The visualization follows the mantra of Ben Shneiderman: Overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand.

The overview is based on the central part of the visualization, the flow image. This gives an ideal overview of the file's history and is the starting point for the exploration. The colors of the image are indicating the author ownership or places of changes. Visualized lines with identical history data are grouped in line ranges, known as annotations. These annotations can be selected by the user to see more details on demand.

The GUI Model

The details of a selected line range are shown in an additional properties view. Details are the version data of the co-selected revision (E) or other evaluated data about the selected line range (D), which are revision details about the creation, the last change and the next upcoming change of the selected line range. But the best detail to see is the text (A). For this, the visualization uses the appropriate registered editors in eclipse. These editors are added a additional ruler on the left to show the colors of the lines and to support the cognitive relation between the image and the text (B). In addition the selected line range on the image is highlighted with the line range's color in the image.


The main task of the visualization is to show the activities of the file's authors. Doing this, the focus is seldom on all authors. Therefore all authors are listed in an additional view where they can be selected or those colors can be changed. Deselected authors are shown in gray scale colors.

The context menue


Besides the history data and more powerful, the visualization can show user defined metrics, that are contributed via the visualization's metric API. This way it's very easy to adapt the visualization to different domains.

The actions of the visualization are well integrated in the team context menu.