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From Sébastien Brisard <>
Subject [all] Is this disguised fishing?
Date Thu, 12 Jul 2012 12:48:32 GMT
Dear all,
please find below a message I've received. It was sent to my apache
address, which I barely use (but can easily be retrieved from my
apache login).
I'm just wondering whether this message might be a (very clever !)
attempt at fishing. I don't think so, it does not have the usual
flavour. Is it safe to answer? Has anyone else received such a
Is there someone at Apache in charge of security which should be
informed of this message?

Thanks for your answers,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Yida Tao <>
Date: 2012/7/12
Subject: Help developers understand program changes -- Seeking your feedback

Dear Sébastien,

This is Yida Tao, a PhD student of Computer Science and Engineering in
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I’m currently working
on a research project using Apache Commons Math as an evaluation

Our observation is that program changes (or commits) sometimes mix
several issues together. For example, a single commit may actually fix
three different bugs, or it may perform some refactorings, fix a minor
bug and then implement a new feature. Such commit (we refer to it as
the “composite change”) might reduce the change’s understandability
and make the code review much harder.

Therefore, our research goal is to automatically decompose a composite
change into “slices”; each slice is aligned with one particular issue
addressed. For example, if a change fixes three different bugs, we
would like to see this change to be decomposed into three “slices”,
each corresponds to one bug-fix.

We would like to invite you to a short survey (around 5 - 10 minutes)
on our research result. In particular, below is an example of applying
our technique on one of your commits (revision 1210359 for Apache
Commons Math). Our technique automatically decomposes your commit into
3 slices. You can view all the slices of the commit at

We really appreciate it if you could let us know your opinions on the
following two questions by replying this email:

1 Do you think the above example of slices is accurate?
(Please assign a value from 0 to 4:  0 - Not accurate at all, 1 - Not
accurate, 2 - Not sure, 3 - Accurate, 4 - Very accurate)

2 Do you think in general sliced changes (by our automatic change
slicing technique) would be useful for other developers to review and
understand your changes?
(Please assign a value from 0 to 4: 0 - Not useful at all, 1 - Not
useful, 2 - Not sure, 3 - Useful, 4 - Very useful)

Thank you for your time! Your feedback is very valuable to us!

Best Regards,
Yida Tao
PhD student
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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