2016 Volume E99.D Issue 3 Pages 671-687
Change-aware development environments can automatically record fine-grained code changes on a program and allow programmers to replay the recorded changes in chronological order. However, since they do not always need to replay all the code changes to investigate how a particular entity of the program has been changed, they often eliminate several code changes of no interest by manually skipping them in replaying. This skipping action is an obstacle that makes many programmers hesitate when they use existing replaying tools. This paper proposes a slicing mechanism that automatically removes manually skipped code changes from the whole history of past code changes and extracts only those necessary to build a particular class member of a Java program. In this mechanism, fine-grained code changes are represented by edit operations recorded on the source code of a program and dependencies among edit operations are formalized. The paper also presents a running tool that slices the operation history and replays its resulting slices. With this tool, programmers can avoid replaying nonessential edit operations for the construction of class members that they want to understand. Experimental results show that the tool offered improvements over conventional replaying tools with respect to the reduction of the number of edit operations needed to be examined and over history filtering tools with respect to the accuracy of edit operations to be replayed.