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Abstract

Object-oriented systems development (OOSD) is viewed by many as the best available solution to the ongoing "software crisis." However, some caution that OOSD is so complex that it may never become a mainstream methodology. To settle the controversy requires high-quality empirical evidence. This paper surveys the most rigorous research on OOSD available over the past decade. A review of these empirical studies indicates that the weight of the evidence tends to slightly favor OOSD, although most studies fail to build on a theoretical foundation, many suffer from inadequate experimental designs, and some draw highly questionable conclusions from the evidence. This set of conditions points to the need for additional, higher quality research to build a better case either for or against OOSD.

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