Software

Mendel: Source Code Recommendation Based on a Genetic Metaphor

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Executive Summary

When evolving software systems, developers spend a considerable amount of time understanding existing source code. To successfully implement new or alter existing behavior, developers need to answer questions such as: "Which types and methods can one use to solve this task?" or "Should the implementation follow particular naming or structural conventions?". In this paper, the authors present Mendel, a source code recommendation tool that aids developers in answering such questions. Based on the entity the developer currently browses, the tool employs a genetics-inspired metaphor to analyze source-code entities related to the current working context and provides its user with a number of recommended properties (naming conventions, used types, invoked messages, etc.) that the source code entity currently being worked on should exhibit.

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