Investigating Developers Prevalent Copy and Paste Activities and validating associated Cloning Patterns


Sarveshwar Bharti
Hardeep Singh


To reuse available functionality, software developers usually accomplish copy and pasting of the source code. Empirical evaluations have established this activity as a prevalent cloning activity that acts as the main cause of the presence of clones into the software system. Analysis of these software systems has revealed various frequent cloning patterns, mainly classified into four categories viz. templating, forking, customization, and exact match. There are various tools that deal with clones proactively within the Integrated Development Environments. For a tool to be effective, requires the capturing of developers intentions. In this paper, we attempt to identify the hidden intentions of the software developers behind cloning practices via an online industrial survey involving professional software developers. This work will shed a light on what computer programmers are doing while reusing code and why. This study uncovers various intentions, extent, source etc. of the copy and paste activity done by the software developer. The observational determinations from this survey were then employed to validate different cloning patterns based on the developers perspective. Finally, based on the survey results, the solution to these cloning practices is discussed. Results depicted in this paper suggest an incorporation of these developers behavioural inference into the existing IDE based clone management systems.


How to Cite
Sarveshwar Bharti, & Hardeep Singh. (2019). Investigating Developers Prevalent Copy and Paste Activities and validating associated Cloning Patterns. International Journal of Next-Generation Computing, 10(2), 103–121.


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