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An anti-pattern is a commonly occurring solution to a recurring problem that will typically negatively impact code quality. Code smells are considered to be symptoms of anti-patterns and occur at source code level. The lifespan of code smells in a software system can be determined by mining the software repository on which the system is stored. This provides insight into the behaviour of software developers with regard to resolving code smells and anti-patterns. In a case study, we investigate the lifespan of code smells and the refactoring behaviour of developers in seven open source systems. The results of this study indicate that engineers are aware of code smells, but are not very concerned with their impact, given the low refactoring activity.
Date of Conference: 27-30 March 2012