The Inevitable Stability of Software Change
Source: University of Bern
Real software systems change and become more complex over time. But which parts change and which parts remain stable? Common wisdom, for example, states that in a well-designed object-oriented system, the more popular a class is, the less likely it is to change from one version to the next, since changes to this class are likely to impact its clients. The authors have studied consecutive releases of several public domain, object-oriented software systems and analyzed a number of measures indicative of size, popularity, and complexity of classes and interfaces. As it turns out, the distributions of these measures are remarkably stable as an application evolves.