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The Java Metrics Reporter - an extensible tool for OO software analysis

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3 Author(s)
Cahill, J. ; Fac. of Inf. Technol., Queensland Univ. of Technol., Brisbane, Qld., Australia ; Hogan, J.M. ; Thomas, R.

It has been argued for many years that software engineering lacks the repeatability and well-defined monitoring characteristic of the traditional engineering disciplines. Over time, numerous authors have addressed this issue by proposing a range of software metrics although it is generally agreed that no one measure is sufficient to capture software quality, and a well chosen suite of metrics must be employed. While substantial progress has been made, adoption of metrics has been limited in the software development community, and metrics have long suffered from a lack of comprehensibility. Further, critics have argued that many metrics have been introduced in isolation, with little regard for their relationship to existing measures, and without appropriate validation against a sufficient body of source code. This work introduces the Java Metrics Reporter, a new tool which addresses a number of these concerns in the domain of object oriented languages. The tool provides integrated tutorial support and benchmarking of user code against professional code bases. Moreover, the architecture allows for adaptation to other languages, and extension to other metrics through a straightforward plug-in approach. The paper provides detailed consideration of the architecture and the metrics selected, together with aspects of the tool which lend to its usability and assist in interpretation of metrics. Finally, the paper outlines plans for the further development of the tool, together with its release to the professional and research communities.

Published in:

Software Engineering Conference, 2002. Ninth Asia-Pacific

Date of Conference:

2002