Contextualizing Rename Decisions using Refactorings and Commit Messages

Abstract

Identifier names are the atoms of comprehension; weak identifier names decrease productivity by increasing the chance that developers make mistakes and increasing the time taken to understand chunks of code. Therefore, it is vital to support developers in naming, and renaming, identifiers. In this paper, we study how terms in an identifier change during the application of rename refactorings and contextualize these changes using co-occurring refactorings and commit messages. The goal of this work is to understand how different development activities affect the type of changes applied to names during a rename. Results of this study can help researchers understand more about developers’ naming habits and support developers in determining when to rename and what words to use.

Publication
2019 19th International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM)

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