Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Managing the copy -and -paste programming practice
by Deshane, Patricia, Ph.D., Clarkson University, 2010, 136; 3406858
Abstract (Summary)

Programmers often copy and paste source code in order to reuse an existing solution in the completion of a current task. Copying and pasting results in code clones (similar code fragments) throughout a code base, which need to be properly maintained over time. Forgetting the cloning information and correspondence relationships within a piece of code can be problematic for the software maintainer. Furthermore, inconsistent editing to clones can introduce undetected bugs, decreasing the quality of the software.

This dissertation presents a suite of software tools, Eclipse plug-ins named CnP, that aid the programmer during copy, paste, and modify programming. The purpose is to provide tool support throughout a clone's entire lifecycle, from its creation to its removal from the system. More than just traditional clone detection and removal, these clone tracking tools have a particular focus on clone editing. One CnP plug-in helps with consistent identifier renaming within clones (CReN), another one renames substrings consistently within clones (LexId), and a third plug-in in the CnP suite visualizes user edits within a clone for better clone comparison (CSeR). A user study was conducted on CnP's basic visualization, CReN, and LexId features with analysis in terms of task completion time, solution correctness, and method of completion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hou, Daqing
School: Clarkson University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Applied Mathematics, Computer science
Keywords: Code clones, Copy-and-paste, Software maintenance
Publication Number: 3406858
ISBN: 978-1-109-73903-9
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