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Language-Independent and Automated Software Composition

Summary: 1
Language-Independent and Automated
Software Composition:
Sven Apel, Christian K¨astner, Christian Lengauer
Abstract--Superimposition is a composition technique that has been applied successfully in many areas of software develop-
ment. Although superimposition is a general-purpose concept, it has been (re)invented and implemented individually for various
kinds of software artifacts. We unify languages and tools that rely on superimposition by using the language-independent model
of feature structure trees (FSTs). On the basis of the FST model, we propose a general approach to the composition of software
artifacts written in different languages. Furthermore, we offer a supporting framework and tool chain, called FEATUREHOUSE. We
use attribute grammars to automate the integration of additional languages. In particular, we have integrated Java, C#, C, Haskell,
Alloy, and JavaCC. A substantial number of case studies demonstrate the practicality and scalability of our approach and reveal
insights into the properties that a language must have in order to be ready for superimposition. We discuss perspectives of our
approach and demonstrate how we extended FEATUREHOUSE with support for XML languages (in particular, XHTML, XMI/UML,
and Ant) and alternative composition approaches (in particular, aspect weaving). Rounding off our previous work, we provide
here a holistic view of the FEATUREHOUSE approach based on rich experience with numerous languages and case studies and
reflections on several years of research.
Index Terms--FEATUREHOUSE, feature structure trees, software composition, superimposition, language independence


Source: Apel, Sven - Fakultät für Informatik und Mathematik, Universität Passau


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences