Modular Compilation Strategies for Aspect-Oriented Constructs

Date
2006-09-22
Authors
Dyer, Robert
Rajan, Hridesh
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Research Projects
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Computer Science
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Abstract

In our previous work, we presented an aspect-oriented intermediate language, named Nu, to preserve design modularity in object code. Nu is based on two primitives: bind and remove. We showed that maintaining modularity in object code significantly improved the incremental compilation time of aspect-oriented programs. The key contribution of this work is a set of compilation strategies to Nu for a number of AspectJ constructs such as control flow (cflow and cflowbelow), instantiation (perthis, pertarget, percflow, percflowbelow) and dynamic checks (if, this, target, args), as well as composition operators (&& and ||). The motivation was to determine if these high-level language constructs need to be supported in the intermediate language. Our compilation strategies are modular and textually local. To compile a construct in a module, only the information about that module's implementation and the specification of other modules referenced in that module are needed. The generated intermediate code for a construct in a source module is confined to a single module in the object code. We show that our compilation strategies improve incremental compilation time of aspect-oriented programs. We also analyze our intermediate language with respect to constructs that are not directly supported.

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