Real Clock Time Animation Support for Developing Software Visualizations
Stasko, John T.
McCrickard, D. Scott
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Developers building software visualizations must use a graphics library and user interface toolkit as an underlying support platform. Often, these support environments are large, difficult to learn, low-level, and lacking primitives for capabilities such as animation. We have developed a graphics support environment called Polka-RC for building software visualizations. Polka-RC is a second generation system that leverages the continuous animation primitives of the mature system Polka, and adds the capability of specifying real clock time-based animation activations and durations. The new Polka-RC animation model also provides a flexible multiprocess program-to-visualization mapping. In this article we describe the Polka-RC methodology, list advantages of the approach, and describe how the methodology influences the design of software visualizations and algorithm animations.