Percolator beta3


For those who just want to get the software I've made it available in UNIX .tar.gz format and Windows .zip format. Brief installation instructions are found in the archive. Note that this is NOT a production release. The current version is hopefully free of major bugs but is feature complete.

If you'd like to be placed on a mailing list which announces when new versions are released just send me mail.

For a list of what's new in beta3 check out the ChangeLog.

The following text is taken from the README in the archive.

What is it?

I am writing Percolator as part of my Masters degree requirements. It could best be defined as a Java source code pretty printer but its abilities go beyond that of simple code formatting.

Percolator can ONLY be used on syntactically correct Java source. In other words, if javac won't compile it, Percolator won't like it. Percolator has been tested with the JDK 1.1.3 on both Solaris and Win32. Percolator can view both Java 1.0 and Java 1.1 source files.

Who would want to use it?

Users of Percolator fall into two categories. Firstly, there are those who commonly read and try to understand third party source code (for business, interest, whatever) and are frustrated by the often vastly differing styles of coding not just between themselves and the code they are reading but by all the different authors out there. Nothing makes understanding code mode difficult than a poor style. Of course, the definition of a poor coding style is subjective; I'm sure the author didn't think his style was poor! Nevertheless, differing coding styles present a hurdle to code understanding. Percolator for these people is a source code browser which will preformat the source code, among other things (see below), before viewing. Since all source is now presented in a common style, it is much easier for the viewer to understand the control flow, etc. based on formatting cues.

Secondly, there are those who want to consolidate source code from different authors (or even the same author if the style of said author tends to fluctuate) into a single style, perhaps in anticipation of source code distribution. For them Percolator is simply a filter of Java source (hence its name).

What can it do?

Beyond the source code formatting capabilities, Percolator can perform the following operations on the source code:

What can you do?

I am releasing Percolator in its current form to solicit comments, suggestions and criticisms. The formatting style that Percolator performs is obviously very close to my own natural coding style. I realize that this may be quite different from other people's coding styles. I would like such people to respond with what options they would like to be included in Percolator so that the output comes closer to their preferred style. Non-style related features requests also appreciated.

Send all feedback to: Jean-Guy Speton

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Last modified: Tue Sep 2 15:32:34 PDT 1997