Mining StackOverflow to turn the IDE into a self-confident programming prompter

  • Ponzanelli L
  • Bavota G
  • Di Penta M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Developers often require knowledge beyond the one they possess, which often boils down to consulting sources of information like Application Programming Interfaces (API) documentation, forums, Q&A websites, etc. Knowing what to search for and how is non- trivial, and developers spend time and energy to formulate their problems as queries and to peruse and process the results. We propose a novel approach that, given a context in the IDE, automatically retrieves pertinent discussions from Stack Overflow, evaluates their relevance, and, if a given confidence threshold is surpassed, notifies the developer about the available help. We have implemented our approach in Prompter, an Eclipse plug-in. Prompter has been evaluated through two studies. The first was aimed at evaluating the devised ranking model, while the second was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of Prompter.

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Authors

  • Luca Ponzanelli

  • Gabriele Bavota

  • Massimiliano Di Penta

  • Rocco Oliveto

  • Michele Lanza

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