Safe Integration of Annotated Components in Open Source Projects

Sergio Areias, Daniela Da Cruz, Pedro Rangel Henriques, Jorge Sousa Pinto


The decision of using existing software components versus building from scratch custom software is one of the most complex and important choices of the entire development/integration process. However, the reuse of software components raises a spectrum of issues, from requirements negotiation to product selection and integration. The correct tradeoff is reached after having analyzed advantages and issues correlated to the reuse. Despite the reuse failures in real cases, many efforts have been made to make this idea successful.

In this context of software reuse in open source projects, we address the problem of reusing annotated components proposing a rigorous approach to assure the quality of the application under construction. We introduce the concept of caller-based slicing as a way of certifying that the integration of a component annotated with a contract into a system will preserve the correct behavior of the former, avoiding malfunctioning after integration.

To complement the efforts done and the benefits of slicing techniques, there is also a need to find an efficient way to visualize the main program with the annotated components and the slices. To take full profit of visualization, it is crucial to combine the visualization of the control/data flow with the textual representation of source code. To attain this objective, we extend the notions of System Dependence Graph
and Slicing Criterion to cope with annotations.

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