Today I hope to find all (yeah, I know) previous work related to tablets and code review. I’m not going to read all of it, but all I need at this point is a good idea of what’s been done so far – that will help me understand how much previous work I can rely on and whether this project is original enough as I have defined it.

I’m also starting to save local copies of all these papers, I have a feeling getting them via the library channel is going to be too painful long-term.

“Reflowing Digital Ink Annotations” is about the mechanics of keeping freeform annotations useful even if the text is edited. Looks like serious work. Referenced from “CodeAnnotator: Digital Ink Annotation within Eclipse” – it’s a must read if an implementation needing such functionality is to be created. I don’t expect such functionality will be available in my project, that’s out of scope for me.

“Annotation: from paper books to the digital library”, “Toward an ecology of hypertext annotation”, “Developing marking support within Eclipse”, “An Architecture for Ink Annotations on Web Documents”, “Beyond paper: supporting active reading with free form digital ink annotations”, “Spatial recognition and grouping of text and graphics”, “Web Page Marker: a Web Browsing Support System based on Marking”, “Robust annotation positioning in digital documents”, “Preliminary experiences with a tablet PC based system to support active learning in computer science courses”, “Onscreen marking support for formative assessment”, “Ad-hoc Collaborative Document Annotation on a Tablet PC”, “Improving Software Quality” are not very interesting but I may want to look at them later for more basic studies.

“Teaching with Tablet PCs” is nearly off-topic but they used an interesting system – the annotations were done using a “virtual transparency” over the desktop – an interesting idea.

“Effects of Annotations on Student Readers and Writers” is also irrelevant but talks about an interesting topic – how annotated material influences subsequent readers.

“Pen-based interaction techniques for organizing material on an electronic whiteboard” mentions another technology I haven’t yet considered – electronic whiteboards. I should read this one, to see what issues they came up with.

“An instrumented approach to improving software quality through formal technical review” looks like a serious study of code review, mentions something particularly curious: “a great deal of expensive human technical resources. For example, a recent study documents that a single code inspection of a 20 KLOC software system consumes one person-year of effort by skilled technical staff.”. Wow. I have to read all of this to see what problems they uncovered and whether tablets can help solve any of them.

There is more of course, and depending on how wide and deep I want to take the literature review – I can spend a year on it. For now this should do.

My exasperation at the end of yesterday’s post was not well placed. Except for the unfortunate fact that I won’t be the first to implement such a system – there is definitely room for more research. And very little work (almost none, really) has been done to put code review and tablet annotations together.