tools today are still characterised by a low degree of integration and
a restricted visualisation. In practice, different tools are necessary
to support all of the steps of the development process. Different notations
are necessary to model the different aspects of the software system. As
a rule, visualisations on the algorithmic level cannot support the imperative
programming style common in practice or are restricted to special application
domains. These restrictions do not apply to the FracTool® Modeler.
Its features listed below enable a truely innovative approach to process
modeling and programming.
to C++ and Java.
FracTool® is a general-purpose modeler and supports the imperative
programming style. Target languages for code generation are e.g C++, Java,
JVM Bytecode or the hardware description language VHDL. Existing C++ and
Java libraries as well as GUI interfaces can be easily integrated.
FracTool® visualisation integrates operations, operands, traverses
and access on complex operands as well as flow-control and parallelism.
Using the same fractal geometry the visualisation continues up to the
architectural level. This enables integration and high-resolution display
of an entire software system in form of a single compact graph.
The visualisation used concentrates on the application-oriented aspects
of the program and hides platform-oriented aspects as e.g. details of
parameter passing. Semantic aspects are widely transferred to the level
of automatic code generation and configuration. This implies that the
qualification of the FracTool® programmer is no longer dominated by
The different phases of the development process essentially correspond
to different stages of completeness of the system under development so
that the process amounts to a step-wise completion without leaving notation.
This enables a smooth transition from specification to implementation.
Particularly, the early phases of the development process are well supported.
The object database of the FracTool® Modeler stores the visual program
code as well as the program documentation and the automatically generated
documentation of the development process, thereby offering a consistent
basis for the entire development process.
Fractal views permit focussing on a module while showing all of its visual
environment essential for its working and understanding. The logarithmic
information reduction effect of a fractal view together with the features
of abstraction and coarsening enables a clear representation of a visual
program even on standard-sized screens.
The area of a FracTool® program can be reduced algorithmically to
a minimum. Minimal area implies increased compactness of the program and
at the same time increased clearness. The possibility of optimising FracTool®
programs - inconceivable for textual programs - supports a true engineering
approach to software development.