Generating Object-Oriented Source Code Documentation from Automated Change Identification

M. Hoffman (USA)


Software maintenance, object-oriented modeling


A common problem with software maintenance is a lack of correlation between what the software’s documentation says the system does and what the source code actually contains. Among the reasons for this lack of agreement in object-oriented (OO) software systems is the complexity of relationships between objects, methods and classes. Mapping the source code’s comments to the actual structure and relationships of the source code is critical for correct understanding of the system. This paper describes Automatic Source Code Documenting (ASCD), a process that automatically discovers many types of changes in an object-oriented software system, and can automatically update source code commentary noting all changes found and by describing the base relationships of the system’s components. AutoDoc, a software tool that implements this process, is described.

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