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Understanding developers' needs on deprecation as a language feature


Sawant, Anand Ashok; Aniche, Maurício; van Deursen, Arie; Bacchelli, Alberto (2018). Understanding developers' needs on deprecation as a language feature. In: ICSE '18: 40th International Conference on Software Engineering, Gothenburg Sweden, 27 June 2018 - 3 July 2018, 561-571.

Abstract

Deprecation is a language feature that allows API producers to mark a feature as obsolete. We aim to gain a deep understanding of the needs of API producers and consumers alike regarding deprecation. To that end, we investigate why API producers deprecate features, whether they remove deprecated features, how they expect consumers to react, and what prompts an API consumer to react to deprecation. To achieve this goal we conduct semi-structured interviews with 17 third-party Java API producers and survey 170 Java developers. We observe that the current deprecation mechanism in Java and the proposal to enhance it does not address all the needs of a developer. This leads us to propose and evaluate three further enhancements to the deprecation mechanism.

Abstract

Deprecation is a language feature that allows API producers to mark a feature as obsolete. We aim to gain a deep understanding of the needs of API producers and consumers alike regarding deprecation. To that end, we investigate why API producers deprecate features, whether they remove deprecated features, how they expect consumers to react, and what prompts an API consumer to react to deprecation. To achieve this goal we conduct semi-structured interviews with 17 third-party Java API producers and survey 170 Java developers. We observe that the current deprecation mechanism in Java and the proposal to enhance it does not address all the needs of a developer. This leads us to propose and evaluate three further enhancements to the deprecation mechanism.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Software
Language:English
Event End Date:3 July 2018
Deposited On:26 Jan 2021 10:53
Last Modified:27 Jan 2021 21:02
Publisher:ACM
ISBN:9781450356381
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3180155.3180170
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:20237

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