Technology usage research at Softlang



The Softlang Team at Koblenz conducts research on the usage of software technologies such as APIs, frameworks, and other development tools. To this end, techniques such as software metrics, software analysis, reverse engineering, program comprehension, mining software repositories, and software visualization are leveraged. The overarching objective is to understand how technologies are used in different projects, in different scopes thereof, by different developers, along different scenarios, and over the timeline. One of our early findings in this research area was that object-oriented systems written in Java or .NET tend to involve very little "subclassing" with the extended class in the system and the base class in the leveraged APIs or frameworks despite the systematic "non-finalness" of the reusable classes. More recently, we are interested in the question whether knowledge-related specialization of developers within a project can be identified and explained. (The project's logo, designed by Wojciech Kwasnik, pays homage to Nikola Tesla.)

Papers on the subject

  • Similarity management of 'cloned and owned' variants: (.html); (.bib)
  • Visualization of API Experience (Extended abstract): (.pdf); (.bib)
  • Developer Experience with the Django Web Framework (Extended abstract): (.pdf); (.bib)
  • API-related Developer Profiling (Extended abstract): (.pdf); (.bib)
  • Multi-dimensional exploration of API usage: (.html); (.bib)
  • A Framework Profile of .NET: (.html); (.bib)
  • Large-scale, AST-based API-usage analysis of open-source Java projects: (.html); (.bib)
  • Combining multiple dimensions of knowledge in API migration: MDSD 2011: (.html); CEUR

See also the project page on megamodeling; in this project we are more concerned with models of technologies, e.g., for the purpose of documentation, but these topics, i.e., comprehension (mainly based reverse engineering) and modeling, are quite intertwined.

Relevant softlang team members

  • Ralf Lämmel (Team leader)
  • Hakan Aksu (PhD candidate)
  • Johannes Härtel (PhD candidate)
  • Thomas Bernau (MSc candidate)
  • Marco Brack (MSc candidate)
  • Wojciech Kwasnik (Diploma candidate)
  • Frederik Rüther (MSc candidate)

Former or current external collaborators

  • Thiago Tonelli Bartolomei (University of Waterloo, Canada)
  • Prof. Krzysztof Czarnecki (University of Waterloo, Canada)
  • Dr. Tijs van der Storm (CWI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Prof. Victor Winter (University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA)