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FEAT and Hipikat

At UBC, researchers have already developed a couple of Eclipse plug-ins. One tool, known as the Feature Experimental Analysis Tool (FEAT) is for quickly and graphically locating, describing, analyzing, and tracking latent concerns in Java, even when these concerns are scattered across the code base.

Essentially, FEAT "skips across the surface of the code—and at the end, tells you the features of the code," according to Murphy. An edition of FEAT for C++ is currently under development.

The other tool, called Hipikat, is now being used by Eclipse.org for "daily updates, bug reports, newsgroup postings, and so on," Murphy observes. Hipikat is a joint project between UBC, IBM's software lab in Ottawa, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC).

Murphy said that the Hipikat tool recommends relevant software artifacts—such as source code, documentation, newsgroup articles, and version information—"based on the context of the request."

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