Static extraction of program configuration options

  • Rabkin A
  • Katz R
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Many programs use a key-value model for configuration options. We examined how this model is used in seven open source Java projects totaling over a million lines of code. We present a static analysis that extracts a list of configuration options for a program. Our analysis finds 95% of the options read by the programs in our sample, making it more complete than existing documentation. Most configuration options we saw fall into a small number of types. A dozen types cover 90% of options. We present a second analysis that exploits this fact, inferring a type for most options. Together, these analyses enable more visibility into program configuration, helping reduce the burden of configuration documentation and configuration debugging.

Author-supplied keywords

  • configuration
  • documentation
  • experiences
  • static analysis

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  • Ariel Rabkin

  • Randy Katz

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