Reducing outdated and inconsistent code comments during software development: The comment validator program
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
During software development various forms of software documentation can be produced to make the software easier to understand and maintain after the software have been developed. One of these forms of software documentation is code comments, which is a form of software documentation that is produced to make source code easier to read and maintain. Although code comments make the code easier to read and maintain, code comments can become outdated and inconsistent with their corresponding code. Outdated and inconsistent code comments increase the probability for future bugs and when these comments are encountered, developers could lose the confidence for all other comments.
In order to reduce the amount of outdated and inconsistent code comments, a program named the comment validator is presented in this study. The comment validator provides developers with the opportunity to manually validate code comments by segmenting code into three segments of code that needs to be manually validated: classes, methods and properties. The comment validator identifies when code segments have been modified after validation, therefore indicating that the code segments corresponding code comments could be outdated and inconsistent.
The comment validator were evaluated through functional testing and through a field study in order to test that the comment validator could reduce the amount of outdated and inconsistent code comments. The evaluation showed that the comment validator did remove outdated and inconsistent code comments when it were used according to the description presented in this study, therefore providing a new way to reduce the amount of outdated and inconsistent code comments in software development projects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 59 p.
Code comments, software documentation, design science
Information Systems, Social aspects
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-264235OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-264235DiVA: diva2:859732
Subject / course
Master programme in Information Systems
2015-09-09, Ekonomikum, A156, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 15:45 (English)
McKeever, Steve, Universitetslektor
Tétard, Franck, Universitetslektor