Lately, I've been writing code in SAS Enterprise Guide, which produces "code" that looks like this (screenshot from the linked page):

SAS Enterprise Guide screenshot

My question is twofold:

  1. Do you think it's necessary to perform code review on this type of code? My gut feeling is yes, given that (1) it's still code, just visually laid out, and (2) errors = big problems.

  2. If "yes" to above, how to perform the review? Are there standards for visual code?

I'm really open to any ideas, comments, and suggestions here. Thanks!

  • Are you asking for a possible process for reviewing this type of code, or looking for what aspect of the code to review? – tehnyit Apr 18 '12 at 14:33
  • 1
    @tehnyit - both, if possible. I don't really know where to start, or even if I should bother starting. – eykanal Apr 18 '12 at 14:36

Well, you gave the answer to the first question already by yourself, so I will only focus on the second.

A review is typically just a form of quality assurance where you have a document written by person A, and person B reads it "line by line", tries to understand it and makes suggestions for improvement. Sometimes person A helps B reading it by explaining it "line by line".

As you will have noticed, I did not use the word "code" in the former description, since it applies to arbitrary documents, not only computer programs. And so it does apply to your visual documents, there is no real difference.

Of course, what you cannot check in your case is formal "coding style", "indentation", "length of methods" etc. But you can obviously check "layout style", "use of clear and understandable names", logical errors etc. And probably you cannot easily check the differences between different versions using your diff tool from your VCS to see what parts / changes should be reviewed if your system evolves. But that's a general problem with "visual programming" you will always have to face, not only for the review process.

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