MUSE: A Framework for Measuring Object-Oriented Design Quality
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Good object-oriented design facilitates the maintainability of a software product. While metric-based approaches and the idea of identifying design smells have been established, there still remains the gap of verifying the compliance of design best practices in source code. Thus, there is no comprehensive set of metrics or design best practices that does not only support design measurement and evaluation but can also guide the improvement process. This paper proposes a novel approach based on measuring design best practices that closes the gap between the identification of design flaws and the support for improvements. An expert group six researchers captured a set of 67 design best practices that are implemented by the framework MUSE (Muse Understand Script Engine). For a first validation of MUSE in this paper, its measuring result is compared with QMOOD, which is an established metric-based approach for measuring the quality of object-oriented design. The qualitative assessment based on data from six versions of the Java tool jEdit shows that MUSE is better suited to guide improvements than QMOOD, e.g., for the design property encapsulation QMOOD indicates no substantial changes in the design quality while the data provided by MUSE highlights that the encapsulation property of jEdit became worse over time. These first promising results of the application of MUSE have to be further validated and future work will concentrate on measuring object-oriented design principles.