[unrev-II] Untangling Code

From: John J. Deneen (jjdeneen@netzero.net)
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 14:42:44 PDT

  • Next message: John J. Deneen: "[unrev-II] Computing’s Johnny Appleseed: J.C.R. Licklider"

    The Technology Review
    DARPA in Depth

    October 2001 - The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency quietly
    funds an impressive range of innovation. Here’s a sampling of 25 recent
    Technology Review stories about research funded at least in part by
    < http://www.technologyreview.com/magazine/oct01/talbot_comp.asp >

    January/February 2001 - Pity software engineers. With the touch of a
    button, their programs let us make global fixes in a long text, say, or
    a spreadsheet, yet programmers often need to correct their own work one
    tedious line at a time. That irony isn't lost on Gregor Kiczales,
    principal scientist at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and
    professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver—and he has
    a fix in mind. Kiczales champions what he calls "aspect-oriented
    programming," a technique that will allow software writers to make the
    same kinds of shortcuts that those of us in other professions have been
    making for years.

    One such "crosscutting" capability is logging—the ability to trace and
    record every operation the application performs. Since any given command
    might touch down on functionally unrelated areas of the code,
    programmers now must make a rule, such as: "When adding a new function
    to this application, always put a trace statement in." Of course, the
    rule works only if people remember to follow it. ...

    .... It's called "adaptive programming" at Northeastern University,
    "subjective programming" at IBM, "composition filtering" at the
    University of Twente in the Netherlands and "multidimensional separation
    of concerns" elsewhere. But unlike these other research projects,
    Kiczales and his team at PARC have taken the concept out of the lab and
    into the real world by incorporating the idea of aspects into a new
    extension of the programming language Java. The beta version of this
    extension (called AspectJ) is available for free at www.aspectj.org, and
    Kiczales plans to make release 1.0 ready by June. "Major changes in
    programming methodology can take 30 years to gain widespread
    acceptance," he says. Making aspects an extension to an existing
    standard should, he predicts, "cut the cycle by 15 or 20 years."
    < http://www.technologyreview.com/magazine/jan01/tr10_kiczales.asp >
    < http://www.parc.xerox.com/csl/projects/aop/ >

    Others Untangling Code
    Mehmet Aksit (University of Twente, the Netherlands)
    - Composition filters

    Karl Lieberherr (Northeastern University)
    - Adaptive programming

    IBM Research (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.)
    - HyperJ system for Java programming

    Mira Mezini (Univ. of Siegen, Germany)
    - Enhancing modularity and reusability of A-O software

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