Encapsulating Software Platform Logic by Aspect-Oriented Programming: A Case Study in Using Aspects for Language Portability

Lennart C. L. Kats, Eelco Visser. Encapsulating Software Platform Logic by Aspect-Oriented Programming: A Case Study in Using Aspects for Language Portability. In Tenth IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation, SCAM 2010, Timisoara, Romania, 12-13 September 2010. pages 147-156, IEEE Computer Society, 2010. [doi]

Abstract

Software platforms such as the Java Virtual Machine or the CLR. NET virtual machine have their own ecosystem of a core programming language or instruction set, libraries, and developer community. Programming languages can target multiple software platforms to increase interoperability or to boost performance. Introducing a new compiler backend for a language is the first step towards targeting a new platform, translating the language to the platform's language or instruction set. Programs written in modern languages generally make extensive use of APIs, based on the runtime system of the software platform, introducing additional portability concerns. They may use APIs that are implemented by platform-specific libraries. Libraries may perform platform-specific operations, make direct native calls, or make assumptions about performance characteristics of operations or about the file system. This paper proposes to use aspect weaving to invasively adapt programs and libraries to address such portability concerns, and identifies four classes of aspects for this purpose. We evaluate this approach through a case study where we retarget the Stratego program transformation language towards the Java Virtual Machine.