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Identifying Code of Individual Features in Client-Side Web Applications

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4 Author(s)
Josip Maras ; Fac. of Electr. Eng., Mech. Eng., & Naval Archit., Univ. of Split, Split, Croatia ; Maja Stula ; Jan Carlson ; Ivica Crnkovic

Web applications are one of today's fastest growing software systems. Structurally, they are composed of two parts: the server side, used for data access and business logic, and the client side, used as a user interface. In recent years, with developers building complex interfaces, the client side is playing an increasingly important role. Unfortunately, the techniques and tools used to support development are not as advanced as in other disciplines. From the user's perspective, the client side offers a number of features that are relatively easy to distinguish. However, the same cannot be said for their implementation details. This makes the understanding, maintenance, and reuse of code difficult. The goal of the work presented in this paper is to improve reusability, maintainability, and performance of client-side web applications by identifying the code that implements a particular feature. We have evaluated the approach based on three different experiments: extracting features, extracting library functionalities, and page optimization. The evaluation shows that the method is able to identify the implementation details of individual features, and that by extracting the identified code, a considerable reduction in code size and increase in performance can be achieved.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 12 )