Mike Holcombe - MSc Projects 2004-5

WMLH-1. a, b, c, d: Mind maps and other tools – Eclipse plug-ins. ASE students only.

Key words: Eclipse, mind maps

Description

This is a series of related projects to develop further the ADEPT environment which has been funded by IBM and is intended to be used within Genesys.

Eclipse is an international movement, strongly supported by many large companies such as IBM, which develops and promotes an open source IDE. This has the facility for incorporating plug ins to support various types of design, program and test activities in a coherent manner.

See http://www.genesys.shef.ac.uk/eclipse

and http://www.eclipse.org/

Mind maps are diagrams that can be used in a flexible way to describe situations and allow for early ideas to be captured and analysed during requirements capture and other activities. They are very popular in management.

See http://www.peterussell.com/mindmaps/mindmap.html

http://www.visual-mind.com/wv.htm?0017

Other ideas for plug-ins include a plug-in to check coding standards for different languages (java, php, jsp etc.) and programming support tool for python. Other ideas may be proposed especially support for automated testing.

Resources

No specific requirements other than access to PCs, eclipse and Java.

Reading

Start with the Eclipse pages on Genesys.

Module Links

Genesys

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Project description.

WMLH-2: Virtual reality and biology. ASE or ACS students only.

Key words: Java, HTML OpenGL

Key words: 3D graphics, Virtual reality.

Description

The Department has recently acquired a Virtual Reality system, specifically a Fakespace RAVEII. This is located in the Reflex Studio in Research Lab 2 on the first floor.

It is a sophisticated system with a large screen several meters square and with a variety of devices such as data gloves and wands that allow almost immersive virtual reality interactions. See http://www.fakespace.com/products.shtml#

In the computational Biology group there are research projects involved with modelling complex molecular pathways inside cells. This work treats each molecular component and cell receptor as an X-machine agent and the agent is specified in a version of XML. A specially written compiler generates C code which provides a basis for, amongst other things, 3-D visualisation.

http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/cb/Agent-basedModelling/

The project will be to develop software so that these simulations can be visualised and manipulated in the Reflex.

Resources

No specific requirements other than access to PCs, eclipse and Java.

Reading

Start with the Eclipse pages on Genesys.

Module Links 3D Computer graphics

Prerequisites - Good programming skills


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Project description.

WMLH-3: An Eclipse plug in developer's environment. ASE or ACS only

Key words: Eclipse plug-ins

Description

Eclipse is an international movement, strongly supported by many large companies such as IBM, which develops and promotes an open source IDE. This has the facility for incorporating plug ins to support various types of design, program and test activities in a coherent manner.

See http://www.genesys.shef.ac.uk/eclipse

and http://www.eclipse.org/

The construction of plug-ins is, however, not well documented. The project will develop developers guides for this and consider how plug-in development can be made more straightforward, possibly through the development of a plug-in developers plug-in.

Resources

See above links

Papers and theses on X-machines are available from Supervisor.


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Project description.

WMLH-4: easyTest. SST, ISS

Testing is the most expensive part  of the software development process consuming at least 50% of time and money in any typical project. Yet,
despite this, testing is rarely dealt with in any detail, if at all, in programming courses. New approaches to software development, such as
eXtreme Programming (XP) require you to write your tests FIRST, before starting to code and to run these tests regularly on the code as you
develop it. This gives you much more confidence that your code is good. However, it is not easy to write tests and if the tests are poor the
code will also be poor (buggy).

This project will create an on-line test support system, easyTest, which will be both a learning tool and a practical test tool. The focus is a
'learn and do' approach for use in a first Java programming course.

Part of the tool will be some simple pages of information and guidance on how to write simple tests with many examples and a practical and
structured approach to thinking about simple programs and classes in order to create tests. The second part will be an integrated tool which
will store tests and provide a mechanism for applying these to the developing code with minimal effort.

There is already a popular program for running tests in this way – Junit - and we will build on this. This is available from: 
www.XProgramming.com

The final product should be a powerful aid to novice programmers that will guide them in writing tests and provide a friendly environment so
that they can do their testing as they try to develop their code. The tool must support programmer activity and not 'get in the way'

Resources.
K. Beck, "eXtreme programming explained - embrace change" Addison-Wesley.
M. Holcombe, Notes on XP - from supervisor.


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Project description.

WMLH-5 Software Hut resource and publicity page. SST, ISS

The Software Hut is an innovative project carried out by all 2nd year undergraduates in the Department. It is similar in concept to the Maxi project in that there are real clients, usually from local businesses and other organisations. The project is to construct a web page which will present some of the achievements of the software hut, examples of systems built and clients, a facility for prospective clients to send in project requests and as much good marketing content as we can find.

It is likely that the use of the language PHP will be a feature.

Resources.

Information Provided by supervisor.


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