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Tool to promote code reuse and avoid code duplication

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000197782D
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Code reuse and component developed code is an important methodology focussing on saving developers time and writing code in a generic way to suit the purposes of other uses. When code is duplicated this costs the business development time which is replicated, if the user can be fed information on prewritten sources for achieving the same goal - this will save the business money and save the coder time / frustration and increase productivity, maintainability of code and adhering to coding standards. The disclosure discusses the need and implementation details of a tool to aid and promote the reuse of code segments with use of a central repository.

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Tool to promote code reuse and avoid code duplication

Developers often implement various generic coding methods and functions to work towards solutions to problems their software are trying to address. When working amongst different teams with different goals and even when two employees work in the same team - they could be writing code which has already been written and which may be available for reuse.

    This is a problem because code repetition reduces efficiency costing both time and therefore money to the company. Current known solutions to this problem are constant communication between team members to alert each other as to what you are writing so others are aware if they can reuse anything. Another known solution is the investigation by a developer before they write the method - they will manually take a look for anything which could do the job prior to them writing it from scratch.

    The drawbacks to the known solutions are that the methods tend to be inefficient and ineffective. Its hard and disruptive to continually ask people what methods they may have written and it can also be easily ignored and a developer may simply choose to implement the function again because it avoids the disruption of the currently known ways of solving the problem.

    The idea herein would tackle this problem in a unique way. In a similar manner to automatic code completion when a person starts to define a declaration of a particular method the application responds to the user if it finds any matches of similar looking methods and functions which have already been written and shared by other users. For example the application monitors the interface to a method, its name, parameters, return type and comments associated with it. Having defined these values they can be compared to a bank of currently written methods and a suggested list will be displayed to the user, alerting them to the fact that a particular method may already exist which does what they desire.

The developer can then browse the pre-written method and assess its suitability.

    The advantage of using this solution as opposed to the known solutions as defined above is that a bank of shared code functionality could be growing, changing a...