Refactoring-aware Configuration Management for Object-Oriented Programs

Author(s): Danny Dig, Kashif Manzoor, Ralph Johnson and Tien N. Nguyen
Venue: Proceedings of the 29th international conference on Software Engineering
Date: 2007



Current text based software configuration management (SCM) systems have trouble with refactorings which result in global changes that lead to merge conflicts. This paper describes MolhadoRef, a refactoring-aware SCM system meant to reduce merge conflicts, preserve program history better and make program evolution easier to understand.

The paper describes the tool and its merging algorithm and then describes a case study used to test its effectiveness. It then uses the tool on its own configuration history from CVS. Most of the development MolhadoRef used pair programming; however, during the last few weeks the programmers worked in parallel during which they were conflicted with merge errors due to refactoring. The author presets results showing how almost all conflicts and errors were eliminated using MolhadoRef versus CVS on its own source code (84 vs. 1), and then uses a small MotivatingExample to duplicate the results.