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Code is not text! How graph technologies can help us to understand our code better.

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Andreas Dewes - Code is not text! How graph technologies can help us to understand our code better. [EuroPython 2015] [21 July 2015] [Bilbao, Euskadi, Spain]

Today, we almost exclusively think of code in software projects as a collection of text files. The tools that we use (version control systems, IDEs, code analyzers) also use text as the primary storage format for code. In fact, the belief that "code is text" is so deeply ingrained in our heads that we never question its validity or even become aware of the fact that there are other ways to look at code.

In my talk I will explain why treating code as text is a very bad idea which actively holds back our understanding and creates a range of problems in large software projects. I will then show how we can overcome (some of) these problems by treating and storing code as data, and more specifically as a graph. I will show specific examples of how we can use this approach to improve our understanding of large code bases, increase code quality and automate certain aspects of software development.

Finally, I will outline my personal vision of the future of programming, which is a future where we no longer primarily interact with code bases using simple text editors. I will also give some ideas on how we might get to that future.

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