A Survey on Code Scattering in the Linux Kernel

You are invited to participate in a study on Code Scattering in the Linux Kernel. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of scattering in the maintenance effort. Specifically, we look at situations where the code related to a configuration option is scattered across different parts of the source-code base.

If you decide to volunteer, you will be asked to complete a 7-minute online questionnaire. This questionnaire targets developers contributing to the Linux kernel. It comprises questions about your experiences and opinion about working with #ifdefs and scattered code. Your input and time is highly valuable to us. It will help developers and the research community to understand the challenges imposed by scattering and will help to improve current practices.

Your Rights as a Participant:

Participation in this study is voluntary. You may decline to answer any questions that you do not wish to answer and you can withdraw your participation at any time by not submitting your responses. There are no known or anticipated risks from participating in this study.

Confidentiality and Data Retention :

It is important for you to know that any information that you provide will be confidential. All of the data will be summarized and no individual could be identified from these summarized results. Furthermore, the web site is programmed to collect responses alone and will not collect any information that could potentially identify you (such as machine identifiers). The data collected from this study will be for maintained for a period of at least 7 years on a password-protected computer database in a restricted access area of the university. With your permission, anonymous quotations may be used in any publications.


Should you have any questions about the study, please contact Rodrigo Queiroz, rqueiroz@gsd.uwaterloo.ca (student researcher, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo) or Michael Godfrey, migod@uwaterloo.ca (faculty supervisor, Department of Computer Science, University of Waterloo).

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee. However, the final decision about participation is yours. If you have any comments or concerns resulting from your participation in this study, please feel free to contact Dr. Maureen Nummelin in the Office of Research Ethics at 1-519-888-4567, Ext. 36005 or maureen.nummelin@uwaterloo.ca.

Team Members and Collaborators