Previous article

Next article

Capturing ghost dependencies in Java sources

Giovanni Lagorio, Department of Computer Science of the University of Genova (DISI), Italy

space PDF Icon
PDF Version


All non trivial applications consist of many sources, which usually depend on each other. For this reason, a change to some sources may affect the compilation of other (unchanged) sources. Hence, the recompilation must be propagated to the unchanged sources that depend on the changed ones, in order to obtain the same result a global recompilation would produce.

Most IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) provide smart dependency checking; that is, they automate the task of finding these dependencies and propagating the recompilation when an application is rebuilt.

In this paper we study the problem of extracting dependency information from Java sources and propose an encoding of these dependency information as regular expressions. This encoding is both compact to store and fast to check.

Furthermore, our technique detects a particular kind of dependencies, which we call ghost dependencies, that popular tools, even commercial ones, fail to detect. Because of this failure, some required recompilations are not triggered by these tools and the result of their incremental recompilations is not equivalent to the recompilation of all sources.

Note: Due to the typographical sophistication of this article, no HTML version is available. Please use the PDF version.


About the author


Giovanni Lagorio received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Genova on May 2004. His research interests are in the area of programming languages; in particular, design and foundations of modular and object-oriented languages and systems. He can be reached at lagorio@disi.unige.it. See also http://www.disi.unige.it/person/LagorioG/.

Cite this article as follows: Giovanni Lagorio: ”Capturing ghost dependencies in Java sources”, in Journal of Object Technology, vol. 3, no. 11, December 2004, Special issue: OOPS track
at SAC 2004, Nicosia/Cyprus, pp. 77–95, http://www.jot.fm/issues/issue_2004_12/article4

Previous article

Next article