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Source Code Features and their Dependencies: An Aggregative Statistical Analysis on Open-Source Java Software Systems


Source code constitutes the static and human-readable component of a software system. It comprises an array of artifacts and features that collectively execute a specific set of tasks. Coding behaviours and patterns are formulated through the orchestrated utilization of distinct features in a specified sequence, fostering inter-dependencies among these features. This study seeks to explore into the presence of specific coding behaviours and patterns within Java, which could potentially unveil the extent to which developers endeavour to leverage the facilities and services that exist in the programming language aggregatively. In pursuit of investigating behaviours and patterns, 436 open-source Java projects are selected, each having more than 150 Java files (Classes and Interfaces), in a semi-randomized manner. For every project, 39 features have been chosen, and the frequency of each individual feature has been independently assessed. By employing linear regression, the interrelationships among all features across the complete array of projects are scrutinized. This analysis intends to uncover the manifestation of distinct coding behaviours and patterns. Based on the selected features, preliminary findings suggest a notable collective incorporation of diverse coding behaviours among programmers, encompassing Encapsulation and Polymorphism. The findings also point to a distinct preference for using a specific commenting mechanism, JavaDoc, and the potential existence of Code-Clone and dead code. Overall, the results indicate a clear tendency among programmers to strongly adhere to the fundamental principles of Object -Oriented programming. However, certain less obvious attributes of object-oriented languages appear to receive relatively less attention from programmers.

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2 Hefte pro Jahr
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Informatik, Künstliche Intelligenz, Informationstechnik, Projektmanagement, Softwareentwicklung