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What should developers be aware of?: an empirical study on the directives of API documentation

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Empirical Software Engineering
Issue number6
Volume17
Number of pages35
Pages (from-to)703-737
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Application Programming Interfaces (API) are exposed to developers in order to reuse software libraries. API directives are natural-language statements in API documentation that make developers aware of constraints and guidelines related to the usage of an API. This paper presents the design and the results of an empirical study on the directives of API documentation of object-oriented libraries. Its main contribution is to propose and extensively discuss a taxonomy of 23 kinds of API directives.