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Bill Atkins 08-06-2004 12:08 AM

Aspect-Oriented Programming
 
Can anyone give me a quick explanation of aspect-oriented programming
and AspectR in particular? I keep hearing that it's very useful, but
I haven't been able to find a good description of it anywhere.

Bill Atkins

David Naseby 08-06-2004 12:28 AM

Re: Aspect-Oriented Programming
 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Atkins [mailto:dejaspam@batkins.com]
>
> Can anyone give me a quick explanation of aspect-oriented programming
> and AspectR in particular? I keep hearing that it's very useful, but
> I haven't been able to find a good description of it anywhere.


Don't know if its a good description, but there's a utility-oriented
description at http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~naseby/16.html

David Naseby
http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~naseby/




zuzu 08-06-2004 01:10 AM

Re: Aspect-Oriented Programming
 
On Fri, 6 Aug 2004 09:11:26 +0900, Bill Atkins <dejaspam@batkins.com> wrote:
> Can anyone give me a quick explanation of aspect-oriented programming
> and AspectR in particular? I keep hearing that it's very useful, but
> I haven't been able to find a good description of it anywhere.
>
> Bill Atkins


http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AspectOrientedProgramming

Quick description

Advanced preprocessing, where you can say things like, "Take every
method that starts with the word 'test', and add it to a list of
methods to be run when testing." Allows one to centralize
"cross-cutting" concerns that would otherwise appear in many different
classes.

Longer description

AOP is motivated by "SeparationOfConcerns". It is one step further
than OOP in abstraction and modularization.

If we look back, using POP (Procedure-Oriented Programming), we must
deal with all the concerns in a line. Though we can outsource the code
into different functions, the main stream still controls all the
process. This is the linear model. When OOP is introduced, we can
present the world in a more natural way by describing different
objects and their functions. Connections between different objects
form a network, a matrix of type vs. behavior. This can be called the
two dimensional model.

Then AOP comes along and tells us that the change from POP to OOP is
not complete and the world need more dimensions. This cross-cutting,
distributed code can be seen as interconnections over and beyond the
two dimensional networking that OOP produced. Rules can be well
tangled with the objects they govern. If the system is small, it will
not be a problem. But if the system is big enough, these crosscutting
concerns can significantly bloat the objects, and AOP should be
applied.

Aspect oriented programming allows one to pick out a set of "join
points" within the program, and then specify code ("advice") that
should run at each of these points. The set of join points is
specified in the same place as the advice, keeping aspects modular.
This is in contrast to multiple-inheritance object systems like CLOS
or C++, where the invocation of behavior is specified by the caller,
not the callee.

This allows one to achieve OnceAndOnlyOnce in a new way. When a
UserStory is going to affect a lot of classes, describe once in an
Aspect and it can affect a dozen or more different places in code. The
tools distribute it to the right places. This allows one to create new
views into the software system which modularize the story.

See also:
AspectOrientedExamples
AspectOrientedTools
AspectsAndDynamicLanguages
AspectsAndMetaObjects
UnitTestingAspectOrientedCode


External site links:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news...le.php/3351321
http://aosd.net. Comprehensive source of information.
http://www.parc.xerox.com/csl/projects/aop/. Contains a few other links.
http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/lieber/demeter.html. A different take.
http://java-source.net/open-source/a...ted-frameworks


Contributors: Daisy Wang, StanleyKnutson, AnonymousDonor, DickBotting,
DaveHarris




Related work


SubjectOrientedProgramming


AttributeOrientedProgramming?, which may accomplish most of what AOP
can do with runtime generated proxies or good old code generation.


The RecursiveDesign concept of the ShlaerMellorMethod. They name their
aspects "domains"; and the weaving process is called "translation";
but the philosophy is the same.


The GenVoca tool.


Multi-Dimensional Separation of Concerns: Software Engineering using
Hyperspaces by IBM. See http://www.research.ibm.com/hyperspace/.


In a sense, AspectOrientedProgramming is the opposite of
FunctionalProgramming. The core mindset of FunctionalProgramming is
computation without relying on SideEffects; in a sense, the core
mindset of aspects is adding SideEffects. Aspects are like the
DecoratorPattern applied to functions.

Contributors: multiple AnonymousDonors, IanRae, ChanningWalton, LO




AspectOrientedProgramming QuickQuestions

Q I develop in VbClassic and other related technologies of Pre DotNet
days. If I am not doing WebServices do I need to care about AOP?

A ??



QHow does AOP interact with (regular) refactoring? Most refactorings
involve moving code across method boundaries, but when aspect code is
potentially triggered on any method invocation, then such refactorings
are no longer behaviour-preserving. AnswerMe, please. --AndersMunch

A ??

Q What are some AspectOrientedPatterns?? -- AnonymousDonor

A ??




The power of AspectOrientedProgramming

Recently, I saw a little example of changing behavior at the meta
level [http://www.parc.xerox.com/spl/groups...-Andreas-MOP/].
Until then, I'd thought that meta level work was not terribly
behavioral... the stuff of database people and modeling language
designers. The power of being able to say that method invocations will
work differently for a class of classes, or even the way that member
variables are associated with an object seems phenomenal. If this sort
of behavior change at the meta level thing is all that it seems to be,
it could usher in much more clarity in code. -- MichaelFeathers

One (simplified but useful) way of thinking about the techniques (as
opposed to the philosophical goals or motivations of) Aspect Oriented
Programming is that they put the power of a good debugger into your
programming language. A good debugger allows you set actions (print
some variables, stop, etc.) whenever a particular variable is accessed
or modified or whenever the call stack looks a particular way.
Similarly, a good Aspect Oriented Programming language allows you to
set up replacement and/or pre/post actions (call this logging
procedure, use this cached variable, etc.) whenever a particular
variable is accessed or modified or whenever the call stack matches a
particular pattern (gets() just called, for example). And because it's
in the programming language, these constructs (which can sometimes be
too slow to use in a debugger) can be made very computationally
efficient.

You need only see a couple examples to realize how powerful and useful
this can be. You can then treat some of the rest of the ideas of
Aspect Oriented Programming as trying to tame these powerful
constructs into something that won't frequently shoot you in the foot
(much like Structured Programming tamed the wild goto statement).

-- ThomasColthurst

The "I Want My AOP" articles on JavaWorld do a great job of
introducing AOP concepts. It's more complicated than can be
effectively communicated here. There is a mental shift that happens in
order to understand AOP - sort of like the same shift that happens
when you learn OOP for the first time (after programming in a
procedural way). -- KenLiu



I don't know this stuff too well, so better explanations are invited.
One thing that struck me--leading on from ActiveObjectModel--was the
range of techniques they used to implement their approach, which
included things like reflection and MetaObjectProtocol(s). It does
seem to be about making implicit details explicit. -- DaveHarris



All of the theory is nice, but Aspect Oriented Programming doesn't
quite fit my dream environment, which would allow me to filter the
aspects of the program I'm working on, by using fonts, italics,
colors, etc. to show visually what is which aspect of given source. I
believe that AOP should be woven into the IDE of Delphi or some
similar language, and things can REALLY take off. -- MikeWarot


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Martin DeMello 08-06-2004 05:04 AM

Re: Aspect-Oriented Programming
 
Bill Atkins <dejaspam@batkins.com> wrote:
> Can anyone give me a quick explanation of aspect-oriented programming
> and AspectR in particular? I keep hearing that it's very useful, but
> I haven't been able to find a good description of it anywhere.


http://jroller.com/page/colyer/20040..._challenge_aop

martin


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