Flowchart4j - Features
Integrated with Eclipse IDE.
Eclipse Java Development Tool is a productive Java development IDE, Its plugin model allows software vendors to concentrate on the value add they can provide rather than to build the system from scratch. Flowchart4j is one such plugin for Eclipse JDT to improve program understandability and speed up the learning curve. Since the flowchart is provided inside the Eclipse IDE, it is further more convenient for developers and maintainers to visualize programs on which they are currently working.
Flowchart view is linked with selection events in the Package Explorer View of Eclipse JDT IDE.
Selecting a method in the Package Explorer view will automatically invoke "Flowchart View" to display the flowchart for the selected method.
The Flowchart View is also linked with the Java Editor, clicking on any function or anywhere inside a function initiates the flowchart for the function.
Modify source and "Save" to refresh flowchart view automatically.
Flowchart to Code Navigation.
Automated flowcharts helps understand code flow instantly. Understand the relationship between flowchart and code by clicking on the flowchart shapes to locate the line of code in the eclipse editor.
One of the unique features of Flowchart4j. Helps analyze complex functions. Level folding comes handy when inspecting functions which have complex nested conditional blocks.
Visualizing a function level-by-level helps us understand the context easily, rather than sequentially reading the code, flowcharts display the complete control flow of a function. Even this could be a trap for complex functions, as it would be difficult to decipher details in a complex flowchart. Flowchart4j offers a method to choose the depth(level) of a flowchart, increasing the depth(level) one by one gives an opportunity to understand in stages.
Level -by- Level Expansion: Level = 1, 2 & 3
Block expansion complements level folding, by allowing to open a 'Folded block' exclusively. It comes handy when inspecting complex and nested conditional constructs. Level Folding and Block-by-Block expansion complement each other and form an effective method to understand complex structure.
Using 'Level Folding' and 'Block-by-Block' expansion for analyzing complex functions.
Highlight method exit points in flowchart diagram.
While it is a best practice to have just one return statement per function, often we find situation where its best to exit the function without further processing. Methods having more than one return statement are difficult to understand than methods with single exit point.
Flowchart4j offers variation in the flowchart diagram with an option to highlight exit points of a function, thereby providing instant access to the location of exit points in the method, since it is displayed in control flow it is easier to understand the context of exit points.
Highlight complex conditional blocks.
Programs are about conditions, without conditional statements there wouldn't be any logic in a program. However as the number of conditional constructs in code increase the difficult it becomes to understand and maintain code, and the more complex a conditional statement the more difficult to predict the outcome.
Flowchart4j provides a simple variation of flowchart diagram to highlight complex conditional constructs in a method, thereby helping to identify such constructs. The complexity of a conditional statements is decided based on the number of logical operators used in a condition.
Display condition code in the flowchart.
"Conditions" in a program decide the outcome of the program, displaying the actual code(conditions) in a flowchart would only catalyze understandability of a function. By default " if,for,while,do-while" are the label text for the respective conditional blocks, flowchart4j provides an option to display the actual condition code inside the block.
Display comments in conditional blocks control flow edges.
Comments in code help a great deal for the developer and maintainer to understand construction algorithm. Flowchart4j provides a variant of flowchart diagram which displays comments in conditional flow edges.
Save flowchart as image.
For documentation and presentation purposes flowchart4j provides an option to save the flowchart diagram as an image.
Zoom Out & Fit to Size.
Make room to visualize complex programs. Export to Microsoft Visio
Missing documentation is a problem faced by many, while flowchart helps to visualize the program structure and control flow, documenting core functionality will improve understandability and maintainability. Flowchart4j provides an option to export the control flow to Microsoft Visio, there by making the flowchart diagram editable. The export feature comes with three variations.
- Export to Visio - WYSIWYG, exports the current flowchart diagram.
- Export to Visio - Single Page, exports the complete flowchart of the function.
- Export to Visio - Multi Page, export the complete flowchart of the function with "Level Folding"
Reverse engineer the control flow using Flowchart4j and export the diagram to Microsoft Visio. Edit/comment and make use of Visio features to document/publish / present.