Using Version Control History to Follow the Changes of Source Code Elements

TitleUsing Version Control History to Follow the Changes of Source Code Elements
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsTóth Z, Novák G, Ferenc R, Siket István
Conference NameProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR 2013)
Date Publishedmar
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Conference LocationGenova, Italy
KeywordsRepository Mining, Static Analysis, Version Control System

Version control systems store the whole history of the source code. Since the source code of a system is organized into files and folders, the history tells us the concerned files and their changed lines only but software engineers are also interested in which source code elements (e.g. classes or methods) are affected by a change. Unfortunately, in most programming languages source code elements do not follow the file system hierarchy, which means that a file can contain more classes and methods and a class can be stored in more files, which makes it difficult to determine the changes of classes by using the changes of files. To solve this problem we developed an algorithm, which is able to follow the changes of the source code elements by using the changes of files and we successfully applied it on the Web Kit open source system.

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