ICPC 2019
Sat 25 - Sun 26 May 2019 Montreal, QC, Canada
co-located with ICSE 2019

Background: Conditional compilation is often used to implement variability in configurable systems. This technique relies on #ifdefs to delimit feature code. Previous studies have shown that #ifdefs may hinder code comprehensibility. However, they did not explicitly took feature dependencies into account. Feature dependency occurs when different features refer to the same program element, such as a variable. Comprehensibility may be even more affected in the presence of feature dependency, as the developer must reason about different scenarios affecting the same variable. Aim: Our goal is to understand how feature dependency affects the comprehensibility of the configurable system source code. Method: We carried out an experiment in which 30 developers debugged programs with different types of feature dependency. We recorded the time each of them had spent to find a bug. Also, we used an eye-tracking device to record developers’ gaze movements while they debugged programs. Results: Debugging programs with global and interprocedural dependency required more time and higher visual effort. Conclusion: Our study showed that #ifdefs affect comprehensibility in different degrees depending on the type of feature dependency. Therefore, when possible, developers should take more care when dealing with code with global and interprocedural dependencies.

Sat 25 May
Times are displayed in time zone: (GMT-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) change

11:00 - 12:40: ICPC 2019 Presentations - Session II: Comprehending program comprehension II at Laurier
Chair(s): Fabio PetrilloUniversité du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada
icpc-2019-Technical-Research11:00 - 11:20
Djan Almeida SantosFederal Institute of Bahia, Cláudio Sant'Anna
icpc-2019-Technical-Research11:20 - 11:40
Juraj KubelkaUniversity of Chile, Romain RobbesFree University of Bozen-Bolzano, Alexandre BergelUniversity of Chile
icpc-2019-Technical-Research11:40 - 12:00
Lucian GonçalesUniversity of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Kleinner Farias, Bruno da SilvaCal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Jonathan Fessler
icpc-2019-Technical-Research12:00 - 12:20
Fengcai Wen, Csaba NagyUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI), Gabriele BavotaUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI), Michele LanzaUniversita della Svizzera italiana (USI)
icpc-2019-negative-results12:20 - 12:40
Mohammad Jafar MashhadiUniversity of Calgary, Hadi HemmatiUniversity of Calgary