Balloon views of source code and their multiscalable font modes

Chun-Cheng Lin, Hsu Chun Yen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The majority of program editors available on the market support the view of a directory-explorer style to display only those code lines of interest. Among them, the fisheye and the fractal views of source code (in which each line has a value reflecting the degree of interest and importance) have received a lot of attention in the literature. In information visualization, drawing trees based on fractal theory also plays an interesting role as the so-called balloon drawing of hierarchical data includes two models: the fractal and the SNS (subtrees with nonuniform sizes) models. It is therefore natural to consider a new source code visualization style based on the SNS model of balloon drawing. A main feature of the SNS view is that the value of each line reflects the number of its descendants when the source code is viewed as a tree structure. Unlike the view of a directory-explorer style, the multiscalable font mode (which was originally utilized in the fractal view of source code) displays all the lines in such a way that each line has the font size proportional to its value. In this paper, we investigate various issues concerning the multiscalable font modes of the fisheye, the fractal, and the SNS views of source code, in hope of providing guidelines for the programmer to better comprehend the program code in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4271961
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Information Visualisation
StatePublished - 23 Oct 2007
Event11th International Conference Information Visualization, IV 2007 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 4 Jul 20076 Jul 2007


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