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they might be squeakers

The Ecode program is a robust design tool available for squeak. This tool allows one to develop CRC-Cards and scenarios for the system one is designing. Over the semester our team used Ecode to complete the requirements for the milestones assigned to us. This document is an explanation of our experience with Ecode in the design process.

Overall our experience with Ecode has been a pleasant one. Hereís a list of what Ecode allowed us to do that we found to be beneficial to our projects and part of their designs:

+ Paper usage was kept to a minimum.
+ Allowed easy expansion of our CRC-Cards and scenarios due to
not needing to rewrite all cards and scenarios.
+ Being integrated into the Squeak environment allowed us to
view our responsibilities while writing the actual code.
+ Ease of use: Everything in the system is labeled nicely and
the user interface design is intuitive.
+ Opening a Ecode file is easy as a hierarchy is shown with
everything but Ecode files and folders are filtered out.
+ Keeps lots of information in one file for easy access and
transfer.

While Ecode is helpful it does have its drawbacks. The following lists what we found to be detrimental to the Ecode system:

- Adding responsibilities to a class with many responsibilities
takes too long. There were times when Ecode took over 1 minute
to add a responsibility.
- The system is cumbersome overall. To those starting with Ecode
the many sections can seem overwhelming.
- The Goals area on the main window of Ecode takes up almost half
the viewing area when it is hardly used (we never used it).
- The length of responsibilities is limited by the system.
Currently one must keep responsibilities short and concise.
While this is good the current limit is perhaps to small for
complex responsibilities.
- Being able to save to CRC-Cards to a .jpg file (or some other
widely used image format) would be a welcome feature incase the
cards ever needed to be printed out.

Despite itís short-coming Ecode is still a very usable system. Ecode is under constant development and with future revisions expect these drawbacks to vanish entirely. Overall itís a promising development tool for the Squeak environment.

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