Class Browser

A ClassBrowser is a tool for navigating the class structure (also called ObjectModel) of an object-oriented software program.

The first known instance of such a utility is the class browser included in Smalltalk.

Today most IDE systems include a class browser.

A widely used class browser today is the DotNetReflector tool for the MicrosoftDotNet platform.

A class browser is a pathologically specialized case of an ObjectBrowser, just as surely as a web browser.

For instance, the VisualWorks Smalltalk class browser has no navigation functions. Not even the utterly primitive back and forward found in every web browser. These functions actually would be useful even for dealing with code, but few people seem to realize that class browsers are akin to web browsers.

Another flaw in class browsers is that they're not very graphical. Of course, neither are web browsers, nor file browsers. Verily, we have entered the 19th century of computer science.

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