Impact of Opportunistic Reuse Practices to Technical Debt
Technical debt (TD) has been recognized as an important quality problem for both software architecture and code. The evolution of TD techniques over the past years has led to a number of research and commercial tools. In addition, the increasing trend of opportunistic reuse (as opposed to systematic reuse), where developers reuse code assets in popular repositories, is changing the way components are selected and integrated into existing systems. However, reusing software opportunistically can lead to a loss of quality and induce TD, especially when the architecture is changed in the process. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have investigated the impact of opportunistic reuse in TD. In this paper, we carry out an exploratory study to investigate to what extent reusing components opportunistically negatively affects the quality of systems. We use one commercial and one research tool to analyze the TD ratios of three case systems, before and after opportunistically extending them with open-source software.
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