back to article Smack-talking overflow: Mining developer sentiment to understand the most popular APIs

Developers looking for guidance about APIs may wish to try a search engine prototype called Opiner to assess how their peers feel about specific programming interfaces, based on a limited set of data pulled from Stack Overflow. Opiner is a sentiment-based search engine. At present, it only knows about technologies associated …

  1. Notas Badoff


    "Based on all of the Stack Overflow threads tagged as 'java+json' as of January 2014" Ouch.

    So this is a result of research on a very restricted domain. And like most research (and legitimately so) the summary basically ends with "need more funding to pursue questions arising from the research."

  2. Chairman of the Bored

    Topics for investigation...

    ...I wonder what it would be like if one plotted 'Apparent Developer Happiness vs Time' over the life of an API.

    My hypothesis is that you would see initial positive feelings because the API will probably be used in a community tightly coupled to the developers. Then if the API hits the big time we have high positivity as people fan girl over the new "shiny". Then will things turn more negative as developers realize an API is a tool, not a fad, and using tools effectively is hard. We then transition to a nostalgic sunset as the bulk of developers move on to the next shiny, while the ones who have used the API very effectively still participate...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Posix API

    Its been more or less standard for a couple of decades now which means like unlike the devs using the latest fad-of-the-month language or platform I don't have to waste my time learning a new API to do the same thing, and can just get on with solving the problem at hand instead of finding out how to use this months badly reinvented wheel (oh look , its got 5 sides this time instead of 4, AND they've shaved down the corners for a smoother ride! Yippee!).

  4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Evangelists and comfort code

    Good luck mining that data without bias.

    A special type of Internet troll is the technology evangelist. They boast how perfect it is, compare simplified examples of their tech to real-world samples of other tech, and tell everyone they're doing it wrong. This pollutes and derails normal online discussions. The worst part is that limited examples never demonstrate anything, whether for or against, so the whole argument is pointless.

    Then there's comfort code - the software that everyone knows and uses even if it's awful and the users are awful. Contractors love Java + Spring + Hibernate and everything they touch must use it. Nevermind that their code skills are awful and Spring started showing its age years ago. There are whole communities around using that tech stack. Whatever you want to do can be found online and nobody questions a tech stack that has limitless copy & paste solutions.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Evangelists and comfort code

      "Contractors love Java + Spring + Hibernate and everything they touch must use it."

      A small nitpick -- not all contractors are like this (although far too many are). Good contractors are good developers, and will recommend using the best tool for the job, not just the tool they personally love the best.

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