Visible to the public Understanding Developers' Needs on Deprecation As a Language Feature

TitleUnderstanding Developers' Needs on Deprecation As a Language Feature
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSawant, Anand Ashok, Aniche, Maurício, van Deursen, Arie, Bacchelli, Alberto
Conference NameProceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-5638-1
KeywordsAPI, APIs, compositionality, deprecation, Java, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency

Deprecation is a language feature that allows API producers to mark a feature as obsolete. We aim to gain a deep understanding of the needs of API producers and consumers alike regarding deprecation. To that end, we investigate why API producers deprecate features, whether they remove deprecated features, how they expect consumers to react, and what prompts an API consumer to react to deprecation. To achieve this goal we conduct semi-structured interviews with 17 third-party Java API producers and survey 170 Java developers. We observe that the current deprecation mechanism in Java and the proposal to enhance it does not address all the needs of a developer. This leads us to propose and evaluate three further enhancements to the deprecation mechanism.

Citation Keysawant_understanding_2018