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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Augmenting source code editors with external information Liu, Xinhong


Developers use many tools and services to acquire code-centric information in their development processes. These tools, such as continuous integration and coverage platforms, make the development process fluid and help developers make better decisions, but developers often need to leave their code editors to retrieve the in- formation from them. In this thesis, I present External Information in Code Editor (EICE), an external information integration technology probe, to understand how to help developers acquire and present information from external sources. In this thesis, I explore the kinds of external information developers need in their development process and how to present it. As visually changing code editors can affect developers' interaction and productivity, I conduct an online survey to understand developers' preferences on visual representations of external information. Finally, I investigate the benefits and disadvantages of EICE plugins in a user study. The results demonstrate that with careful design, the integration of external information into source code editors can be beneficial to developers.

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