University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Security Seminar > Dead Code Removal at Meta: Automatically Deleting Millions of Lines of Code and Petabytes of Deprecated Data

Dead Code Removal at Meta: Automatically Deleting Millions of Lines of Code and Petabytes of Deprecated Data

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Hridoy Sankar Dutta.

Software constantly evolves in response to user needs: new features are built, deployed, mature and grow old, and eventually their usage drops enough to merit switching them off. In any large codebase, this feature lifecycle can naturally lead to retaining unnecessary code and data. Removing these respects users’ privacy expectations, as well as helping engineers to work efficiently. In prior software engineering research, we have found little evidence of code deprecation or dead-code removal at industrial scale. We describe Systematic Code and Asset Removal Framework (SCARF), a product deprecation system to assist engineers working in large codebases. SCARF identifies unused code and data assets and safely removes them. It operates fully automatically, including committing code and dropping database tables. It also gathers developer input where it cannot take automated actions, leading to further removals. Dead code removal increases the quality and consistency of large codebases, aids with knowledge management and improves reliability. SCARF has had an important impact at Meta. In the last year alone, it has removed petabytes of data across 12.8 million distinct assets, and deleted over 104 million lines of code.

Meeting ID: 874 4573 7656 Passcode: 290144

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This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Security Seminar series.

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