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An Eye Tracking Study on camelCase and under_score Identifier Styles

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2 Author(s)
Sharif, B. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Kent State Univ. Kent, Kent, OH, USA ; Maletic, J.I.

An empirical study to determine if identifier-naming conventions (i.e., camelCase and under_score) affect code comprehension is presented. An eye tracker is used to capture quantitative data from human subjects during an experiment. The intent of this study is to replicate a previous study published at ICPC 2009 (Binkley et al.) that used a timed response test method to acquire data. The use of eye-tracking equipment gives additional insight and overcomes some limitations of traditional data gathering techniques. Similarities and differences between the two studies are discussed. One main difference is that subjects were trained mainly in the underscore style and were all programmers. While results indicate no difference in accuracy between the two styles, subjects recognize identifiers in the underscore style more quickly.

Published in:

Program Comprehension (ICPC), 2010 IEEE 18th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

June 30 2010-July 2 2010

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