Beyond Textual Issues: Understanding the Usage and Impact of GitHub Reactions

  • Hudson Borges UFMS
  • Rodrigo Brito UFMG
  • Marco Tulio Valente UFMG


Recently, GitHub introduced a new social feature, named reactions, which are "pictorial characters" similar to emoji symbols widely used nowadays in text-based communications. Particularly, GitHub users can use a pre-defined set of such symbols to react to issues and pull requests. However, little is known about the real usage and impact of GitHub reactions. In this paper, we analyze the reactions provided by developers to more than 2.5 million issues and 9.7 million issue comments, in order to answer an extensive list of nine research questions about the usage and adoption of reactions. We show that reactions are being increasingly used by open source developers. Moreover, we also found that issues with reactions usually take more time to be handled and have longer discussions.

Palavras-chave: Social Coding, GitHub, Reactions


Maurício Aniche, Christoph Treude, Igor Steinmacher, Igor Wiese, Gustavo Pinto, Margaret-Anne Storey, and Marco Aurélio Gerosa. 2018. How Modern News Aggregators Help Development Communities Shape and Share Knowledge. In 40th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) (ICSE '18). ACM, 499--510.

T. F. Bissyandé, D. Lo, L. Jiang, L. Réveillère, J. Klein, and Y. L. Traon. 2013. Got issues? Who cares about it? A large scale investigation of issue trackers from GitHub. In 24th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE). 188--197.

Hudson Borges, Andre Hora, and Marco Tulio Valente. 2016. Understanding the factors that impact the popularity of GitHub repositories. In 32nd International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME). 1--11.

Hudson Borges and Marco Tulio Valente. 2018. What's in a GitHub Star? Understanding Repository Starring Practices in a Social Coding Platform. Journal of Systems and Software 146 (2018), 112--129.

Wesley Brants, Bonita Sharif, and Alexander Serebrenik. 2019. Assessing the Meaning of Emojis for Emotional Awareness-A Pilot Study. In 2nd International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media.

Jailton Coelho, Marco Tulio Valente, Luciana L. Silva, and Emad Shihab. 2018. Identifying Unmaintained Projects in GitHub. In 12th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM). 15:1--15.10.

Valerio Cosentino, Javier L Canovas Izquierdo, and Jordi Cabot. 2017. A Systematic Mapping Study of Software Development with GitHub. IEEE Access 5 (2017), 7173--7192.

Laura A. Dabbish, H. Colleen Stuart, Jason Tsay, and James D. Herbsleb. 2012. Social coding in GitHub: Transparency and collaboration in an open software repository. In 15th Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). 1277--1286.

Jin Ding, Hailong Sun, Xu Wang, and Xudong Liu. 2018. Entity-level sentiment analysis of issue comments. In 3rd International Workshop on Emotion Awareness in Software Engineering (SEmotion). 7--13.

Jacob A. Harer, Louis Y. Kim, Rebecca L. Russell, Onur Ozdemir, Leonard R. Kosta, Akshay Rangamani, Lei H. Hamilton, Gabriel I. Centeno, Jonathan R. Key, Paul M. Ellingwood, Marc W. McConley, Jeffrey M. Opper, Sang Peter Chin, and Tomo Lazovich. 2018. Automated software vulnerability detection with machine learning. (2018).

Jing Jiang, David Lo, Jiahuan He, Xin Xia, Pavneet Singh Kochhar, and Li Zhang. 2017. Why and how developers fork what from whom in GitHub. In Empirical Software Engineering. 547--578.

Jing Jiang, David Lo, Yun Yang, Jianfeng Li, and Li Zhang. 2013. A first look at unfollowing behavior on GitHub. In Information and Software Technology. 150--160.

Robbert Jongeling, Subhajit Datta, and Alexander Serebrenik. 2015. Choosing your weapons: On sentiment analysis tools for software engineering research. In 31st International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME). 531--535.

Eirini Kalliamvakou, Georgios Gousios, Kelly Blincoe, Leif Singer, Daniel M. German, and Daniela Damian. 2014. The Promises and Perils of Mining GitHub. In 11th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR). 92--101.

Eirini Kalliamvakou, Georgios Gousios, Kelly Blincoe, Leif Singer, Daniel M. Germán, and Daniela E. Damian. 2016. An in-depth study of the promises and perils of mining GitHub. Empirical Software Engineering 21, 5 (2016), 2035--2071.

Aikaterini Katmada, Anna Satsiou, and Ioannis Kompatsiaris. 2016. Incentive Mechanisms for Crowdsourcing Platforms. In Internet Science. 3--18.

Cliff Lampe and Erik Johnston. 2005. Follow the (slash) dot: effects of feedback on new members in an online community. In 5th International Conference on Supporting Group Work (SIGGROUP). 11--20.

Alessandro Murgia, Parastou Tourani, Bram Adams, and Marco Ortu. 2014. Do developers feel emotions? an exploratory analysis of emotions in software artifacts. In 11th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR). 262--271.

Everett M Rogers. 2010. Diffusion of innovations. Simon and Schuster.

A. Sharma, Y. Tian, A. Sulistya, D. Lo, and A. F. Yamashita. 2017. Harnessing Twitter to support serendipitous learning of developers. In 24th International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering (SANER). 387--391.

Karl Werder and Sjaak Brinkkemper. 2018. MEME: toward a method for emotions extraction from GitHub. In 3rd International Workshop on Emotion Awareness in Software Engineering (SEmotion). 20--24.
Como Citar

Selecione um Formato
BORGES, Hudson; BRITO, Rodrigo; VALENTE, Marco Tulio. Beyond Textual Issues: Understanding the Usage and Impact of GitHub Reactions. In: SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE ENGENHARIA DE SOFTWARE (SBES), 33. , 2019, Salvador. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2019 .