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Mainstream IDEs generally rely on the static structure of a software project to support browsing and navigation. The authors propose HeatMaps, a simple but highly configurable technique to enrich the way an IDE displays the static structure of a software system with additional kinds of information. A HeatMap highlights software artifacts according to various metric values, such as bright red or pale blue, to indicate their potential degree of interest. They present a prototype system that implements HeatMaps, and they describe an initial study that assesses the degree to which different HeatMaps effectively guide developers in navigating software.
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