This report describes the nature and outcome of the project titled “Software Metrics and Visualisation”, undertaken as part of the final year of the Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Auckland. Software metrics are essentially measurements based on a particular aspect of software. If analysed in the appropriate context, these simple numbers become useful measures for the quality aspects of the software system, such as maintenance, testability and scalability. However with current size and complexity of software systems, software metrics are often difficult to comprehend to the point of obscuring the hot spots that indicate high costs in maintenance for example. Thus the project aims to provide an effective visualisation of software metrics that highlights such problem areas and allows the overall quality of the code to be assessed quickly. Presented in this report is the 3-dimensional solar system metaphor that was devised for visualising software metrics. Also it describes the tool developed to support this visualisation by further allowing user interaction and enabling users to actively search for problem areas. The scalable and portable architecture of this tool, which uses OpenGL for Java to render the graphics, is given in detail. As a result of its evaluation, the visualisation tool was found to be capable of allowing users to identify notable areas of the code quickly. Nonetheless it requires further improvement, such as the ability to immediately highlight these areas inside the visualisation automatically, in order to be fully valuable inside a real development environment. Declaration of Originality This report is my own unaided work and was not copied from nor written in collaboration with any other person
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