The decentralized nature of collaborations between objects in object-oriented software makes it difficult to understand the implementations of user-observable program features and their respective interdependencies. As feature-centric program understanding and modification are essential during software maintenance and evolution, this situation needs to change. In this paper, we present Featureous, an integrated development environment built on top of the NetBeans IDE that facilitates feature-centric analysis of object-oriented software. Our integrated development environment encompasses a lightweight feature location mechanism, a number of reusable analytical views, and necessary APIs for supporting future extensions. The base of the integrated development environment is a conceptual framework comprising of three complementary dimensions of comprehension: perspective, abstraction and granularity. Together, these dimensions allow the analyst to focus the analysis at the right mode of comprehension during software evolution. We demonstrate applicability of our integrated development environment by conducting a case study of change adoption using the JHotDraw SVG.
International Journal on Computer Science and Information Systems, 2011, Vol 6, Issue 1, p. 58-75