Proceedings of ISP RAS

Using Aspect-Oriented Programming for Querying Source Code.

E.M. Novikov, A.V. Khoroshilov.


Querying source code helps developers to discover code fragments of interest and to determine their interrelations with each other. Different approaches exist to execute source code queries automatically. Some of them are based on a rather simple text pattern matching. More advanced approaches provide abilities to use natural languages for queries and perform matching on the basis of a formal program representation. We suggest using aspect-oriented programming for querying source code and consider advantages and disadvantages of this approach. The paper introduces main conceptions of aspect-oriented programming and briefly presents C Instrumentation Framework – an aspect-oriented programming implementation for the C programming language. We slightly extended C Instrumentation Framework so that it could execute source code queries written in form of aspects. The paper gives several examples of utilization of the suggested approach in particular for collecting information required for generating environment models for device drivers in the Linux Driver Verification project. The suggested approach is inferior to special querying tools in making queries by control and data flows. But it is simple in implementation and allows one to use traditional means of aspect-oriented programming for developing and executing source code queries.


program developing; program maintaining; source code querying; formal program representation; aspect-oriented programming


Proceedings of the Institute for System Programming, vol. 23, 2012, pp. 371-386.

ISSN 2220-6426 (Online), ISSN 2079-8156 (Print).

DOI: 10.15514/ISPRAS-2012-23-21

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