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3/10/2014

IEEE Xplore Abstract - Analyzing the Eclipse API Usage: Putting the Developer in the Loop

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Analyzing the Eclipse API Usage:


Putting the Developer in the Loop
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Businge, J. ; Eindhoven Univ. of Technol., Eindhoven, Netherlands ; Serebrenik, A. ; van den Brand, M.

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Eclipse guidelines distinguish between two types of interfaces provided to third-party developers, i.e.,
APIs and non-APIs. APIs are stable and supported, while non-APIs are unstable, unsupported and
discouraged as they are subject to arbitrary change or removal without notice. In our previous work, we
found that despite the discouragement of Eclipse, the use of non-APIs in Eclipse third-party plug-ins
(ETPs) is not uncommon. Furthermore, we found that these non-APIs are the main cause of ETP
incompatibilities in forthcoming releases of the Eclipse. In the current work we conducted a survey
aiming at understanding why do the ETP developers use non-APIs. We have observed that developers
with a level of education of up to master degree have a tendency not to read product
manuals/guidelines. Furthermore, while for less experienced developers instability of the non-APIs
overshadows their benefits, more experienced developers prefer to enjoy the benefits of non-APIs
despite the instability problem. Finally, we have observed that there are no significant differences

between Open Source and commercial Eclipse products in terms of awareness of Eclipse guidelines

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and interfaces, Eclipse product size and updating of Eclipse product in the new SDK releases.

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Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR), 2013 17th European Conference on
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5-8 March 2013
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Conference Location :
Genova

Explanation:37 - 46

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ISSN :
1534-5351

Digital Object Identifier :


10.1109/CSMR.2013.14

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978-1-4673-5833-0
INSPEC Accession Number:
13446454
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3/10/2014

IEEE Xplore Abstract - Analyzing the Eclipse API Usage: Putting the Developer in the Loop

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