Bootstrapping Cookbooks for APIs from Crowd Knowledge on Stack Overflow

by   Lucas B. L. Souza, et al.

Well established libraries typically have API documentation. However, they frequently lack examples and explanations, possibly making difficult their effective reuse. Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer website oriented to issues related to software development. Despite the increasing adoption of Stack Overflow, the information related to a particular topic (e.g., an API) is spread across the website. Thus, Stack Overflow still lacks organization of the crowd knowledge available on it. Our target goal is to address the problem of the poor quality documentation for APIs by providing an alternative artifact to document them based on the crowd knowledge available on Stack Overflow, called crowd cookbook. A cookbook is a recipe-oriented book, and we refer to our cookbook as crowd cookbook since it contains content generated by a crowd. The cookbooks are meant to be used through an exploration process, i.e. browsing. In this paper, we present a semi-automatic approach that organizes the crowd knowledge available on Stack Overflow to build cookbooks for APIs. We have generated cookbooks for three APIs widely used by the software development community: SWT, LINQ and QT. We have also defined desired properties that crowd cookbooks must meet, and we conducted an evaluation of the cookbooks against these properties with human subjects. The results showed that the cookbooks built using our approach, in general, meet those properties. As a highlight, most of the recipes were considered appropriate to be in the cookbooks and have self-contained information. We concluded that our approach is capable to produce adequate cookbooks automatically, which can be as useful as manually produced cookbooks. This opens an opportunity for API designers to enrich existent cookbooks with the different points of view from the crowd, or even to generate initial versions of new cookbooks.


Enhancing API Documentation through BERTopic Modeling and Summarization

As the amount of textual data in various fields, including software deve...

An Empirical Study of C++ Vulnerabilities in Crowd-Sourced Code Examples

Software developers share programming solutions in Q A sites like Stac...

Is Stack Overflow Overflowing With Questions and Tags

Programming question and answer (Q & A) websites, such as Quora, Stack O...

Leveraging Unsupervised Learning to Summarize APIs Discussed in Stack Overflow

Automated source code summarization is a task that generates summarized ...

An Exploration of npm Package Co-Usage Examples from Stack Overflow: A Case Study

Third-party package usage has become a common practice in contemporary s...

Introducing Artificial Intelligence Agents to the Empirical Measurement of Design Properties for Aspect Oriented Software Development

The proponents of Aspect Oriented Software Development (AOSD) methodolog...

A Service-Oriented Architecture for Assisting the Authoring of Semantic Crowd Maps

Although there are increasingly more initiatives for the generation of s...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset