HyperSource - Bridging the Gap Between Source and Code-Related Web Sites

Björn Hartmann, Mark Dhillon, Matthew K. Chan
ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (2011)


Programmers frequently use the Web while writing code: they search for libraries, code examples, tutorials, and documentation. This link between code and visited Web pages remains implicit today. Connecting source code and browsing histories might help programmers maintain context, reduce the cost of Web page re-retrieval, and enhance understanding when code is shared. This note introduces HyperSource, an IDE augmentation that associates browsing histories with source code edits. HyperSource comprises a browser extension that logs visited pages; an IDE that tracks user activity and maps pages to code edits; a source document model that tracks visited pages at a character level; and a user interface that enables interaction with these histories. We discuss relevance heuristics and privacy issues inherent in this approach. Informal log analyses and user feedback suggest that our annotation model is promising for code editing and might also apply to other document authoring tasks after refinement.