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An XML-Based Framework for Language Neutral Program Representation and Generic Analysis

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2 Author(s)
R. Al-Ekram ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Waterloo Univ., Ont., Canada ; K. Kontogiannis

XML applications are becoming increasingly popular to define structured or semi-structured constrained data in XML for special application areas. In pursuit there is a growing momentum of activities related to XML representation of source code in the area of program comprehension and software re-engineering. The source code and the artifacts extracted from a program are necessarily structured information that needs to be stored and exchanged among different tools. This makes XML to be a natural choice to be used as the external representation formats for program representations. Most of the XML representations proposed so far abstract the source code at the AST level. These AST representations are tightly coupled with the language grammar of the source code and hence require development of different tools for different programming languages to perform the same type of analysis. Moreover AST abstracts the program at a very fine level of granularity and hence not suitable to be used directly for higher-level sophisticated program analysis. As such, we propose XML applications for language neutral representation of programs at different levels of abstractions and by combining them we present a program representation framework in order to facilitate the development of generic program analysis tools.

Published in:

Ninth European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering

Date of Conference:

21-23 March 2005