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An empirical study on quality of Android applications written in Kotlin language

Abstract : Context During the last years, developers of mobile applications have the possibility to use new paradigms and tools for developing mobile applications. For instance, since 2017, Android developers have the official support to write Android applications using Kotlin language. Kotlin is programming language fully interoperable with Java that combines object-oriented and functional features. Objective The goal of this paper is twofold. First, it aims to study the degree of adoption of Kotlin language on the development of open-source Android applications and to measure the amount of Kotlin code inside those applications. Secondly, it aims to measure the quality of Android applications that are written using Kotlin and to compare it with the quality of Android applications written using Java. Method We first defined a method to detect Kotlin applications from a dataset of open-source Android applications. Then, we analyzed those applications to detect instances of code smells and computed an estimation of the quality of the applications. Finally, we studied how the introduction of Kotlin code impacts on the quality of an Android application. Results Our experiment found that 11.26% of applications from a dataset with 2,167 open-source applications have been written (partially or fully) using Kotlin language. We found that the introduction of Kotlin code increases the quality, in terms of the presence of 10 different code smells studied, 4 object-oriented and 6 Android, of the majority of the Android applications initially written in Java.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 25, 2022 - 10:59:05 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 2:53:57 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 6:46:26 PM


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Bruno Gois Mateus, Matias Martinez. An empirical study on quality of Android applications written in Kotlin language. Track "ICSE 2020 Journal First", The 42nd International Conference on Software Engineering, Jul 2020, Seoul, South Korea. pp.3356-3393, ⟨10.1007/s10664-019-09727-4⟩. ⟨hal-03388917⟩



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