[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evolving a large scale, highly variable system is a challenging task. For such a system, evolution operations often require to update consistently both their implementation and its feature model. In this context, the evolution of the feature model closely follows the evolution of the system. The purpose of this work is to show that fine-grained feature changes can be used to guide the evolution of the highly variable system. In this paper, we present an approach to obtain fine-grained feature model changes with its supporting tool “FMDiff”. Our approach is tailored for Kconfig-based variability models and proposes a feature change classification detailing changes in features, their attributes and attribute values. We apply our approach to the Linux kernel feature model, extracting feature changes occurring in sixteen official releases. In contrast to previous studies, we found that feature modifications are responsible for most of the changes. Then, by taking advantage of the multi-platform aspect of the Linux kernel, we observe the effects of a feature change across the different architecture-specific feature models of the kernel. We found that between 10 and 50 % of feature changes impact all the architecture-specific feature models, offering a new perspective on studies of the evolution of the Linux feature model and development practices of its developers.
Software and Systems Modeling 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10270-015-0472-2 · 0.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the pull-based development model, the integrator has the crucial role of managing and integrating contributions. This work focuses on the role of the integrator and investigates working habits and challenges alike. We set up an exploratory qualitative study involving a large-scale survey of 749 integrators, to which we add quantitative data from the integrator's project. Our results provide insights into the factors they consider in their decision making process to accept or reject a contribution. Our key findings are that integrators struggle to maintain the quality of their projects and have difficulties with prioritizing contributions that are to be merged. Our insights have implications for practitioners who wish to use or improve their pull-based development process, as well as for researchers striving to understand the theoretical implications of the pull-based model in software development.
International Conference Software Engineering; 05/2015
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Teamwork in software engineering is time-consuming and problematic. In this paper, we explore how to better sup-port developers' collaboration in teamwork, focusing on the software implementation phase happening in the integrated development environment (IDE). Conducting a qualitative in-vestigation, we learn that developers' teamwork needs mostly regard coordination, rather than concurrent work on the same (sub)task, and that developers successfully deal with scenar-ios considered problematic in literature, but they have prob-lems dealing with breaking changes made by peers on the same project. We derive implications and recommendations. Based on one of the latter, we analyze the current IDE support for receiving code changes, finding that historical information is neither visible nor easily accessible. Consequently, we de-vise and qualitatively evaluate BELLEVUE, the design of an IDE extension to make received changes always visible and code history accessible in the editor.
CSCW 2015: 18th ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 03/2015
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we review five years of research in the field of automated crawling and testing of web applications. We describe the open source Crawljax tool, and the various extensions that have been proposed in order to address such issues as cross-browser compatibility testing, web application regression testing, and style sheet usage analysis.Based on that we identify the main challenges and future directions of crawl-based testing of web applications. In particular, we explore ways to reduce the exponential growth of the state space, as well as ways to involve the human tester in the loop, thus reconciling manual exploratory testing and automated test input generation. Finally, we sketch the future of crawl-based testing in the light of upcoming developments, such as the pervasive use of touch devices and mobile computing, and the increasing importance of cyber-security.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past two decades both the industry and the research community have proposed hundreds of metrics to track software projects, evaluate quality or estimate effort. Unfortunately, it is not always clear which metric works best in a particular context. Even worse, for some metrics there is little evidence whether the metric measures the attribute it was designed to measure. In this paper we propose a catalog format for software metrics as a first step towards a consolidated overview of available software metrics. This format is designed to provide an overview of the status of a metric in a glance, while providing enough information to make an informed decision about the use of the metric. We envision this format to be implemented in a (semantic) wiki to ensure that relationships between metrics can be followed with ease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advent of distributed version control systems has led to the development of a new paradigm for distributed software development; instead of pushing changes to a central repository, developers pull them from other repositories and merge them locally. Various code hosting sites, notably Github, have tapped on the opportunity to facilitate pull-based development by offering workflow support tools, such as code reviewing systems and integrated issue trackers. In this work, we explore how pull-based software development works, first on the GHTorrent corpus and then on a carefully selected sample of 291 projects. We find that the pull request model offers fast turnaround, increased opportunities for community engagement and decreased time to incorporate contributions. We show that a relatively small number of factors affect both the decision to merge a pull request and the time to process it. We also examine the reasons for pull request rejection and find that technical ones are only a small minority.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spreadsheets are used extensively in business processes around the world and just like software, spreadsheets are changed throughout their lifetime causing understandability and maintainability issues. This paper adapts known code smells to spreadsheet formulas. To that end we present a list of metrics by which we can detect smelly formulas; a visualization technique to highlight these formulas in spreadsheets and a method to automatically suggest refactorings to resolve smells. We implemented the metrics, visualization and refactoring suggestions techniques in a prototype tool and evaluated our approach in three studies. Firstly, we analyze the EUSES spreadsheet corpus, to study the occurrence of the formula smells. Secondly, we analyze ten real life spreadsheets, and interview the spreadsheet owners about the identified smells. Finally, we generate refactoring suggestions for those ten spreadsheets and study the implications. The results of these evaluations indicate that formula smells are common, that they can reveal real errors and weaknesses in spreadsheet formulas and that in simple cases they can be refactored.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Linux kernel feature model has been studied as an example of large scale evolving feature model and yet details of its evolution are not known. We present here a classification of feature changes occurring on the Linux kernel feature model, as well as a tool, FMDiff, designed to automatically extract those changes. With this tool, we obtained the history of more than twenty architecture specific feature models, over ten releases and compared the recovered information with Kconfig file changes. We establish that FMDiff provides a comprehensive view of feature changes and show that the collected data contains promising information regarding the Linux feature model evolution.
Proceedings of the Eighth International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-Intensive Systems; 01/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Support for generic programming was added to the Java language in 2004, representing perhaps the most significant change to one of the most widely used programming languages today. Researchers and language designers anticipated this addition would relieve ...
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Designing automated tests is a challenging task. One important concern is how to design test fixtures, i.e. code that initializes and configures the system under test so that it is in an appropriate state for running particular automated tests. Test designers may have to choose between writing in-line fixture code for each test or refactor fixture code so that it can be reused for other tests. Deciding on which approach to use is a balancing act, often trading off maintenance overhead with slow test execution. Additionally, over time, test code quality can erode and test smells can develop, such as the occurrence of overly general fixtures, obscure in-line code and dead fields. In this paper, we show that test smells related to fixture set-up occur in industrial projects. We present a static analysis technique to identify fixture related test smells. We implemented this test analysis technique in a tool, called TestHound, which provides reports on test smells and recommendations for refactoring the smelly test code. We evaluate the tool through three industrial case studies and show that developers find that the tool helps them to understand, reflect on and adjust test code.
Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST), 2013 IEEE Sixth International Conference on; 01/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Open source software (OSS) development teams use electronic means, such as emails, instant messaging, or forums, to conduct open and public discussions. Researchers investigated mailing lists considering them as a hub for project communication. Prior work focused on specific aspects of emails, for example the handling of patches, traceability concerns, or social networks. This led to insights pertaining to the investigated aspects, but not to a comprehensive view of what developers communicate about. Our objective is to increase the understanding of development mailing lists communication. We quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed a sample of 506 email threads from the development mailing list of a major OSS project, Lucene. Our investigation reveals that implementation details are discussed only in about 35% of the threads, and that a range of other topics is discussed. Moreover, core developers participate in less than 75% of the threads. We observed that the development mailing list is not the main player in OSS project communication, as it also includes other channels such as the issue repository.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spreadsheets are widely used in industry: it is estimated that end-user programmers outnumber programmers by a factor 5. However, spreadsheets are error-prone, numerous companies have lost money because of spreadsheet errors. One of the causes for spreadsheet problems is the prevalence of copy-pasting. In this paper, we study this cloning in spreadsheets. Based on existing text-based clone detection algorithms, we have developed an algorithm to detect data clones in spreadsheets: formulas whose values are copied as plain text in a different location. To evaluate the usefulness of the proposed approach, we conducted two evaluations. A quantitative evaluation in which we analyzed the EUSES corpus and a qualitative evaluation consisting of two case studies. The results of the evaluation clearly indicate that 1) data clones are common, 2) data clones pose threats to spreadsheet quality and 3) our approach supports users in finding and resolving data clones.
Software Engineering (ICSE), 2013 35th International Conference on; 01/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Best practices in software development state that code that is likely to change should be encapsulated to localize possible modifications. In this paper, we investigate the application and effects of this design principle. We investigate the relationship between the stability, encapsulation and popularity of libraries on a dataset of 148,253 Java libraries. We find that bigger systems with more rework in existing methods have less stable interfaces and that bigger systems tend to encapsulate dependencies better. Additionally, there are a number of factors that are associated with change in library interfaces, such as rework in existing methods, system size, encapsulation of dependencies and the number of dependencies. We find that current encapsulation practices are not targeted at libraries that change the most. We also investigate the strength of ripple effects caused by instability of dependencies and we find that libraries cause ripple effects in systems using them and that these effects can be mitigated by encapsulation.