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Moldable, context-aware searching with Spotter

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Chiçs Andrei, Gîrba Tudor, Kubelka Juraj, Nierstrasz Oscar, Reichhart Stefan, Syrel Aliaksei,
Project Agile Software Analysis
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Page(s) 128 - 144
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software
DOI 10.1145/2986012.2986023

Open Access


Software systems involve many different kinds of domain-specific and interrelated software entities. A common strategy employed by developers to deal with this reality is to perform exploratory investigations by means of searching. Nevertheless, most integrated development environments (IDEs) support searching through generic and disconnected search tools. This impedes search tasks over domain-specific entities as considerable effort is wasted by developers locating and linking data and concepts relevant to their application domains. To tackle this problem we propose Spotter, a moldable framework for supporting contextual-aware searching in IDEs by enabling developers to easily create custom searches for domain objects. In this paper we motivate a set of requirements for Spotter and show, through usage scenarios, that Spotter improves program comprehension by reducing the effort required to find and search through concepts from a wide range of domains. Furthermore, we show that by taking code into account, Spotter can provide a single entry point for embedding search support within an IDE.