Developing Maintainable Software: The Readable Approach
Software maintenance is expensive and difficult because software is complex and maintenance requires the understanding of code written by someone else. A prerequisite to maintainability is program understanding, specifically, understanding the control flows between software components. This is especially problematic for emerging software technologies, such as the World Wide Web, because of the lack of formal development practices and because web applications comprise a mix of static and dynamic content. Adequate representations are therefore necessary to facilitate program understanding. This research proposes an approach called Readable (Readable, Executable, Augmentable Database-Linked Environment) that generates executable, tabular representations that can be used to both understand and manipulate software applications. A controlled laboratory experiment carried out to test the efficacy of the approach demonstrates that the representations significantly enhance program understanding. The results suggest that the approach and the corresponding environment may be useful to alleviate problems associated with the software maintainability of new web applications.
Chua, C. E., Purao, S., & Storey, V. C. (2006). Developing Maintainable Software: The Readable Approach. Decision Support Systems, 42(1), pp. 469-491. Elsevier B.V..
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2005.04.002
Business and Information Technology
Keywords and Phrases
Maintenance; Programming; Web development
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2006 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
01 Oct 2006
This research was supported by the J. Mack Robinson School of Business, Georgia State University, Nanyang Technological University, and Pennsylvania State University.