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ICPC 2020
Mon 13 - Wed 15 July 2020
co-located with ICSE 2020
Wed 15 Jul 2020 01:45 - 02:00 at ICPC - Session 10: Documentation Chair(s): Gias Uddin

Source code commenting is a common practice to improve code comprehension in software development. While comments often consist of descriptive natural language, surprisingly, there exists a non-trivial portion of comments that are actually code statements, i.e., commented-out code (CO code), even in well-maintained software systems. Commented-out code practice is rarely studied and often excluded in prior studies on comments due to its irrelevance to natural language. When being openly discussed, CO practice is generally considered a bad practice. However, there is no prior work to assess the nature (prevalence, evolution, motivation, and necessity of utilization) of CO code practice. In this paper, we perform the first study to understand CO code practice. Inspired by prior works in comment analysis, we develop automated solutions to identify CO code and track its evolution in development history. Through analyzing six open-source projects of different sizes and from diverse domains, we find that CO code practice is non-trivial in software development, especially in the early phase of development history, e.g., up to 20% of the commits involve CO code practice. We observe common evolution patterns of CO code and find that developers may uncomment and comment code more frequently than expected, e.g., 10% of the CO code practices have been uncommented at least once. Through a manual analysis, we identify the common reasons that developers adopt CO code practices and reveal maintenance challenges associated with CO code practices.

Wed 15 Jul
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01:30 - 02:30: Session 10: DocumentationResearch / Industry / ERA at ICPC
Chair(s): Gias UddinUniversity of Calgary, Canada
01:30 - 01:45
Zejun Zhang, Minxue PanNanjing University, Tian ZhangNanjing University, Xinyu ZhouNanjing University, Xuandong LiNanjing University
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01:45 - 02:00
Tri Minh-Triet PhamConcordia University, Jinqiu YangConcordia University, Montreal, Canada
Pre-print Media Attached
02:00 - 02:15
John AhlgrenFacebook, Maria Eugenia BerezinFacebook, Kinga BojarczukFacebook, Johann GeorgeFacebook, Natalija GucevskaFacebook, Mark HarmanFacebook and University College London, Shan HeFacebook, Ralf LämmelFacebook London, Erik Meijer, Silvia SaporaFacebook, Justin Spahr-SummersFacebook
Pre-print Media Attached
02:15 - 02:30
Fazle RabbiInstitute of Information Technology, University of Dhaka, Md Saeed SiddikInstitute of Information Technology, University of Dhaka
Pre-print Media Attached