From the November 2014 Issue
Using Traceability Links to Recommend Adaptive Changes for Documentation Evolution
By Barthélémy Dagenais and Martin P. Robillard
Developer documentation helps developers learn frameworks and libraries, yet developing and maintaining accurate documentation requires considerable effort and resources. Contributors who work on developer documentation often need to manually track all changes in the code, determine which changes are significant enough to document, and then, adapt the documentation. We propose AdDoc, a technique that automatically discovers documentation patterns, i.e., coherent sets of code elements that are documented together, and that reports violations of these patterns as the code and the documentation evolves. We evaluated our approach in a retrospective analysis of four Java open source projects and found that at least 50 percent of all the changes in the documentation were related to existing documentation patterns. Our technique allows contributors to quickly adapt existing documentation, so that they can focus their documentation effort on the new features.
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