Laura Inozemtseva

Integrating Software Project Resources Using Source Code Identifiers

Laura Inozemtseva, Siddharth Subramanian and Reid Holmes

Presented at ICSE NIER 2014

"The idea is a good one, and the paper is clear and well written." --Reviewer 1

"I appreciated the care in the related work to very clearly point out where this technique stands in relation to other works. " --Reviewer 2


Source code identifiers such as classes, methods, and fields appear in many different contexts. For instance, a developer performing a task using the class could consult various project resources including the class's source file, its API documentation, its issue tracker, mailing list discussions, code reviews, or questions on Stack Overflow.

These information sources are logically connected by the source code elements they describe, but are generally decoupled from each other. This has historically been tolerated by developers, since there was no obvious way to easily navigate between the data sources. However, it is now common for these sources to have web-based front ends that provide a standard mechanism (the browser) for viewing and interacting with the data in the resources. Augmenting these front ends with hyperlinks and search would make development easier by allowing developers to navigate between disparate sources of information about the same code element.

In this paper, we propose a method of automatically linking disparate information repositories with very high precision using structural elements present in source code. We also propose a method of augmenting web-based front ends with these links to make it easier for developers to quickly gain a comprehensive view of the source code elements they are investigating. Research challenges include identifying source code tokens in the midst of natural language text and incomplete code fragments, dynamically augmenting the web views of the data repositories, and supporting novel composition of the link data to provide comprehensive views for specific source code elements.

Supplementary Material

PDF of the paper



    author={Inozemtseva, Laura and Siddharth, Subramanian and Holmes, Reid},
    title={Integrating Software Project Resources Using Source Code Identifiers},
    booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering},
    note={Accepted to the New Ideas and Emerging Results track}