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Identification of promoted eclipse unstable interfaces using clone detection technique

by   Simon Kawuma, et al.

The Eclipse framework is a popular and widely used framework that has been evolving for over a decade. The framework provides both stable interfaces (APIs) and unstable interfaces (non-APIs). Despite being discouraged by Eclipse, client developers often use non-APIs which may cause their systems to fail when ported to new framework releases. To overcome this problem, Eclipse interface producers may promote unstable interfaces to APIs. However, client developers have no assistance to aid them to identify the promoted unstable interfaces in the Eclipse framework. We aim to help API users identify promoted unstable interfaces. We used the clone detection technique to identify promoted unstable interfaces as the framework evolves. Our empirical investigation on 16 Eclipse major releases presents the following observations. First, we have discovered that there exists over 60 in each of the analyzed 16 Eclipse releases. Second, we have discovered that the percentage of promoted non-APIs identified through clone detection ranges from 0.20


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