Eclipse Code Recommenders

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One of the major goals of this project is to make a new generation of tool ideas accessible and usable by the Eclipse community, to further improve these tools based on the user feedback obtained or even to build completely new tools based on the experiences and developer needs. So far, a couple of steps towards IDE 2.0 have been accomplished, some of which we will describe briefly in Section "Initial Contributions". These tools, however, have to prove themselves as being useful. To allow this evaluation this project aims to (i) provide a platform for innovative IDE features that leverage the wisdom of the crowds, (ii) build a very vibrant community around IDE 2.0 services based on Eclipse, and (iii) provide an open platform allowing every community member to actively contribute to these services and to build and evaluate new tools based on the data contributed by the community itself. The initial scope of this project is to provide tools for the following topics:

  1. Intelligent Code Completion Systems:
    Code Completion Systems pretty good in showing a developer all possible completions in a given context. However, sometimes these proposals can be overwhelming for novice developers. Goal of this project is to develop completion engines that leverage the information how other developers used certain types in similar context and thus are capable to filter OR rearrange proposals according to some relevance criterion (similar to Mylyn's Context model but learning this relevance judgment based on how thousands of users used a given API).
  2. Smart Template Engines:
    The well-known SWT Templates are pretty helpful for developers not familiar with all details of SWT. Unfortunately creating such templates is a tedious and time-consuming task. Consequently the number of such code templates is rather small. However, code of existing applications contains hundreds of frequently reoccurring code snippets that can be extracted and shared among developers. This project will provide tools that support developers finding (for instance) method call chains for situations like "How do I get an instance of IStatusLineManager inside a ViewPart" and will allow them to share such templates with other developers.
  3. Crowd-sourced and Usage-Driven API Documentation:
    API documentation, independent of how much time has been spent on writing them, lacks the information how developers actually use these APIs. This information, however, can be easily extracted from code that uses the APIs in questions, and thus could be used to enrich existing API documentation with real usage driven documentation. Code Recommenders aims to develop tools for finding and sharing this kind of knowledge among developers.

However, the scope of the recommenders project is not limited to such kind of tools and encourages the community discuss new ideas of tools that might be helpful for software engineers.