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Aspect-oriented programming takes aim at software complexity

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As global digitalization and the size of applications expand at an exponential rate, software engineering's complexities are also growing. One feature of this complexity is the repetition of functionality throughout an application. An example of the problems this complexity causes occurs when programmers must change an oft-repeated feature for an updated or new version of an application. It is often difficult for programmers to find every instance of such a feature in millions of lines of code. Failing to do so, however, can introduce bugs. To address this issue, software researchers are developing methodologies based on a new programming element: the aspect. An aspect is a piece of code that describes a recurring property of a program. Applications can, of course, have multiple aspects. Aspects provide cross-cutting modularity. In other words, programmers can use aspects to create software modules for issues that cut across various parts of an application. Aspects have the potential to make programmers' work easier, less time-consuming and less error-prone. Proponents say aspects could also lead to less expensive applications, shorter upgrade cycles and software that is flexible and more customizable. A number of companies and universities are working on aspects or aspect-like concepts

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 2001

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