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Investigating Effective Inspection of Object-Oriented Code

Dunsmore, A. (2002) Investigating Effective Inspection of Object-Oriented Code. PhD thesis, University Of Strathclyde.

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Since the development of software inspection over twenty-five years ago it has become established as an effective means of detecting defects. Inspections were originally developed at a time when the procedural paradigm was dominant but, with the Object- Oriented (OO) paradigm growing in influence and use, there now exists a lack of guidance on how to apply inspections to OO systems. Object-oriented and procedural languages differ not only in their syntax but also in a number of more profound ways - the encapsulation of data and associated functionality, the common use of inheritance, and the concepts of polymorphism and dynamic binding. These factors influence the way that modules (classes) are created in OO systems, which in turn influences the way that OO systems are structured and execute. Failure to take this into account may hinder the application of inspections to OO code. This thesis shows that the way in which the objectoriented paradigm distributes related functionality can have a serious impact on code inspection and, to address this problem, it develops and empirically evaluates three code reading techniques.