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Fri 13 Nov 2020 01:33 - 01:34 at Virtual room 1 - Documentation

Software engineering is knowledge-intensive and requires software developers to continually search for knowledge, often on community question answering platforms such as Stack Overflow. Such information sharing platforms do not exist in isolation, and part of the evidence that they exist in a broader software documentation ecosystem is the common presence of hyperlinks to other documentation resources found in forum posts. With the goal of helping to improve the information diffusion between Stack Overflow and other documentation resources, we conducted a study to answer the question of how and why documentation is referenced in Stack Overflow threads. We sampled and classified 759 links from two different domains, regular expressions and Android development, to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the links’ context and purpose, including attribution, awareness, and recommendations. We found that links on Stack Overflow serve a wide range of distinct purposes, ranging from citation links attributing content copied into Stack Overflow, over links clarifying concepts using Wikipedia pages, to recommendations of software components and resources for background reading. This purpose spectrum has major corollaries, including our observation that links to documentation resources are a reflection of the information needs typical to a technology domain. We contribute a framework and method to analyze the context and purpose of Stack Overflow links, a public dataset of annotated links, and a description of five major observations about linking practices on Stack Overflow. Those observations include the above-mentioned purpose spectrum, its interplay with documentation resources and applications domains, and the fact that links on Stack Overflow often lack context in form of accompanying quotes or summaries. We further point to potential tool support to enhance the information diffusion between Stack Overflow and other documentation resources.

Fri 13 Nov
Times are displayed in time zone: (UTC) Coordinated Universal Time change

01:30 - 01:32
Talk
Visions and Reflections
Christoph TreudeUniversity of Adelaide, Australia, Justin Middleton North Carolina State University, USA, Thushari AtapattuThe University of Adelaide
DOI
01:33 - 01:34
Talk
Journal First
Sebastian Baltes QAware GmbH and The University of Adelaide, Christoph TreudeUniversity of Adelaide, Australia, Martin RobillardMcGill University
Pre-print
01:35 - 01:36
Talk
Tool Demos
Boao LiZhejiang University, China, Meng YanChongqing University, Xin XiaMonash University, Xing HuPeking University, Ge LiPeking University, David LoSingapore Management University
DOI
01:37 - 01:38
Talk
Research Papers
Samim MirhosseiniNorth Carolina State University, USA, Chris ParninNorth Carolina State University, USA
DOI Pre-print
01:39 - 01:40
Talk
Research Papers
Sahar MehrpourGeorge Mason University, USA, Thomas LaTozaGeorge Mason University, USA, Hamed SarvariGeorge Mason University, USA
DOI Pre-print
01:41 - 01:42
Talk
Visions and Reflections
Sridhar ChimalakondaIndian Institute of Technology Tirupati, Akhila Sri Manasa VenigallaIIT Tirupati, India
DOI
01:43 - 02:00
Talk
Paper Presentations
Akhila Sri Manasa Venigalla, Christoph TreudeUniversity of Adelaide, Australia, Sahar MehrpourGeorge Mason University, USA, Samim MirhosseiniNorth Carolina State University, USA, Sridhar ChimalakondaIndian Institute of Technology Tirupati, M: Venera ArnaoudovaWashington State University