NDepend update brings 64 bit compatibility

September 23, 2008 at 9:00 PMAndre Loker

Patrick Smacchia kept his word: the current version of NDepend added support for dependency graphs under 64 bit operating systems. If you remember, this was one of the few points of criticism I mentioned in my little review on NDepend. Visual NDepend can now visualize the dependencies between types, namespaces and members. If you're hovering over a cell in the Matrix view, NDepend will tell you how the types/namespaces/members on the two axes depend on each other in the small Info window in the lower left area of the screen:

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When you click the cell a window appears with one or several graphs showing those dependencies visually:

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While this dependency graph does not show you something completely new, it still a beneficial feature: visualizing the dependencies between types and members makes it much easier to understand them and to communicate them to other developers.

The NDepend people have done their homework. The The dependency graph - like almost every other part of Visual NDepend - uses visual variables effectively to get the maximum information out of the visualization: box sizes, line thickness * and colour are used to not only tell provide the user with additional information on the role and importance of the involved members (lines of code, number of incoming and outgoing dependencies etc.).

All in all, with the 64 bit support for dependency graphs there's one more reason to recommend NDepend.

* There's a drop down that can be used to define what the thickness of edges should represent. As Patrick Smacchia explains in the comments, changing the value does not necessarily lead to a visible change depending on the code that is analysed.

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Comments (2) -

Andre, concerning the edge thickness, it might indeed happen that you don't see difference.
In a graph of dependency, often there is one very high coupling, much higher than all the other. This situation results in one edge thick, and all the other A pixel fine because the thickness is proportional to the coupling.

In this situation, if the coupling, say between 2 assemblies, is high in terms of members, it will certainly be high also in terms of number of types or namespaces, thus the feeling of non changing graph.

Thanks for the explanation!

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