Framework Code Samples: How Are They Maintained and Used by Developers?

12 Jul 2019  ·  Menezes Gabriel, Cafeo Bruno, Hora Andre ·

Background: Modern software systems are commonly built on the top of frameworks. To accelerate the learning process of features provided by frameworks, code samples are made available to assist developers... However, we know little about how code samples are actually developed. Aims: In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by assessing the characteristics of framework code samples. We provide insights on how code samples are maintained and used by developers. Method: We analyze 233 code samples of Android and SpringBoot, and assess aspects related to their source code, evolution, popularity, and client usage. Results: We find that most code samples are small and simple, provide a working environment to the clients, and rely on automated build tools. They change frequently over time, for example, to adapt to new framework versions. We also detect that clients commonly fork the code samples, however, they rarely modify them. Conclusions: We provide a set of lessons learned and implications to creators and clients of code samples to improve maintenance and usage activities. read more

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