An Empirical Study on Configuration-Related Type Issues
The inherent variability of configurable systems may lead to configuration-related issues that appear only when certain configuration options are selected. Previous studies found that configuration-related issues are more critical and harder to detect than issues that appear in all configurations. However, little effort has been put into understanding configuration-related type issues (e.g., undeclared functions and variables). The corpus of type issues previously studied is limited to issues that developers already fixed, as they are detected through repository analysis. Unfixed type issues may camouflage other problems and distract developers, which may impact software quality. To better understand the peculiarities of configuration-related type issues, we perform an empirical study of 15 systems to answer research questions related to how developers introduce type issues, the number of configuration options involved, and the time that these issues remain in source files. To make the analysis of several projects feasible, we propose a strategy that minimizes the initial setup problems of variability-aware tools. We detect 39 configuration-related type issues, and submit 30 patches to fix the issues not fixed by developers. Our findings support the effectiveness of sampling (i.e., analysis of only a subset of valid configurations) because most type issues involve one or two configuration options. Nevertheless, by analyzing the version history of the projects, we observed that a number of type issues remain in the source files for several years. Furthermore, the corpus of issues gathered is a valuable source to study configuration-related issues, compare sampling algorithms, and test and improve variability-aware tools.
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|An Empirical Study on Configuration-Related Type Issues|
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Zakarea Al Shara LIRMM, CNRS and University of Montpellier, Abdelhak Seriai LIRMM, CNRS and University of Montpellier, Chouki Tibermacine LIRMM, CNRS and University of Montpellier, Hinde Bouziane LIRMM, CNRS and University of Montpellier, Christophe Dony LIRMM, CNRS and University of Montpellier, Anas Shatnawi LIRMM, CNRS and University of Montpellier