Readability is one important quality attributes for software source codes. Readability has also significant relation or impact with other quality attributes such as: reusability, maintainability, reliability, complexity, and portability metrics. This research develops a novel approach called Impact of Programming Features on Code Readability (IPFCR), to examine the influence of various programming features and the effect of these features on code readability. A code Readability Tool (CRT) is developed to evaluate the IPFCR readability features or attributes. In order to assess the level if impact that each one of the 25 proposed readability features may have, positively or negatively on the overall code readability, a survey was distributed to a random number of expert programmers. These experts evaluated the effect of each feature on code readability, based on their knowledge or experience. Expert programmers have evaluated readability features to be ordered then classified into positive and negative factors based on their impact on code readability or understanding. The survey responses were analyzed using SPSS statistical tool. Most of proposed code features showed to have significantly positive impact on enhancing readability including: meaningful names, consistency, and comments. On the other hand, fewer features such as arithmetic formulas, nested loops, and recursive functions showed to have a negative impact. Finally, few features showed to have neutral impact on readability.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
International Journal of Software Engineering and its Applications
Tashtoush, Y.; Odat, Z.; Alsmadi, Izzat M.; and Yatim, M., "Impact of Programming Features on Code Readability" (2013). Computer Science Faculty Publications. 16.