Improving Usability of Software Refactoring Tools

Mealy, Erica, Carrington, David, Strooper, Paul, & Wyeth, Peta (2007) Improving Usability of Software Refactoring Tools. In Grundy, John & Han, Jun (Eds.) Taming Complexity through Research and Practice: Proceedings2007 Australian Software Engineering Conference (ASWEC'07), Melbourne, VIC, p. 307.

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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.

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ID Code: 49447
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1109/ASWEC.2007.24
ISSN: 1530-0803
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 30 Mar 2012 02:48
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2012 02:48

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