On the Footprints of Join Points: The Blueprint Approach
By: Walter Cazzola, Sonia Pini
Aspect-oriented techniques are widely used to better modularize object-oriented programs by introducing crosscutting concerns in a safe and non-invasive way, i.e., aspect-oriented mechanisms better address the modularization of functionality that orthogonally crosscuts the implementation of the application. Unfortunately, as noted by several researchers, most of the current aspect-oriented approaches are too coupled with the application code, and this fact hinders the concerns separability and consequently their re-usability since each aspect is strictly tailored on the base application. Moreover, the join points (i.e., locations affected by a crosscutting concerns) actually are defined at the operation level . It implies that the possible set of join points includes every operation (e.g., method invocations) that the system performs. Whereas, in many contexts we wish to define aspects that are expected to work at the statement level, i.e., by considering as a join point every point between two generic statements (i.e., lines of code). In this paper, we present our proposal, called Blueprint, to overcome the abovementioned limitations of the current aspect-oriented approaches. The Blueprint consists of a new aspect-oriented programming language based on modeling the join point selection mechanism at a high-level of abstraction to decouple aspects from the application code. To this regard, we adopt a high-level pattern-based join point model, where join points are described by join point blueprints, i.e., behavioral patterns describing where the join points should be found.