May 13, 2011

Google Summer of Code 2011 - Extended Documentation Platform Get's Going

IDEs do a great job when it comes to searching and presenting documentation on how to use an API. However, one recurring problem with open source software is that it is frequently outdated, misleading or even missing. In these cases, example code that used an API successfully before become an interesting source of information.

However, extracting patterns from reading source code is a tedious and time-consuming process and the question arises whether we couldn't support developers better by, for example, automatically extracting frequent patterns from example code and provide them as additional documentation. There is quite a large body of research on how useful information can be extracted from code and put into documentation but means to present such mined documentation inside Eclipse are missing, however.

I'm happy to announce that Stefan Henß will fix this during this year's Google Summer of Code. He will implement an "extended documentation platform" for Eclipse - an extensible documentation platform that enriches existing documentation with various information contributed from various documentation providers (not necessarily just mined information).

Stefan already started to outline his thoughts on his blog. If you like the idea just visit his post, drop a comment, and keep in touch to get the latest news about this GSOC project either by following us on Twitter (Stefanme)  or by subscribing to Stefan's news feed (a request to add Stefan's blog to planet-eclipse is currently on the way).

Good Luck Stefan! I'm looking forward to your first prototype screenshots!