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Multi-view editing of software product lines with PEoPL

Mukelabai Mukelabai
2018
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Description

A software product line is a portfolio of software variants in an application domain. It relies on a platform integrating common and variable features of the variants using variability mechanisms— typically classified into annotative and compositional mechanisms. Annotative mechanisms (e.g., using the C preprocessor) are easy to apply, but annotations clutter source code and feature code is often scattered across the platform, which hinders program comprehension and increases maintenance effort. Compositional mechanisms (e.g., using feature modules) support program comprehension and maintainability by modularizing feature code, but are difficult to adopt. Most importantly, engineers need to choose one mechanism and then stick to it for the whole life cycle of the platform. The PEoPL (Projectional Editing of Product Lines) approach combines the advantages of both kinds of mechanisms. In this paper, we demonstrate the PEoPL IDE, which supports the approach by providing various kinds of editable views, each of which represents the same software product line using annotative or compositional variability mechanisms, or subsets of concrete variants. Software engineers can seamlessly switch these views, or use multiple views side-by-side, based on the current engineering task.
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