Tackling Pointcut Fragility With Dynamic Annotations

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Within the aspect-oriented software development community, the use of annotation-based point-cuts has been pro-posed as a means to alleviate the fragile point-cut problem. Expressing point-cuts in terms of source-code annotations instead of the structure of the source code decouples them from the source code of the base system and makes them more robust with respect to evolution. In this paper, the authors demonstrate that, while annotations are suitable to capture static domain knowledge that can be leveraged by point-cut expressions, these annotations are ill-suited to capture dynamic domain knowledge. Consequently, point-cuts that rely on such dynamic knowledge still need to be defined in terms of actual source-code entities, thereby rendering them fragile again.