Sustainable system infrastructure and big bang evolution : can aspects keep pace?




Gibbs, Celina

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Many rapidly evolving systems eventually require extensive restructuring in order to effectively support further evolution. Not surprisingly, these overhauls can reverberate throughout the system, forcing changes to hundreds of files. Though several studies have shown the benefits of aspect-oriented software development from the point of view of the modularization and evolution of crosscutting concerns, the question remains as to how well aspects fare when the code that is crosscut undergoes rapid, extensive restructuring. That is, can aspects keep pace when faced with a big bang type of evolution? This case study demonstrates the concrete ways in which aspects impact the rapid and extensive restructuring of a memory management subsystem of a Java virtual machine. Compared with best efforts in a hierarchical decomposition coupled with a preprocessor, results show an aspect-oriented implementation fared no worse than the original in two out of four aspects, and better in the remaining two.



aspect-oriented programming, memory management