ASE 2017

2017 32nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2017), October 30 – November 3, 2017, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA

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Source Code Analysis
Technical Research
Generating Simpler AST Edit Scripts by Considering Copy-and-Paste
Yoshiki Higo, Akio Ohtani, and Shinji Kusumoto
(Osaka University, Japan)
Preprint
Abstract: In software development, there are many situations in which developers need to understand given source code changes in detail. Until now, a variety of techniques have been proposed to support understanding source code changes. Tree-based differencing techniques are expected to have better understandability than text-based ones, which are widely used nowadays (e.g., diff in Unix). In this paper, we propose to consider copy-and-paste as a kind of editing action forming tree-based edit script, which is an editing sequence that transforms a tree to another one. Software developers often perform copy-and-paste when they are writing source code. Introducing copy-and-paste action into edit script contributes to not only making simpler (more easily understandable) edit scripts but also making edit scripts closer to developers' actual editing sequences. We conducted experiments on an open dataset. As a result, we confirmed that our technique made edit scripts shorter for 18% of the code changes with a little more computational time. For the other 82% code changes, our technique generated the same edit scripts as an existing technique. We also confirmed that our technique provided more helpful visualizations. Keywords: Understanding code changes, Edit scripts, Copy-and-paste

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Time stamp: 2019-09-22T02:00:52+02:00