JAR file.

October 23, 2002

Presentation went well. Two questions:

When will there be a graphical representation? This is a tough one to crack; it will require a lot of work.

Why Perl regular expressions? Because they are quite powerful and the only regular expression syntax that I bothered to learn a long time ago.

October 22, 2002

Worked on the PowerPoint presentation some more.

October 21, 2002

Started PowerPoint slides. When I am done, I will use them for the tutorial item on the release plan.

October 19, 2002

Drafted talk for this Wednesday. 34 pages and counting.

October 18, 2002

Will present Dependency Finder at work on 2002-10-23.

October 17, 2002

I'm planning to populate the file in DependencyFinder.jar. I will also put in code to printout version info, including versions of all 3rd party JARs.

October 16, 2002

Added usage hints to controls in web app JSPs. I also changed the look and feel and put it in an external CSS2 stylesheet. It looks great in IE 5.0 but Netscape 4.7 has trouble with the table that encloses controls. The JSP works, it just doesn't look as great. I'll worry about it later.

Added the same usage hints to controls as tool tips in the Swing version of Dependency Finder and OOMetrics.

Created a CSS stylesheet for this website.

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2.6 -> 1.2.7
October 15, 2002

Further simplified the default settings in DependencyFinder and query.jsp. The new defaults print the entire package-to-package dependency graph, as opposed to the entire graph like it was doing before. This is so that new users, as they start using the interface, can simply launch a query and see something useful without using all the memory available to render an immense graph.

I will expand the manual to include a tutorial with sample queries and their results.

There was a rendering problem for JTable under JDK 1.3. I try to group rows in bands of three with alternating background colors. For some reason, under JDK 1.3, the cells in column 0 would not get the right background sometimes. This problem is gone under JDK 1.4. Since this is not breaking any functionality (it is just annoying), I will recommend that you upgrade your JVM if it bothers you.

October 14, 2002

I'm dropping support for JDK 1.2.2. I upgraded my JDK 1.3 from 1.3.101 to 1.3.105. I also started playing with JDK 1.4.

This is interesting, now. JDK 1.4 ships with some basic XML support, including a version of Xerces. But it looks like it's an older version than the one I'm using, because it requires me to explicitly specify the system property org.xml.sax.driver. I need to dig further to figure out which version they're shipping and how I can force it to use the latest Xerces that I ship with Dependency Finder. Maybe some day, in the far future, when I don't support JDK 1.3 anymore, I can stop shipping Xerces with Dependency Finder altogether. But for now, I'm stuck.

Maybe I can weasel out of it by requiring users to install JAXP 1.2 from Sun. The documentation claims that JDK 1.4 ships with JAXP 1.1. Maybe JAXP 1.2 uses something close to the latest Xerces; and it also includes Xalan! I will investigate further.

Also, the compiler in JDK 1.4 behaves slightly differently from the one in JDK 1.3. The result is that the unit tests are breaking because the compiled classes don't have the same number of features. I will have to either revert back to JDK 1.3 or update the unit tests. I haven't quite decided yet, but I'm leaning towards the latter.

I also seems that JDK 1.4 has problems with Log4J too. More on this later.

Upgraded the following development components:

Xerces : 2.1.0 -> 2.2.0
October 11, 2002

I did a quick check to see if I can still compile Dependency Finder with JDK 1.2.2, but I can't anymore. I use java.util.Collections.singletonList() in com.jeantessier.commandline.MultipleValuesSwitch and a new constructor for javax.swing.JRadioButtonMenuItem in com.jeantessier.dependencyfinder.gui.DependencyFinder that takes an instance of javax.swing.Action. Given the context in which these happen, I don't see how I can write around them in a clean way.

So I'm probably just going to drop support of JDK 1.2.2 and ask people to use Dependency Finder with JDK 1.3 and above.

October 10, 2002

Everybody at work is asking how to use Dependency Finder. I guess I need to work on usability and the intuitiveness of the user interface.

Also, maybe the default settings should not try to print the whole dependency graph. The two instances my colleague deployed have over 50,000 nodes and the JVM runs out of memory trying to render them. A think a default of package-to-package dependencies might be better.

Here, I need to choose between default settings that make it non-threatening to newbies versus settings that people use most of the time, so the tool is quick to use, without having to flip the same switches all the time.

October 09, 2002

Maybe I could submit papers for sessions at JavaOne.

A colleague deployed two instances of the Dependency Finder web app for us to use.

October 08, 2002

Moved article outlines from paper to Word.

October 06, 2002

I may have found suitable examples on how to rewrite PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl in Michael Kay's book on XSLT.

October 04, 2002

The good folks at Xalan fixed bug 13106. They pointed out that I violate an XSLT rule when I reference validator instances in match clauses of <xsl:template> tags. It has been working until now because Xalan is lenient, but there is no guarantee that it will do so in the future or that the stylesheet will work with another XSLT translator. I will need to rewrite the stylesheet to use <xsl:if> tags to do the validation.

Wrote two outlines for articles or white papers on Dependency Finder and JarJarDiff, respectively.

October 01, 2002

Adjusted classfile.dtd and com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter to make the <interfaces> tag under <classfile> optional. This is to make it consistent with the other "optional" sections for fields, methods, and attributes.

September 30, 2002

Adjusted classfile.dtd and com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter to make <fields>, <methods>, and <attributes> tags optional. This is to account for backward compatibility and make the resulting XML documents a little simpler.

September 27, 2002

Found a deficiency with com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter: it is not printing attributes of class fields. I opened a bug about it, bug #615616.

I used the Inherited Behavior design pattern to normalize the handling of attributes across implementations of the com.jeantessier.classreader.Visitor interface. This solved the bug, but I had to change the DTD for classfiles. I don't know how that will impact validity of outputs once I change it the web site that the tools point to by default.

I worked out the problem with PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl. If I use the full notation for Xalan extensions instead of the abbreviated one for Java, it works just fine, even with Xalan 2.4.0. So I will upgrade back to Xalan 2.4.0. I opened a bug with the Xalan folks: Xalan bug 13106.

September 25, 2002

Found a problem with Xalan. For some reason, it won't recognize my extension for PublishedDiffToHTML.xsl for the Validator. It used to work just fine. I can't find anything in the documentation regarding changes on to specify extensions. The release notes hint at improvements regarding detection of extensions, but there are no specifics.

I have downgraded Xalan from 2.4.0 back to 2.3.1.

I've had an idea for a new web app where people can upload their JAR files and whatnots and get custom graphs for the duration of the session, or something. More on this later. In the meantime, I've put it in my release plan.

September 20, 2002

I found a tool that a lot of the same features of DependencyFinder, but with a GUI and can also handle C++. I read a review in Java Developers Journal. The tool is called Small Worlds and it sells for around $1,750. The screenshots are really nice.

I need to write to JDJ, maybe get an article out of it. And I need to follow up on Martin Fowler and Bob Martin too.

I put (most of) the website in CVS as a new module.

I also had an idea for a possible layout of classes, by package, for a dependency graph. Classes in a package are laid out in a circle, forming a cluster. The clusters are they laid out in a larger circle. This way, one can zoom in on a cluster to explore dependencies within a package. If you zoom out far enough, inter-package dependencies dominate and packages with lots of dependencies stand out.

September 18, 2002

Worked on documentation.

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.5Beta1 -> 1.5
Log4J : 1.2.3 -> 1.2.6
Jakarta ORO : 2.0.6 -> 2.0.7-dev-1
JUnit : 3.8 -> 3.8.1
Xerces : 2.0.1 -> 2.1.0
Xalan : 2.3.1 -> 2.4.0

It turns out that a semantics change in Jakarta ORO is breaking one of the unit tests. I will look into it later.

And I'm also playing with Tomcat 4.1.10.

September 17, 2002

Compressing by looking at consecutive lines does not work. I changed the algorithm in ListDiffPrinter to be a little more thorough. It can still have some problems with inner classes, but that only result in a little too much output; nothing is lost. I'll live with it for now.

Also fixed ListDiff.bat which was missing a JAR, now that ListDiffPrinter uses Jakarta ORO.

September 16, 2002

Fixed the problem with ListDiff. I'll double check with the person who first complained about the problem before definitely hanging my hat on this one, though.

September 15, 2002

Turns out ListDiff is not as easy to fix as I first expected. I know I have to be smarter than just doing a prefix check in ListDiffPrinter, but how do I distinguish between a package name, a class name, and a field name? The answer will drive how far the prefix match has to go.

I have an idea. I will have ListDocumentedElements mark each entry with a suffix in " [P]", " [M]", or " [F]". Then, in ListBasedValidator, I will trim it off. That will take care of JarJarDiff and the XSL transformations. Then, in ListDiffPrinter, I can use this information to do better compression of the lists.

I've opened a bug on the matter on the SourceForge project page.

September 13, 2002

Someone found a problem with ListDiff and how it compresses lists. It turns out that my simple use of prefixes when performing compression was a little too simplistic after all. Packages mask subpackages. Classes and fields with names that are prefix of others mask those others. This should be easy enough to fix.

September 10, 2002

Finished simplifying the UI in the Swing application of DependencyFinder.

September 06, 2002

Added separators and table of contents to the output of DiffToHTML.xsl. This helps me combine reports into one long history file, with individual diffs separated by <hr> tags. I also added new sample outputs of JarJarDiff.

September 05, 2002

Looked into making each implementation of Measurement compute its own metrics, instead of having everything crammed in MetricsGatherer. This is a major undertaking and will have to wait until after I have launched the first beta test. I would have to create over 60 custom Measurement implementations, one for each current measurement collected by the gatherer.

September 04, 2002

Added caching of values to MeasurementBase subclasses. This is to speed up rendering in OOMetricsGUI and other reports.

August 31, 2002

Finished MartinMetrics.xml for the metrics in Robert C. Martin's Design Principles and Design Patterns article.

August 30, 2002

Refactored AccumulatorMeasurement some more. Yesterday's implementation was to limiting. Still has a few kinks to work out. I'm also working on etc/MartinMetrics.xml which has the metrics configuration to support instability and abstractness metrics and his A vs. I graph.

August 29, 2002

Refactored AccumulatorMeasurement so I can aggregate extra-package dependencies and compute coupling metrics.

August 28, 2002

Added filtering to NbSubMetricsMeasurement. I was misled into thinking I could simply count classes that have outbound dependencies and classes that have inbound ones, and that would be enough to compute coupling metrics. But I was wrong. This modification is pretty useless, I can't think of a valid use case. But what the heck, it's in there already.

August 27, 2002

Fixed yesterday's problem with CodeDependencyCollector. It now treats the static initializer like any other feature. I also set the static initializer's signature to static {}. I decided to fix it since the com.jeantessier.metrics package was already treating it that way.

August 26, 2002

Worked on the documentation a bit. I tried to clarify how scoping and filtering work.

I found out that CodeDependencyCollector treats dependencies coming from a class' static analyzer as if the dependencies emanated from the class itself. This means that dependencies from the static initializer to features show up as class-to-feature dependencies, something I said in the manual did not exist. Now I must decide if I'm going to amend the documentation or treat the static initializer like a feature. And if the latter, how am I going to name it? I'm thinking maybe package.Class.{} or something similar.

August 25, 2002

Removed obsolete constructors in tests, now that I've upgraded JUnit and that junit.framework.TestCase now has a no argument constructor.

August 23, 2002

Found some articles (one by Robert C. Martin) and a tool for the Resource section. The article by Mr. Martin gave me the idea of providing a custom metrics configuration with the metrics he describes in the article, using the same abbreviations. I might need more powerful computational measurements to handle the equations.

I've put up some sample outputs so you can see what they looks like.

Upgraded the following development components:

JUnit : 3.7 -> 3.8
August 22, 2002

Worked on simplifying the UI in the Swing application. So far, it eludes me. But I'm done with the web application version.

In the meantime, I'm producing dependency reports and API difference reports for past versions of Dependency Finder.

August 21, 2002

67, 18, 4, 1, 1, 1, ...

The flow of downloads has tarried. But that's OK. I'll get another chance when the beta comes out (if I can get to it).

Worked on simplifying the UI in the web application. Both query.jsp and closure.jsp now have a simple and an advanced form. The advanced form has all the options whereas the simple form only takes regular expressions that apply to all packages, classes, and features. I'm thinking of relying on external cascading stylesheets, but I have to check about browser support. I suppose this is not really an issue anymore, but I'll check anyway.

August 14, 2002


I posted a message at 10am PDT and by midnight EDT there had been 67 downloads!

August 12, 2002

I found two other tools that do similar things as Dependency Finder: classdep and reView.

Faced with the declining number of downloads of Dependency Finder recently, I'm going to have to start advertising. I'm going to start by spamming newsgroups... See you in* :-)

August 07, 2002

I've had an idea for a logo. Here's the initial draft.

July 29, 2002

Added date of last extraction to extract.jsp.

July 23, 2002

Trying simpler UI with web application JSPs because they are easier to manipulate than the Swing code.

July 11, 2002

New release! I was hoping to launch a beta, but I'm behind with the documentation. With this release, people can benefit from the bug fixes while I finalize the docs.

I'm still going through the change logs from CVS to publish the list of changes since the last release.

July 09, 2002

Back from vacation.

Adjusted release plan to close current release and spec out the first beta.

Wrote a Perl script to parse log information from CVS to prepare the change file listing differences since the last release. New release is imminent.

June 17, 2002

Done with SLOC.

Added indent-text switch to commands that generate textual output, including XML documents. This allows users to adjust file size by replacing four spaces with a single TAB or whatever else they want.

June 14, 2002

Finished initial SLOC testing. I need to check a few more things dealing with synthetic elements and inner classes.

June 13, 2002

Fixed the ListDocumentedElements doclet so it skips static initializers.

Added dtd-prefix switch to commands that generate XML documents. This allows users to point to local DTDs when they are disconnected from the Internet. The user can simply use "-dtd-prefix %DEPENDENCYFINDER_HOME%\etc". The default value points back to the Dependency Finder website.

June 12, 2002

ListDiff can now compress the resulting list. This means that if, for instance, a class is in a list, it will remove entries for methods of that class from the list. The same goes for packages and their classes. Just call it with the compress switch.

I changed the published list to use with PublishedDiffToHTML. It makes more sense to use the old list, since the goal is to notify customers of the changes that possibly break backwards compatibility.

June 11, 2002

I'm done with dependency-related metrics. Now, I need to finalize SLOC.

June 10, 2002

I'm not going to make it. I wanted to finish the first beta release before going on vacation next week, but I'm not done with the coding and there is a lot of documentation to write still. I'll do a date-tagged release with all the code fixes so I can close the bugs and do the beta later, when I've had some time to write good docs and package the whole thing properly. I've updated the release plan accordingly.

Worked on dependency-related metrics. I think I've got it nailed down, but I need to write more tests.

Made progress with SLOC. Methods are pretty good. Fields are accounted for. I've added one for the class declaration. I still need to work out try { lines.

I got feedback regarding ListDiff and PublisedDiffToHTML.xsl. I need to do more testing to make sure that they compute differences correctly.

June 09, 2002

Worked on dependency-related metrics.

June 08, 2002

Wrote test cases for dependency-related metrics. I'm thinking of using it to test CodeDependencyCollector too, some day.

June 06, 2002

Changed the default self-disposition of StatisticalMeasurement to average values. It turns out that in my attempt yesterday, I had changed the wrong default value in the measurement's initialization.

You can now expand AccumulatorMeasurement values when using the -expand switch with the -txt switch to OOMetrics.

Fixed -verbose and -trace switches on all executables.

Fixed a bug in SumMeasurement when dealing with StatisticalMeasurement and empty lines.

Allow group definitions to be defined by multiple regular expressions.

Used SumMeasurement to compute SLOC on classes as the sum of SLOC on submetrics + 1. I still need to figure out how to ignore counts for synthetic elements and add abstract methods and try { lines.

June 05, 2002

Created classfile.dtd and put it at:

Added a TableCellRenderer to the JTable instances in OOMetricsGUI to draw out-of-bound measurements in red. I also tried to set the background to create bands of three rows of alternating colors, but it is not working perfectly yet.

Added a new metrics tool to OOMetricsGUI to reset the list of measurements.

Measurements in the configuration file can now be made invisible via an XML attribute on <measurement> tags.

I tried to change the default self-disposition of StatisticalMeasurement to average values, but it behaved strangely by ignoring itself instead. Strange! I also tried to have separate renderer classes for StatisticalMeasurement and the other subclasses of MeasurementBase, but that also didn't quite work out. More on that later ... maybe.

June 04, 2002

Added SumMeasurement in preparation for SLOC and dependency measurements.

Created metrics.dtd and put it at:

Fixed a mistyped measurement in MetricsConfig.xml.

Fixed MeasurementBase.InRange() to handle textual thresholds. It assumed the thresholds were instances of Number, but the XML descriptor provides them as text which has to be parsed.

June 03, 2002

Addressed a possible performance issue which com.jeantessier.metrics.XMLPrinter where using four spaces for indent was yielding huge XML reports. I changed OOMetrics to use a tab character instead. We'll see how it goes. At the same time, I adjusted XMLPrinter to generate <measurement> nodes instead of <metric>. It will also ignore NullMeasurement instances from here on.

Use the system property line.separator instead of "\n" in metrics reports. This should help with cross-platform portability.

Rigged MetricsFactory to handle group definitions properly.

I've been looking at using tool tips in the header of the result tables in OOMetricsGUI to expand the measurement names. Each header has an associated JComponent, but getting to is proving rather difficult. I'd almost have to provide a custom implementation of TableColumnModel, but I only need to override a tiny piece of the behavior. More on this later.

June 01, 2002

Finished MetricsConfig.xml and the constants com.jeantessier.metrics.Metrics. I adjusted some of the reporting functions in printers and in concrete implementations of Measurement.

May 31, 2002

Worked on unit tests for MetricsGatherer.

May 30, 2002

I'm working out MetricsGatherer to bring it closer to the old, hard-coded MetricsFactory. This is going to take a while ...

The optional validation was not enough when working in a disconnected environment. It still tried to load the DTD, even though it was not using it to validate the document. I've used an Apache feature to turn off loading of external DTDs when validation is turned off. It now works fine.

May 29, 2002

Finished with the whole MetricsConfiguration mess. All I have left to do is adjust the measurement names in MetricsGatherer and complete the descriptions in MetricsConfig.xml

Next, it is time to fix SLOC and dependency metrics. Then I'll simplify the UI, write tons of docs, and the first beta will finally be available by the middle of June.

Famous last words ...

May 28, 2002

I was looking into Ant and found some interesting features. I added descriptions to the build script to help people understand the various targets. I also managed to use the <ant> task to compile the JarJarDiff test samples.

I realized that the combination of a validating parser with remove DTDs might not work when disconnected from the Web. So I made the validating behavior optional in com.jeantessier.dependency.NodeLoader and in the DependencyReporter CLI application.

I upgraded all the scripts to use the new Xerces JAR files configuration.

Upgraded the following development components:

Ant : 1.4.1 -> 1.5Beta1
Log4J : 1.2rc1 -> 1.2.3
Jakarta ORO : 2.0.5 -> 2.0.6
May 26, 2002

Redesigned the Measurement hierarchy and got rid of NumericalMeasurement and NumericalMeasurementBase. Now, all measurements have a "value" and StatisticalMeasurement uses a self dispose parameter to determine how to evaluate itself. The class diagram is now almost trivial.

The implementations of Measurement can be configured using the init-text tags in the descriptor.

Class Init-Text
AccumulatorMeasurement [SET | LIST]
CounterMeasurement [initial value]
NbSubMetricsMeasurement none
RatioMeasurement base measurement name [DISPOSE_x]
divider measurement name [DISPOSE_x]
StatisticalMeasurement monitored measurement name [DISPOSE_x]
[self DISPOSE_x]
May 23, 2002

I have fixed all the unit tests!

I was not happy with the way that most measurements inherited from MeasurementBase and implemented NumericalMeasurement. This led to a lot of duplicate code and the resulting class diagram was hard to read. So I created NumericalMeasurementBase to store the common code and provided some sensible default method implementations in both abstract classes. Now, there is no longer any duplicated code and the class diagram is simple and obvious.

May 21, 2002

I have fixed all the unit tests except the one for StatisticalMeasurement. I've got it pretty much figured out, but there is just a lot of code to change to fix these.

I stumbled by pure chance on articles by Martin Fowler on coupling and public vs. published interfaces. I am now thinking of writing follow up articles that show how Dependency Finder helps with addressing these issues.

May 20, 2002

I have a new design for Measurement implementations. Now I get over 100 compile time errors when compiling the unit tests. This is going to take forever...

May 17, 2002

I finally figured out my problem with Xerces and unit tests. The Xerces and JUnit's class loading behavior do not play well together. I had to craft an file so that Xerces files are not reloaded with every test run.

I finished MetricsConfigurationHandler. In the unit tests, I tried to test Xerces's XML validation feature. It load the external DTD, alright, but fails to flag documents that do not follow the DTD. So much for that.

To use the validating parser, I had to put the DTDs on:

Upgraded the following development components:

Xerces : 2.0.0 -> 2.0.1
May 13, 2002

I still haven't solved my problems with Xerces.

May 10, 2002

I am having problem with unit testing Xerces. XMLReaderFactory complains that the default XMLReader is not a XMLReader.

May 06, 2002

More work on MetricsConfiguration.

May 03, 2002

I switched the XML formats to use an external DTD instead of an internal one, like I've been doing so far. Not that I have an "official" web site, I can store the DTDs there for all to share. When the release is ready, I'll put the DTDs at:

I have got a design for the configuration of metrics system. I have started writing some unit tests.

May 01, 2002

Fixed bugs in:

where they were not closing the files they were opening. This resulted in locked resources under Windows NT that prevented me from recompiling classes after finding out stuff about them.

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2beta3 -> 1.2rc1
April 30, 2002

I have found a silly bug in com.jeantessier.dependency.TextPrinter where it was not following the Inherited Behavior pattern in some of its methods. This was slowing down the printing of dependency graphs tremendously (by a factor of 60 for analyzing Dependency Finder itself). It is all fixed now.

April 28, 2002

I have started defining the DTD and initial document for the metrics configuration. I have yet to read it in or do anything useful with it.

April 24, 2002

I have changed how Metrics manages Measurement instances. If the Metrics instance is not tracking a given measurement, it returns a NullMeasurement object instead of null.

April 22, 2002

I just started on the metrics features. After these are done, and I've completed the user's manual, I'll be done with this release!

I need to adjust the MetricsFactory to create the elementary measurements at each level and then setup the composite measurements from some configuration. This will set the stage for using custom configuration files for custom metrics reports in the next release.

April 19, 2002

I have added a utility for diff'ing published API lists. The utility is called ListDiff and has two XSL stylesheets for writing to HTML and regular text.

April 16, 2002

I fixed some images in the user manual.

April 15, 2002

I'm looking at having a Java Web Start version too.

April 14, 2002

I am done with JarJarDiff (for this release)!

I have fixed DifferencesFactory. I have renamed some of the stylesheets. I have added even more unit tests.

DiffToExternalHTML -> PublishedDiffToHTML
DiffToDocumentationHTML -> ListDocumentationDiffToHTML
DiffToInheritanceChange -> ListInheritanceDiffToText
April 13, 2002

I have moved all the difference computation code from the constructors to the various Differences classes to a single DifferencesFactory class. I have added additional unit tests that cover most cases.

April 11, 2002

I have figured out how to work around the expression size limitation in DiffToExternalHTML.xsl. I have added a full-signature attribute to declaration nodes in the DTD for differences. This keeps the size of the expression somewhat lower, but it is still a behemoth.

I am now done with the higher-resolution validation feature.

The XSL stylesheets for JarJarDiff seem to work fine. I have added one more to only list documentation level changes. I also need to test DiffToExternal on a real-life sample. I am still not clear as to which validation list to use: the one generated from the old code, the one generated from the new code, or a merge of the two.

April 10, 2002

I have been looking at the DiffToExternalHTML.xsl stylesheet, looking for a way to get the additional validation now that the resolution has gone down to the feature level. I have noticed that the match expression for class nodes has exceeded some internal buffer in Xalan. If a add a few characters, I get an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException from the transformation engine.

April 09, 2002

I am almost done with new features to JarJarDiff!

I fixed all the unit tests and the XSL stylesheets. In the process, I fixed a bug in PackageDifferences and ClassDifferences when adding decorators.

DiffToExternal may need additional tweaking. I also need an new XSL stylesheet to extract the documentation level information from all the other differences.

April 08, 2002

JarJarDiff is a mess. I have started writing unit tests in an effort to regain control.

April 05, 2002

The code is in place, but it does not seem to be working.

April 03, 2002

First shot at tracking documentation levels using JarJarDiff.

After looking at the format used by Argo/UML to save UML project files, I'm having renewed interest in XMI to import dependency graph into UML modeling tools. This would allow people to draw the graph visually using their favorite UML tool. Argo/UML also uses PGML to store graphics. This has led to W3C to standardize SVG, which I might be looking into in the future.

March 31, 2002

I finished the reorganization of the Differences hierarchy for the Decorator pattern. I have made this change to ease listing of documentation status changes. Come to think of it, I might not have needed this change to do the new feature.

I have added some documentation for JarJarDiff in preparation for the new feature..

March 30, 2002

I started some unit tests for the Differences hierarchy.

March 27, 2002

I reorganized the Differences hierarchy to make room for a Decorator pattern. I'm reimplementing tracking of deprecated features to arrange the code. After that, I'll be better able to take care of documented vs. undocumented programming elements.

Right now, I've broken something. I don't have the adequate unit tests to tell me what it is that I broke. I guess I've been a bad boy. This will take a little while to fix.

March 21, 2002

I am rediscovering the com.jeantessier.diff package in an attempt to incorporate a documented attribute to programming entities. I have added javadocs to explain some of the classes and interfaces.

March 19, 2002

That validation list is still giving me headaches. How can I make that feature fit without breaking the purity of my code so far? :-)

In the meantime, I've added a confirmation screen to extract.jsp, hoping this will prevent lengthy extractions from happening by accident.

March 13, 2002

I have regained control over DiffToExternalHTML.

With finer control over validation, how the validation list is generated and used becomes more and more important. If we use javadoc comments, and we want to track when things transition from valid to invalid or vice versa, we now need a list for the old version and a list for the new version. How these two lists are combined and used remains to be determined. Should they be fed to JarJarDiff and merged into the XML output? Should they be fed to the XSL stylesheet, making it even more convoluted? And what about DiffToHTML.xsl? Should it start to use Java code too?

I streamlined Diff.dtd to remove duplicated information in the output of JarJarDiff.

March 10, 2002

I wrote ListBasedValidator and I have ListVisibleElements, a doclet for listing programming elements that have been flagged through their javadoc comments. This way, one can use javadoc tags to flag classes and features as part of the published API and guide DiffToExternalHTML to limit the report to those classes and features.

I've started to adjust DiffToExternalHTML, but that XSL non-trivial.

March 07, 2002

I refactored PackageValidator to create the Validator interface. This is in preparation to a more granular validation that would have a feature-level resolution.

March 04, 2002

I've simplified how TransitiveClosure determines whether or not to follow inbound and outbound dependencies. But I still have problems with weird interactions when following both inbound and outbound dependencies at the same time.

I've created closure.jsp, a web application interface to TransitiveClosure.

I've added the appropriate switches to DependencyClosure.

I fixed a typo in DiffToExternalHTML.xsl.

March 03, 2002

I've bounded TransitiveClosure.

February 27, 2002

I finally have a release plan.

I may have found some more/better icons in another open source software. More on this later.

February 26, 2002

I got rid of the previous DiffToHTML.xsl and renamed DiffToInternalHTML.xsl to it. I also added the product's name to the template and redesigned the title line. I added it to DiffToExternalHTML.xsl too. I'm thinking of making that one simply an XML filter and use the new DiffToHTML.xsl for all rendering. But I will need to figure out how to efficiently copy XML trees in XSLT.

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.2alpha6 -> 1.2beta3
Jakarta ORO : 2.0.4 -> 2.0.5
Xerces : 1.4.3 -> 2.0.0
Xalan : 2.2 D11 -> 2.3.1
February 21, 2002

I rewrote the Documentation page to the new Resources center. I hope to keep track of articles and competing software there.

I'm going to upgrade Xerces, Xalan, Jakarta ORO.

February 19, 2002

Fixed bugs with com.jeantessier.classreader.XMLPrinter. The XML now uses lower-case tag names. I'm still missing a DTD.

I upgraded extract.jsp and query.jsp, so they are a little more friendly now.

I moved under src/.

February 13, 2002

I modified the com.jeantessier.classreader package so that ClassfileLoader can notify listeners as soon as a .class file is loaded. This way, tools like DependencyExtractor can use a TransientClassfileLoader since it does not need the Classfile instance once the dependencies have been extracted.

February 05, 2002

I need a release plan. I've had a number of ideas lately for new features and I need to scope what's doable and what's not, and have some idea of when I can expect the release.

I fixed TransitiveClosure. I also added to it a feature where it can now follow inbound dependencies in addition to outbound ones. Maybe this will become handy somehow. I'm thinking of limiting the depth of the closure exploration, though. And finally, it now has two modes of operation: one where it only records the first dependency that led to a Node, and another where it records all such paths.

I adjusted the code so that Log4J is initialized from located on the CLASSPATH. I thought about putting the file in DependencyFinder.jar, but decided against. If someone is familiar with Log4J, they can edit the configuration file and adjust logging to their liking. It took a lot of hard work to figure it out. I had to follow all the steps below, pretty much in that order:

  1. RTFM
  2. RTFM
  3. RTFM :-)

I temporarily removed xerces.jar and xalan.jar from the web application WAR file. This dramatically reduced its size. I also added deploy and undeploy targets to the build.xml file for Tomcat.

February 03, 2002

I adjusted GraphCopier and GraphSummarizer to reduce the noise in their scope output. They used to output the whole package of any node that was in scope. This often produced extra output that would obscure the answer to the query.

The new GraphCopier maintains a separate NodeFactory for scoped nodes and filtered nodes. Only nodes in the scope are created using the scoping NodeFactory. This cuts away a lot of extraneous information.

This has unfortunately broken TransitiveClosure.

February 02, 2002

I fixed JarJarDiff. I forgot to adjust it when I changed ClassfileLoader to add support for "progress report"-type of information. JarJarDiff did not call Start() on its ClassfileLoader instances.

January 29, 2002

Dependency Finder is one year old!

January 28, 2002

I put the functionality for exploring dependency graphs into a web application. It is governed by three application context parameters:

A user-friendly name for the codebase. This allows users to know the subject of the dependency graph without revealing where it is on the server's file system.
The compiled Java code to be extracted. You can specify multiple locations by separating them with commas.
Whether to maximize or minimize the graph, or leave it in raw form.

The application consists of only two JSPs:

Extracts the dependency graph from the source specified by application.getInitParameter("source"). The graph will further be processed based on application.getInitParameter("mode").
Displays a subset of the dependency graph, according to the user-specified scope and filter.

I may look into better rendering and status out of the JSPs.

January 25, 2002

I finally found a practical way to parse the input from the GUI to allow users to specify multiple regular expressions.

I have a plan for making a web application version. The application implicit object can hold on to the dependency factory and a query JSP can run queries and format the results. This is going to be cool!

January 23, 2002

I'm working on the manual. I started to use MS Word for some of the figures. I'll use Poseidon for the UML.

January 22, 2002

I fixed the minimize and maximize discussion. It had broken links and I had to regenerate the HTML from the source MS Word document.

While I was at it, I fixed the Documentation section too. It had a few obsolete links.

Someone brought JDiff to my attention. I've given it a cursory look and I still believe that my work is so much better. ;-) More on this later. I'll have to create a section on the competition.

January 21, 2002

It turns out the problem with XSL was my fault. Apparently, I was not supposed to use the string "--" in comments the way I did to format the copyright notice. I'll put the fix in the next release. In the mean time, people can either edit the files themselves or stick to the GUI.

I'm working on fixing -verbose and -trace switches.

Upgraded the following development components:

Log4J : 1.1.3 -> 1.2alpha6

I thought about upgrading Jakarta ORO, who just came out with version 2.0.5. But the changes are just bug fixes that don't impact me, so I decided against.

I'll also try to fix the dependency metrics for the next release.

January 18, 2002

I'm making progress with the user manual. I've expanded the TWiki-like notation to include HTML and inlined images. I put the working draft on the project's web site. It'll be part of the distribution for the next release.

I got my first support call today. Someone is having difficulties with one of the XSL converters. This is all Xalan stuff, so I'm thinking it might be JVM memory. I instructed them to set DEPENDENCYFINDER_OPTS and call me back.

January 17, 2002

I got started on a user manual. I want to enter the core text quickly, so I wrote a Perl script to replicate the TWiki shorthand. I'll use it to generate the initial version of the text and we'll see later if it's worth while to keep the original shorthand.

January 15, 2002

Added feature 502554 "Sorting doesn't work on NaN". I changed com.jeantessier.metrics.MetricsComparator so that NaN always appears at the bottom of the list.

January 11, 2002

I am going to switch to SourceForge's project management tools for keeping track of status and downloads. It provides more information and is easier to maintain than my little manual HTML page. I'm going to merge it with this journal and then merge it.

January 10, 2002

I moved the code to the BSD-style license.

Emacs behaves strangely when under CVS. I'll need to adjust the code formatting. It is back to indenting with tabs and spaces.

January 09, 2002

I finally managed to create the CVS repository on SourceForge. I've uploaded a first version of the code, but it still has the LGPL license instead of the BSD-style one.

I also uploaded the release file in SourceForge's FRS. One more thing to learn (and is not trivial).

I looked at BCEL. It looks too complex for me to bother with right now. I already have something that works. I'm going to stick with it for now. I like how my code uses the Visitor pattern to provide hooks for traversing the structure.

January 07, 2002

The Jakarta Project at Apache has BCEL, a subproject that does the same thing as com.jeantessier.classreader and more.

January 03, 2002

I requested a SourceForge project and had it approved the same day. I got SSH to work, but CVS still eludes me.

I'm going to change the licensing. I'm going to move away from LGPL to a BSD-style license.

December 20, 2001

I've been considering switching from Log4J to the JDK 1.4 Logging API. I decided against it after reading Ceki Gülcü's comparison of the two. I've played a little bit with the Logging API and it was very difficult to introduce a new format for the logged messages. I believe Log4J is more flexible and easier to use.

This being said, I still need to work out the -verbose and -trace switches so that they properly adjust the logging configuration.

I also need to compare the speed of the tools when they use Log4J as opposed to com.jeantessier.log.

I got rid of the JAVA_BIN and JAVA_EXE environment variables. I should be able to use only JAVA_HOME like everybody else.

December 15, 2001

I switched from com.jeantessier.log to Log4J. I must now figure out how to send the information to a log file instead of the console.

December 13, 2001

I merged back together JT and JarJarDiff into DependencyFinder.

I renamed com.jeantessier.util.commandline to com.jeantessier.commandline and com.jeantessier.util.log to com.jeantessier.log. The next step is to replace com.jeantessier.log with Log4J from the Jakarta project.

December 03, 2001

I added a filtering function to OOMetricsGUI. With this feature, I can filter a set of metrics to only show the rows that interest me, out of a large body of code.

There is a bug with the sorting function. If a column contains NaN values, only the segments between NaN values get sorted. The NaN values don't move and I then have islands of data, each one sorted by itself.

November 27, 2001

I change the root of the packages from jt to com.jeantessier. This comes as part of the preparations to make this software open source.

Upgraded the following development components:

Jean Tessier API : 20011114 -> 20011125
November 21, 2001

I added the ability to sort the columns in tables from OOMetrics.

I also fixed a minor bug in jt.dependency.GraphSummarizer where it was not using the right level for scope and filters (class when it should have been package).

November 13, 2001

I've put everything under the LGPL.

Upgraded the following development components:

Jean Tessier API : unknown -> 20011114
November 07, 2001

I got some performance numbers. I don't recall which column is which implementation, but it seems to point to a decrease in performance. :-(

Corpus Before (secs) After (secs)
JDK 1.3.1_01 148.363 154.507
EFS 4.0 b29 206.717 210.042

I'll have to redo these tests to make sure.

November 06, 2001

I removed trace statements from jt.dependency.VisitorBase to boost performance. In tests with JT.jar and DependencyFinder.jar, I couldn't detect any difference. Can you see the difference?

I also got the latest JT library.

I revamped the web page.

November 04, 2001

OOMetricsGUI is a Swing GUI put on top of OOMetrics. It resulted in the creation of the jt.swing package to hold generic classes for Swing applications.

The next step is to be able to sort on arbitrary columns. I must also integrate it with DependencyFinder.

October 30, 2001

I fixed a problem with inner classes. OOMetrics was counting all inner class entries in the InnerClasses class attribute. This included references to inner classes in other classes, resulting in a count that was higher than reality. It now restricts itself to actual inner classes of the current class, resulting in the correct count.

I also adjusted how the jt.classreader.Classfile constructor writes trace entries about its constant pool. This way, the text of the pool gets generated only if there is a log object to print it. I'm expecting a 25% improvement in performance as this involves quite a bit of conversions when printing the entries in the constant pool.

I also fixed a bug in OOMetrics so that it now uses the -project-name command line switch instead of -project to determine the project's name in reports.

October 28, 2001

For a while now, I have been less than pleased at having to operate on maximized graphs. I revised jt.dependency.GraphCopier to make jt.dependency.GraphSummarizer. The latter explores the graph more fully to compensate for the sparseness of the graph. This modification will shorten the time it takes to read the graph, but queries will take longer to process. Usage in the field will tell which mode works best on real projects, whether it is normal, minimized, or maximized. I had to retrofit DependencyReporter, DependencyMetrics, and DependencyFinder and give them the appropriate switches.

October 24, 2001

I found a bug in jt.dependency.CodeDependencyCollector where it does not process catch clauses to include dependencies on caught exceptions.

In order to fix this bug, I revisited jt.classreader.VisitorBase to build in default behavior that explores all parts of the classfile structure.

I also modified DependencyFinder to include command-line switches -trace and -verbose.

October 19, 2001

I added switches to OOMetrics to make the parts of the report conditional. This way, the users can request only specific parts of the report if they want.

I need modified jt.metrics.ui.OOMetrics so that it parses all classes before starting the analysis.

October 18, 2001

I fixed a bug in jt.metrics.MetricsGatherer that caused a NullPointerException when analyzing java.lang.Object. It also skewed Depth of Inheritance metrics.

I also fixed a bug when processing static class initializers. They were getting attached to a no name class in the default package. Parsing the name correctly fixed the problem.

I might have to have two sets of parsed classes, one for analysis and the other for support classes. This is in order to correctly compute the Depth of Inheritance metric.

I need to modify jt.metrics.ui.OOMetrics so that it parses all classes before starting the analysis. Right now, it parses and analyzes each parameter on the command-line separately.

October 17, 2001

I adjusted the display of ratio metrics in jt.metrics.PrettyPrinter and reorganized the code in the subclasses of jt.metrics.Printer, making it implement jt.metrics.MeasurementVisitor. I used the occasion to normalize the behavior of the -time switch to OOMetrics.

October 16, 2001

I added ratio metrics in jt.metrics.MetricsFactory.

I now use instances of java.text.NumberFormat in jt.metrics.PrettyPrinter to adjust the display of numbers.

I played with using Jikes to compile the code instead of javac, but the difference in compile time was not worth the extra warnings (4 secs vs. 10 secs).

I now use the default compiler mode in javac, modern, instead of classic. I hope this won't break the compatibility with JDK 1.2 VMs.

October 15, 2001

It's been a while, but I've been preparing an OO metrics module. Right now, it is only available as a command-line utility named OOMetrics. It is very unstable and not all metrics are computed yet. Output is either text, .csv file, or XML. I will eventually have XSL stylesheets to format the XML output. I will also eventually incorporate it in DependencyFinder.

I added PC counter information to the trace information from jt.classreader.Code_attribute.

Upgraded the following development components:

JDK : 1.3 -> 1.3.1_01
Ant : 1.3 -> 1.4.1
Jakarta ORO : 2.0.1 -> 2.0.4
Xerces : 1.4.1 -> 1.4.3
Xalan : 2.2_D3 -> 2.2_D11
August 30, 2001

I fixed a bug in jt.dependency.CodeDependencyCollector. It was not looking at the signature of called methods when looking for dependencies. I also stopped processing instruction 0xBB (new), since the call to the constructor always follows shortly after.

I fixed a bug in jt.dependency.PrettyPrinter. It was not collecting dependencies correctly when they were between different kinds of nodes (e.g., feature to class).

There was a bug with jt.dependency.LinkMinimizer. It misses some redundancies. The whole class had to be redone. I now have a strong test suite for it and for jt.dependency.LinkMaximizer too.

August 28, 2001

I added controls for the printer of dependency reports in DependencyFinder. This way, we can now limit the results to inbound or outbound dependencies only, and remove empty nodes from the result.

August 24, 2001

I adjusted the text output for a nicer printout. I reorganized the jt.dependency.Printer hierarchy to preserve the old format and maximize code reuse.

August 21, 2001

I fixed a scoping problem in jt.dependency.GraphCopier. It did not follow inbound dependencies and was therefore missing many dependencies. I suspect that the same goes for jt.dependency.TransitiveClosure, but I have not had the time to investigate.

August 17, 2001

I fixed a scoping problem in the jt.dependency.Visitor hierarchy. I also added some new unit tests in the process.

August 16, 2001

I made major changes in the jt.dependency.Visitor and jt.dependency.TraversalStrategy hierarchies. I have consolidated the visitors under a single base class and moved the complex traversal logic into a traversal strategy implementation.

There is a bug with the new traversal strategy which does not traverse the graph at all unless jt.dependency.TraversalStrategy.PackageScope() is true. Likewise, feature nodes don't get visited unless jt.dependency.TraversalStrategy.ClassScope() is also true.

August 12, 2001

Made jt.dependency.MetricsGatherer inherit from SubGraphSelector instead of VisitorBase so that I could apply scoping to metrics queries. I had to retrofit DependencyFinder and DependencyMetrics to pass in the scoping parameters.

I wrote GraphCopier. I can now easily make copies of graphs before maximizing them.

I have unit tests, using JUnit, for GraphCopier.

August 03, 2001

The status line of DependencyFinder (previously known as SwingDependencyReporter) was using up too much CPU time, so I trimmed down the number of messages that get displayed. I also had OpenFileAction display class names on the status line as they are being loaded.

May 29, 2001

I fixed bugs in SwingDependencyReporter.

May 27, 2001

I added SwingDependencyReporter, a Swing-based GUI for DependencyReporter. It is still a little buggy, but it works.

I also reorganized the jt.dependency package to isolate the UI-related stuff in subpackages. The package hierarchy may still need some tweaking.

May 22, 2001

I revised all the .bat files to support an arbitrary number of arguments. On Windows machines, this can require messing with the CONFIG.SYS file to increment the amount of memory dedicated to environment variables.

May 17, 2001

I added a -f2f switch and matching .bat files for DependencyReporter to analyze software at the feature level.

I am rewriting the .bat files to support an arbitrary number of arguments.

I also added a -time switch to all commands so we can time their execution.

April 26, 2001

I upgraded the package jt.classreader so I could get signatures from all methods references. I also upgraded the package jt.dependency to track methods by signature, instead of only by name.

April 16, 2001

Upgraded Ant (1.0.8 -> 1.3) and Jakarta ORO (1.2 -> 1.2.1).

I need to get JUnit involved!

I thought of adding support in the jt.classreader package for generating the .class file. This way, I can easily test the whole package by parsing and then rewriting a .class file. If the bytes are the same, then no information was lost during parsing.

April 09, 2001

Spun off JarJarDiff.

Reorganized the package structure.

April 05, 2001

When attempting to locate a feature, the code now looks at implemented interfaces too. ClassDifferences will use this for all fields and only for methods between classes or between interfaces.

I renamed the packages. I'm still not happy with all the names, specially the package.

April 04, 2001

I adjusted JarJarDiff so that when it detects a feature that has been removed, it looks in the superclasses of the class for a matching signature or proper visibility. This can happen when refactoring pushes a method up the inheritance tree. The method is no longer in the class, but it can still be visible if it was declared public or protected. The XML node gets a new attribute to indicate that a removed feature is now inherited. The XSL stylesheet can then choose to ignore the removed feature, if it wants to.

I've added a tool called DiffToInheritanceChange that lists interfaces and classes whose extends or implements clause have changed.

I need to redo the packaging and add documentation.

April 02, 2001

I fixed a bug in the package jt.dependencyfinder.classreader to process unknown or custom attributes in the .class file, such as those generated by the Microsoft compiler.

I also fixed bugs in DiffToExternalHTML.xsl dealing with restricting the processing to public or protected features, as well as correctly detecting changes in visibility from protected to package or private.

March 28, 2001

I gave a copy to Mickey Reilly so she can start using JarJarDiff. I had to add quick installation instructions in readme.txt.

March 20, 2001

JarJarDiff is done, along with its stylesheets. If I have the time, I'll build test cases so we can verify that it really does trap everything it's supposed to.

The script JarJarDiff.bat takes two codebases (JAR files, Zip files, or directories) and saves the differences in an XML document.

The script DiffToInternalHTML.bat takes the XML document generated by JarJarDiff and transforms it completely to HTML.

The script DiffToExternalHTML.bat takes the XML document generated by JarJarDiff and transforms the public subset of it to HTML.

I may need to split this website according to the various tools:

I may also need to revise the package names and organization.

March 19, 2001

Pretty much done.

In DiffToExternalHTML.xsl, I now use an XSLT Extension in Xalan-Java to limit the report to a subset of packages defined in a separate file. The XSL stylesheet has a default value for the filename, and I should be able to pass in a value from the command-line. I can now trap changes in extends, implements, and throws clauses, as well as in the return type of methods.

March 16, 2001

In DiffToExternalHTML.xsl, I can use an XSLT Extension in Xalan-Java to limit the report to a subset of packages defined in a separate file.

In DiffToExternalHTML.xsl, I need to filter out declarations that only remove abstract, final, and static, instead of filtering in declarations that add it. This way, I might be able to trap changes in extends, implements, and throws, as well as return type.

March 15, 2001

Refactored JarJarDiff and the XSL stylesheets to generate both reports from the same XML file. JarJarDiff still supports the -external switch, but not for long. I am also more strict regarding what goes in the external (i.e., public) report. Now, all I need to do is be still more strict on what features are reported, and restrict the report to a subset of packages.

It turns out we want feature signatures after all.

March 14, 2001

Refactored JarJarDiff and the jt.dependencyfinder.diff package. I adjusted the XSL stylesheet accordingly. Now, all I need to do is be more strict on what features are reported, and restrict the report to a subset of packages.

Also, do we want feature signatures or full declarations in lists?

March 12, 2001

Renamed the JarDiff tool to JarJarDiff, at a friend's recommendation. I adjusted the output so that it lists methods by signature instead of name. It actually outputs XML and has a XSL stylesheet for converting to HTML. I don't have one for text, yet.

I've added a tool to compute the transitive closure of elements. It is named DependencyClosure. If creates a sub-graph of the dependency graph by following outbound dependencies. By starting on one class, you can find out all the classes that are used directly or indirectly by that class. It uses the same scoping and filtering engine as DependencyReporter.

I've added another tool to compute dependency statistics, such as the number of inbound vs. outbound links. It is named DependencyMetrics. I also renamed Metrics to ClassMetrics in the process.

March 08, 2001

Added the JarDiff tool to compare different versions of the same codebase, using the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader package. This first version is pretty stupid and writes only text output from main(). It needs to be refactored to produce XML, and then use XSL stylesheets to generate text and HTML reports.

I've added many utility methods in the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader package to help in interrogating classes.

March 07, 2001

More bug fixes with parsing .class files.

March 06, 2001

Fixed the .bat files. Also created the readme.txt file that explains how to install the tool. The .bat files still depend on the JAVA_EXE environment variable. I need to fix that so that the .bat files try JAVA_HOME and/or give a nice error message when they cannot find the JVM.

Added Metrics to handle class metrics gathering, as described on 2001-03-05. I have yet to gather metrics about dependencies.

Fixed some bugs with parsing .class files.

March 05, 2001

I tweaked CodeDependencyCollector to process new, anewarray, checkcast, instanceof, and multianewarray opcodes. It doesn't seem to add any dependencies that were not already found by just looking at field access and method call instructions, but maybe this is just a quirk of my code.

I need to adjust the .bat files so that they are no longer tied to my environment. I'll create a DEPENDENCYFINDER_HOME environment variable, this way people only need to set that variable to start using the tools. Eventually, I could look at some kind of InstallShield or InstallAnywhere solution.

I also want to create some additional implementations of the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader.Visitor interface to compute software metrics, such as:

I could do the same with additional implementations of the jt.dependencyfinder.model.Visitor interface to compute software metrics, such as:

For these last dependency metrics, the tools should be applicable to the output of both DependencyExtractor and DependencyReporter, so that scoping can be used without duplicating the functionality in DependencyReporter.

March 02, 2001

After running the tools on themselves, I reorganized the package hierarchy and simplified it greatly.

I added XSL stylesheets for converting dependency graphs to text and HTML. Each stylesheet has three version:

  1. Whole graph
  2. List only outbound dependencies (show nodes that are dependent on others)
  3. List only inbound dependencies (show dependable nodes, i.e., depended upon)

I added shorthand options to DependencyReporter. I also added shorthand .bat files.

I adjusted DependencyExtractor to scan the bytecode using CodeDependencyCollector instead of limiting itself to traversing the constant pool and looking at signatures.

I refactored Collector, making it an interface with a base implementation (CollectorBase) and creating an inheritance ladder with Visitor.

I found yet another bug with byte as a signed type. There may be others still waiting to manifest themselves.

March 01, 2001

Added a script for doing XSL Transformations. It uses Apache's Xalan. Now all I need are some XSL stylesheets.

DependencyReporter is working fine, except that the command-line is starting to exceed DOS limits. I will need to create an XML configuration document if I want to process complex queries.

I fixed DependencyExtractor so that it can read from JAR and Zip files.

I found yet another bug caused by things use index 0 in the constant pool to represent special cases. There may be others still waiting to manifest themselves.

February 28, 2001

Simplified the command-line interfaces to the major tools (DependencyExtractor and DependencyReporter).

Fixed Reporter to assume it is operating on a maximized graph. This simplifies the processing and minimizes traversals. This might have also solved the printing problems I was experiencing.

Fixed a bug where a feature could get a dependency on its class or package, and vice versa. The same thing was happening between classes and packages.

February 27, 2001

Added the CodeIterator class in the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader package. This allows me to traverse bytecode and capture dependencies originating from methods. I have yet to figure out exactly how to use it. I'm thinking of writing a new DependencyCollector to do all the collecting, instead of the current two step class then feature collection.

Added the Reporter class in the jt.dependencyfinder.model.Visitor hierarchy. This allows me to build a Node graph from the dependency graph which answers queries such as package-to-package dependencies and the like. I've adjusted DependencyReporter to make use of this new class. There are still problems with displaying scopes of other things than packages, but it should be easy to solve.

The interfaces to DependencyExtractor and DependencyReporter need work to make them easier to use.

I must fix the deserialization bug in the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader.Classfile package.

I must also make the whole jt.dependencyfinder.classreader.Classfile easier to use for general purposes (i.e., Jeff).

February 21, 2001

Added the ClassfileLoader hierarchy in the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader package. This allows me to read from .class files from a directory tree, from a JAR file, or from a Zip files.

Right now, the loaders load and parse everything in the constructors. I need to enhance these classes to do lazy loading and provide a list of the entries they contain. Whether these entries will be file names or class names is not decided yet.

I also need to enhance the classes in the jt.dependencyfinder.classreader package to provide better navigation and query mechanisms in the Classfile-rooted structure. I need to be able to pull methods and fields by name rather than iterate through the collections. I need to simple query methods when looking for tagging attributes such as Synthetic_attribute or Deprecated_attribute.

February 20, 2001

Added a SAX parser for reading the dependency XML format, using Xerces from Apache.

Added an embryonic DependencyReporter tool. I'm thinking of having this tools output some form of XML and then use XSLT to convert it to whatever I need. I would most likely use Apache's Xalan for that.

I'm also thinking of another tool that would create a file hierarchy that mirrors the one from javadoc. This way, I could embed dependency information in the automatically generated documentation. Each class comments could include a hyperlink to a local file with the dependencies for that class. The same would go for packages.

I also need to figure a way to read .class from JAR files, in addition to directories.

February 16, 2001

Renamed the extraction tool from DependencyFinder to DependencyExtractor.

Added LinkMinimizer and LinkMaximizer visitors to control the size of the dependency graph. LinkMinimizer removes redundant edges while LinkMaximizer replicates edges. The minimal graphs gives a more compact representation, but traversal can be slowed down. The full graph takes up more space, but its traversal will be more efficient when computing metrics such as aggregated package dependencies.

February 14, 2001

Refactored the jt.dependencyfinder.model package to have a Node hierarchy and Visitor classes. This way, I will be able to use visitors to implement reporting functions in Java.

February 13, 2001

Added DirectoryExplorer and the jt.dependencyfinder.model package. The new DependencyFinder tool either prints the forest of packages or the burgeoning XML output.

We may have a problem with inlined code. Features marked as public static final do not show up.

February 12, 2001

Regarding the need for compiling in debug mode (-g switch). This is required in order to capture dependencies created by the type of local variables in methods. The compiler verifies the legality of type assignments and then discards the type information. When the compiler is called with -g, it keeps the type information to create the LocalVariableTable attribute of Code attributes. If the assignment is legal, then it meets all the dependency requirements. It either uses the same dependency, or creates a new one which is more restrictive than the initial dependency (i.e., it transitively includes the former). Dependencies are not automatically considered transitive, but in this case they are. It is therefore acceptable to ignore the dropped dependency. If someone really wants to see it, he or she simply has to compile the code using -g and run the dependency finder again.

February 08, 2001

I should consider turning this into an Ant task.

What if I used a ClassLoader instead to trap class requests as the target class is being resolved? The good thing about looking at the .class file only is that I don't need to have all the dependencies on the CLASSPATH at the time.

I looked at the classes used by javac and it appears to be a mess. I'll stick with my things for now.

February 05, 2001

I reinstated the Visitor pattern in the jt.dependencygenerator.classreader package with a vengeance. It turned out to be useful in other areas of the .class file as well. Visitors can now explore the whole .class file, including fields, methods, and attributes.

I moved the ClassReader tool from the jt.dependencygenerator.classreader package to the package.

The extractor now reads the entire .class file.

It has problems reading from compressed JAR files. It seems to be OK with uncompressed ones. Maybe I can use the java.util.jar package to read the whole byte stream in memory before starting the processing.

Handed a copy of the code to Jeff Chan.

February 01, 2001

I broke out the package and got rid of the Visitor pattern in the jt.dependencygenerator.classreader package because I had only one simple visitable object.

The extractor only reads from the constant pool, which only holds references to methods that are called and fields that are accessed. Each field and method entry later in the .class file maintains its own index to the name and descriptor (i.e., signature) in the constant pool.

I must parse deeper in the .class file to extract field and method entries and get the references I need from there.

I must also make sure that I capture dependences from local variables in methods!

François is looking for a JAR comparison tool to analyze differences between two versions of a given JAR file. Once I've tuned the .class file parser, we could use it to extract API information from JAR files.

January 30, 2001

The extractor is half-way done. The current version is not very good at keeping track of which signatures are really useful, and I'm not very happy with the large switch() statements.

January 29, 2001

Project start.