Improving usability of software refactoring tools

Mealy, Erica, Carrington, David, Strooper, Paul and Wyeth, Peta (2007). Improving usability of software refactoring tools. In: J. Grundy and J. Han, Proceedings of the 2007 Australian Software Engineering Conference (ASWEC '07). 18th Australian Conference on Software Engineering (ASWEC 2007), Melbourne, Australia, (307-316). 10-13 April 2007. doi:10.1109/ASWEC.2007.24

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Author Mealy, Erica
Carrington, David
Strooper, Paul
Wyeth, Peta
Title of paper Improving usability of software refactoring tools
Conference name 18th Australian Conference on Software Engineering (ASWEC 2007)
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 10-13 April 2007
Convener Australian Computer Society & Engineers Australia
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2007 Australian Software Engineering Conference (ASWEC '07)
Journal name 2007 Australian Software Engineering Conference, Proceedings
Place of Publication Los Alamitos, CA, U.S.A.
Publisher IEEE - Computer Society
Publication Year 2007
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1109/ASWEC.2007.24
ISBN 0769527787
ISSN 1530-0803
Editor J. Grundy
J. Han
Start page 307
End page 316
Total pages 10
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Post-deployment maintenance and evolution can account for up to 75% of the cost of developing a software system. Software refactoring can reduce the costs associated with evolution by improving system quality. Although refactoring can yield benefits, the process includes potentially complex, error-prone, tedious and time-consuming tasks. It is these tasks that automated refactoring tools seek to address. However, although the refactoring process is well-defined, current refactoring tools do not support the full process. To develop better automated refactoring support, we have completed a usability study of software refactoring tools. In the study, we analysed the task of software refactoring using the ISO 9241-11 usability standard and Fitts' List of task allocation. Expanding on this analysis, we reviewed 11 collections of usability guidelines and combined these into a single list of 38 guidelines. From this list, we developed 81 usability requirements for refactoring tools. Using these requirements, the software refactoring tools Eclipse 3.2, Condenser 1.05, RefactorIT 2.5.1, and Eclipse 3.2 with the Simian UI 2.2.12 plugin were studied. Based on the analysis, we have selected a subset of the requirements that can be incorporated into a prototype refactoring tool intended to address the full refactoring process.
Subjects 280302 Software Engineering
700102 Application tools and system utilities
Keyword ISO 9241-11 usability standard
Software refactoring tool
Software maintenance
Task allocation
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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