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Obstacles in Using Frameworks and APIs: An Exploratory Study of Programmers' Newsgroup Discussions

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2 Author(s)
Daqing Hou ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Clarkson Univ., Potsdam, NY, USA ; Lin Li

Large software frameworks and APIs can be hard to learn and use, impeding software productivity. But what are the specific challenges that programmers actually face when using frameworks and APIs in practice? What makes APIs hard to use, and what can be done to alleviate the problems associated with API usability and learnability? To explore these questions, we conducted an exploratory study in which we manually analyzed a set of newsgroup discussions about specific challenges that programmers had about a software framework. Based on this set of data, we identified several categories of obstacles in using APIs. We discussed what could be done to help overcome these obstacles.

Published in:

Program Comprehension (ICPC), 2011 IEEE 19th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-24 June 2011