ICSE 2018
Sun 27 May - Sun 3 June 2018 Gothenburg, Sweden
Thu 31 May 2018 14:00 - 14:20 at H2 room - Studying Software Engineers I

Deprecation is a language feature that allows API producers to mark a feature as obsolete. We aim to gain a deep understanding of the needs of API producers and consumers alike regarding deprecation. To that end, we investigate why API producers deprecate features, whether they remove deprecated features, how they expect consumers to react, and what prompts an API consumer to react to deprecation. To achieve this goal we conduct semi-structured interviews with 17 third-party Java API producers and survey 170 Java developers. We observe that the current deprecation mechanism in Java and the proposal to enhance it does not address all the needs of a developer. This leads us to propose and evaluate three further enhancements to the deprecation mechanism.