Miler: A Toolset for Exploring Email Data

Alberto Bacchelli, Michele Lanza, and Marco D'Ambros
University of Lugano, Switzerland

Source code is the target and final outcome of software development. By focusing our research and analysis on source code only, we risk forgetting that software is the product of human efforts, where communication plays a pivotal role. One of the most used communications means are emails, which have become vital for any distributed development project. Analyzing email archives is non-trivial, due to the noisy and unstructured nature of emails, the vast amounts of information, the unstandardized storage systems, and the gap with development tools. We present Miler, a toolset that allows the exploration of this form of communication, in the context of software maintenance and evolution. With Miler we can retrieve data from mailing list repositories in different formats, model emails as first-class entities, and transparently store them in databases. Miler offers tools and support for navigating the content, manually labelling emails with discussed source code entities, automatically linking emails to source code, measuring code entities’ popularity in mailing lists, exposing structured content in the unstructured content, and integrating email communication in an IDE.