LSdiff: A Program Differencing Tool to Identify Systematic Structural Differences

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Executive Summary

Program differencing tools such as GNU diff identify individual differences but do not determine how those differences are related to each other. For example, an extract super-class refactoring on several subclasses will be represented by diff as a scattered collection of line additions and deletions which must be manually pieced together. In the authors' previous work, they developed LSdi, a novel program differencing technique that automatically identifies systematic structural differences as logic rules. This paper presents an LSdi Eclipse plug-in that provides a summary of systematic structural differences along with textual differences within an Eclipse integrated development environment.

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