Proactive Detection of Collaboration Conflicts
Collaborative development can be hampered when conflicts arise because developers have inconsistent copies of a shared project. The authors present an approach to help developers identify and resolve conflicts early, before those conflicts become severe and before relevant changes fade away in the developers' memories. This paper presents three results. First, a study of open-source systems establishes that conflicts are frequent, persistent, and appear not only as overlapping textual edits but also as subsequent build and test failures. The study spans nine open-source systems totaling 3.4 million lines of code; their conflict data is derived from 550,000 development versions of the systems.