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Version control and bug tracking systems contain large amounts of historical information that can give deep insight into the evolution of a software project. Unfortunately, these systems provide only insufficient support for a detailed analysis of software evolution aspects. We address this problem and introduce an approach for populating a release history database that combines version data with bug tracking data and adds missing data not covered by version control systems such as merge points. Then simple queries can be applied to the structured data to obtain meaningful views showing the evolution of a software project. Such views enable more accurate reasoning of evolutionary aspects and facilitate the anticipation of software evolution. We demonstrate our approach on the large open source project Mozilla that offers great opportunities to compare results and validate our approach.
Date of Conference: 22-26 Sept. 2003