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Debugging Woven Code

Eaddy, Marc; Aho, Alfred V.; Hu, Weiping; McDonald, Paddy; Burger, Julian

The ability to debug woven programs is critical to the adoption of Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP). Nevertheless, many AOP systems lack adequate support for debugging, making it difficult to diagnose faults and understand the program's structure and control flow. We discuss why debugging aspect behavior is hard and how harvesting results from related research on debugging optimized code can make the problem more tractable. We also specify general debugging criteria that we feel all AOP systems should support. We present a novel solution to the problem of debugging aspect-enabled programs. Our Wicca system is the first dynamic AOP system to support full source-level debugging of woven code. It introduces a new weaving strategy that combines source weaving with online byte-code patching. Changes to the aspect rules, or base or aspect source code are rewoven and recompiled on-the-fly. We present the results of an experiment that show how these features provide the programmer with a powerful interactive debugging experience with relatively little overhead.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-035-06
Published Here
April 27, 2011