Blogs (1) >>
ICSE 2019
Sat 25 - Fri 31 May 2019 Montreal, QC, Canada
Fri 31 May 2019 16:40 - 17:00 at Centre-Ville - Software Documentation Chair(s): Bonita Sharif

Links are an essential feature of the World Wide Web, and source code repositories are no exception. However, despite their many undisputed benefits, links can suffer from decay, insufficient versioning, and lack of bidirectional traceability. In this paper, we investigate the role of links contained in source code comments from these perspectives. We conducted a large-scale study of around 9.6 million links to establish their prevalence, and we used a mixed-methods approach to identify the links’ targets, purposes, decay, and evolutionary aspects. We found that links are prevalent in source code repositories, that licenses, software homepages, and specifications are common types of link targets, and that links are often included to provide metadata or attribution. Links are rarely updated, but many link targets evolve. Almost 10% of the links included in source code comments are dead. We then submitted a batch of link-fixing pull requests to open source software repositories, resulting in several of our fixes being merged successfully. Our findings indicate that links in source code comments can indeed be fragile, and our work opens up avenues for future work to address these problems.

Conference Day
Fri 31 May

Displayed time zone: Eastern Time (US & Canada) change

16:00 - 17:20
Software DocumentationTechnical Track / Papers / Software Engineering in Practice / Journal-First Papers at Centre-Ville
Chair(s): Bonita SharifUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
Web Feature Deprecation: A Case Study for ChromeSEIPIndustry Program
Software Engineering in Practice
Ariana MirianUniversity of California San Diego, Nikunj BhagatGoogle, Caitlin Sadowski, Adrienne Porter FeltGoogle, Stefan SavageUniversity of California San Diego, Geoffrey M. VoelkerUniversity of California San Diego
Software Documentation Issues UnveiledTechnical TrackIndustry Program
Technical Track
Emad AghajaniSoftware Institute, USI - Lugano, Switzerland, Csaba NagyUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI), Olga Lucero Vega-MarquezUniversidad de los Andes, Universidad de los Llanos, Mario Linares-VásquezSystems and Computing Engineering Department , Universidad de los Andes , Bogotá, Colombia , Laura MorenoColorado State University, Gabriele BavotaUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI), Michele LanzaUniversita della Svizzera italiana (USI)
9.6 Million Links in Source Code Comments: Purpose, Evolution, and DecayArtifacts AvailableTechnical Track
Technical Track
Hideaki HataNara Institute of Science and Technology, Christoph TreudeThe University of Adelaide, Raula Gaikovina KulaNAIST, Takashi IshioNara Institute of Science and Technology
DOI Pre-print Media Attached
Categorizing the Content of GitHub README FilesJournal-First
Journal-First Papers
Gede Artha Azriadi PranaSingapore Management University, Christoph TreudeThe University of Adelaide, Ferdian Thung, Thushari AtapattuThe University of Adelaide, David LoSingapore Management University
Link to publication DOI Pre-print
Discussion Period