Program Slice Metrics and Their Potential Role in DSL Design

S. Counsell, Tracy Hall, D. Bowes, S. Black

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    Abstract

    The advantages a DSL and the benefits its use potentially brings
    imply that informed decisions on the design of a domain specific language are
    of paramount importance for its use. We believe that the foundations of such
    decisions should be informed by analysis of data empirically collected from
    systems to highlight salient features that should then form the basis of a DSL.
    To support this theory, we describe an empirical study of a large OSS called
    Barcode, written in C, and from which we collected two well-known ‘slice’
    based metrics. We analyzed multiple versions of the system and sliced its
    functions in three separate ways (i.e., input, output and global variables). The
    purpose of the study was to try and identify sensitivities and traits in those
    metrics that might inform features of a potential slice-based DSL. Results
    indicated that cohesion was adversely affected through the use of global
    variables and that appreciation of the role of function inputs and outputs can be
    revealed through slicing. The study presented is motivated primarily by the
    problems with current tools and interfaces experienced directly by the authors
    in extracting slicing data and the need to promote the benefits that analysis of
    slice data and slicing in general can offer.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of Workshop on Knowledge Industry Survival Strategy Initiative
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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