Supporting Refactoring Activities Using Histories of Program Modification

Shinpei HAYASHI  Motoshi SAEKI  Masahito KURIHARA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E89-D   No.4   pp.1403-1412
Publication Date: 2006/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e89-d.4.1403
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Knowledge-Based Software Engineering)
Category: 
Keyword: 
refactoring,  software development environment,  modification history,  pattern matching,  

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Summary: 
Refactoring is one of the promising techniques for improving program design by means of program transformation with preserving behavior, and is widely applied in practice. However, it is difficult for engineers to identify how and where to refactor programs, because proper knowledge and skills of a high order are required of them. In this paper, we propose the technique to instruct how and where to refactor a program by using a sequence of its modifications. We consider that the histories of program modifications reflect developers' intentions, and focusing on them allows us to provide suitable refactoring guides. Our technique can be automated by storing the correspondence of modification patterns to suitable refactoring operations. By implementing an automated supporting tool, we show its feasibility. The tool is implemented as a plug-in for Eclipse IDE. It selects refactoring operations by matching between a sequence of program modifications and modification patterns.