Structural diagrams for processing code

Processing is now an interesting alternative to other programming languages at many universities in courses.
As far as algorithms are concerned different graphical representations are used: UML, flow charts, structure diagrams (Nassi-Shneidermann).

When it comes to imperative programming, flow charts are certainly “out of date”:
"Goto considered harmful ! " (see the lecture of Dijskstra68)

It may be due to the consistent graph-theory-based diagram paradigm of UML that they nevertheless became the blueprint for activity diagrams, which may be lamented. Their original advantage easily to be sketched on a sheet of paper, where space problems could be circumvented by “spaghetti drawing”, had long turned into a clear disadvantange, particularly regarding the efforts in computer-based design. (To derive structured code from a “wild” flowchart is anything but trivial.)
Structure diagrams offer a good alternative for graphically representing code parts that are not so extensive.
There is an interesting tool called “Structorizer” (open source, several developers).
What I find interesting is that recently this tool can import PROCESSING code
and display it as a structure diagram. Export to Latex also works.
This may be very practical for scientific publications or in courses where algorithms are to be presented in a rather language-independent way. (It might be mentioned here that the diagram export to several programming languages is also supported: An export as Java code could easily be tweaked to a PROCESSING source.)

1 Like