Studying the Change History of Code Snippets on Stack Overflow and GitHub

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Manes, Saraj Singh




Stack Overflow (SO) is a popular Q&A forum for software developers, providing ready to use code snippets. GH Developers often reuse SO code in their GitHub projects. These code snippets get revised and edited on both platforms after their creation and adoption. We investigate such evolution of posts and their adapted code on GitHub. To accomplish our goal, we mine the SOTorrent dataset. We then create and Analyze an evolutionary history of adapted code snippets by mining ~26K GitHub projects to study their evolution. Along with studying characteristics of projects that reference SO posts, we demonstrate that, on average, developers make 45 references to SO posts. We also found that 79\% of the SO posts with code snippets referenced in GitHub, do change over time (at least ones). Finally, our results show that snippets on both platforms evolve independently of one another.


Computer Science




Carleton University

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Master of Computer Science: 

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Computer Science

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