Modular aspect-oriented design with XPIs
The emergence of aspect-oriented programming (AOP) languages has provided software designers with new mechanisms and strategies for decomposing programs into modules and composing modules into systems. What we do not yet fully understand is how best to use such mechanisms consistent with common modularization objectives such as the comprehensibility of programming code, its parallel development, dependability, and ease of change. The main contribution of this work is a new form of information-hiding interface for AOP that we call the crosscut programming interface, or XPI. XPIs abstract crosscutting behaviors and make these abstractions explicit. XPIs can be used, albeit with limited enforcement of interface rules, with existing AOP languages, such as AspectJ. To evaluate our notion of XPIs, we have applied our XPI-based design methodology to a medium-sized network overlay application called Hypercast. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of existing AO design methods and XPI-based design method shows that our approach produces improvements in program comprehensibility, in opportunities for parallel development, and in the ease when code can be developed and changed.
The article is published as Sullivan, Kevin, William G. Griswold, Hridesh Rajan, Yuanyuan Song, Yuanfang Cai, Macneil Shonle, and Nishit Tewari. "Modular aspect-oriented design with XPIs." ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) 20, no. 2 (2010): 5. DOI: 10.1145/1824760.1824762. Posted with permission.