Study of Code Cloning Practices for Software Product Lines

As part of our effort to further understand and improve industrial software product line practices, we perform a study on the culture of artifact cloning for product lines.

Many companies face the challenge of developing software product lines --- a range of products that all share some commonality, but differ in several aspects. We observe many different practices for product lines, such as the development of a common and configurable platform, but also rather ad-hoc practices such as cloning of source code among products. In our study, we aim to investigate the latter; particularly, we try to understand how companies use cloning to realize product lines, which tools and processes are applied, and what specific problems occur.

We approach practitioners and experts in the area in order to conduct one-hour interviews on artifacts cloning. We assure anonymity and will of course share the results of our study. In addition, participating will allow participants to reflect on their particular practices and get insights into other companies’ practices. Further, we intend to establish a networking group to further discuss the topics raised.