Time travelling animated program executions

. Proceedings of the 2006 ACM symposium on Software visualization (2006)


Visualizations of program executions are often generated on the fly. This has many advantages relative to off-line generation of animated video files. Video files, however, trivially support flexible viewing via controls that include reverse and fast forward. Here we report on an implementation of time travel that combines the best of both techniques. In ToonTalk both the construction and execution of programs are animated. Time travel enables the user to move back in time and replay animated executions. The replay can be paused and the user can skip forward or further back in time. The implementation of time travel is based records of every input event and periodic snapshots of the state of the computation.

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