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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Serverless computing enables service developers to focus on creating useful services, without being concerned about how these services would be deployed and provisioned. Many developers reuse existing open-source serverless functions to create their own functions. However, existing technologies for searching open-source software repositories have not taken into consideration the unique features of serverless functions. This paper presents a novel approach to searching for serverless functions, called Open-Source Serverless Search (OS3) that maximizes the utility of the returned serverless functions by (1) basing the search process on both descriptive keywords and library usages, thus increasing the search results' precision and completeness; (2) filtering and ranking the search results based on the software license, to accommodate the unique requirements of deploying serverless functions on dissimilar platforms, including cloud and edge computing. Implemented in 3K lines of Python, with a search space of 5,981 serverless repositories from four major serverless platforms, OS3 outperforms existing search approaches in terms of the suitability of the search results, based on our evaluation with realistic use cases. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    As a popular language for teaching introductory programming, Java can profoundly influence beginner programmers with its coding style and idioms. Despite its many advantages, the paradigmatic coding style in Java is often described as verbose. As a result, when writing code in more concise languages, such programmers tend to emulate the familiar Java coding idioms, thus neglecting to take advantage of the more succinct counterparts in those languages. As a result of such verbosity, not only the overall code quality suffers, but the verbose non-idiomatic patterns also render code hard to understand and maintain. In this paper, we study the incidences of Java-like verbosity as they occur in Python codebases. We present a collection of Java-Like Verbosity Anti-patterns and our pilot study of their presence in representative open-source Python codebases. We discuss our findings as a call for action to computing educators, particularly those who work with introductory students. We need novel pedagogical interventions that encourage budding programmers to write concise idiomatic code in any language. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    As Scratch has become one of the most popular educational programming languages, understanding its common programming idioms can benefit both computing educators and learners. This understanding can fine-tune the curricular development to help learners master the fundamentals of writing idiomatic code in their programming pursuits. Unfortunately, the research community’s understanding of what constitutes idiomatic Scratch code has been limited. To help bridge this knowledge gap, we systematically identified idioms as based on canonical source code, presented in widely available educational materials. We implemented a tool that automatically detects these idioms to assess their prevalence within a large dataset of over 70K Scratch projects in different experience backgrounds and project categories. Since communal learning and the practice of remixing are one of the cornerstones of the Scratch programming community, we studied the relationship between common programming idioms and remixes. Having analyzed the original projects and their remixes, we observed that different idioms may associate with dissimilar types of code changes. Code changes in remixes are desirable, as they require a meaningful programming effort that spurs the learning process. The ability to substantially change a project in its remixes hinges on the project’s code being easy to understand and modify. Our findings suggest that the presence of certain common idioms can indeed positively impact the degree of code changes in remixes. Our findings can help form a foundation of what comprises common Scratch programming idioms, thus benefiting both introductory computing education and Scratch programming tools. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Best Paper Award 
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