Previous taxonomies of software change have focused on the purpose of the change (i.e., the why) rather than the underlying mechanisms. This paper proposes a taxonomy of software change based on characterizing the mechanisms of change and the factors that influence these mechanisms. The ultimate goal of this taxonomy is to provide a framework that positions concrete tools, formalisms and methods within the domain of software evolution. Such a framework would considerably ease comparison between the various mechanisms of change. It would also allow practitioners to identify and evaluate the relevant tools, methods and formalisms for a particular change scenario. As an initial step towards this taxonomy, the paper presents a framework that can be used to characterize software change support tools and to identify the factors that impact on the use of these tools. The framework is evaluated by applying it to three different change support tools and by comparing these tools based on this analysis.