AspectMaps: A Scalable Visualization of Join Point Shadows

Abstract : When using Aspect-Oriented Programming, it is sometimes difficult to determine at which join point an aspect executes. Similarly, when considering one join point, knowing which aspects will execute there and in what order is non- trivial. This makes it difficult to understand how the application will behave. A number of visualizations have been proposed that attempt to provide support for such program understanding. However, they neither scale up to large code bases nor scale down to understanding what happens at a single join point. In this paper, we present AspectMaps - a visualization that scales in both directions, thanks to a multi-level selective structural zoom. We show how the use of AspectMaps allows for program understanding of code with aspects, revealing both a wealth of information of what can happen at one particular join point as well as allowing to see the "big picture" on a larger code base. We demonstrate the usefulness of AspectMaps on an example and present the results of a small user study that shows that AspectMaps outperforms other aspect visualization tools.
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Johan Fabry, Andy Kellens, Simon Denier, Stéphane Ducasse. AspectMaps: A Scalable Visualization of Join Point Shadows. International Conference on Program Comprehension, Jun 2011, Passau, Germany. ⟨inria-00614773⟩

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