Does smelly code also sound bad? Using audio cues to indicate code quality

This is a demonstration of a code quality analysis tool that doesn’t visualise the metrics – it “audiolises” them.

The concepts of poor code having smell and colour (usually red) is commonly accepted, but what about appealing to our sense of hearing as well as eyes and nose? Aeolian is an open source tool (written by the author) that generates MIDI music from code quality metrics, which begs the question:

  • What does poor quality code sound like? Justin Beiber’s latest? A Phillip Glass soundtrack? A Phil Spector wall of sound cacophony? Modern Jazz?
  • Likewise, what does good quality code sound like? Mozart? White noise?
  • How do commonly accepted musical concepts (keys, tempo, verse, chorus) apply when illustrating code quality.

The author (an amateur musician and long time producer of smelly code) will talk through the concepts of Aeolian and provide plenty of examples of how you can map code quality to music. This will be a light hearted talk and no knowledge of music theory is needed.


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schedule Submitted 1 year ago