A Hypertext System for Maintaining Synchronized Object-Oriented Services
Ashbury, Jill E.
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Modularity and reusability are two principles that programmers strive to achieve when coding. These standards have paved the way for the popularity of software libraries. Unfortunately, the aforementioned standards are often forfeited as developers find themselves translating their applications from the original computer language to one or more other computer languages. This practice can become troublesome and time-consuming especially when the additional task of maintaining the versions in a consistent manner is taken on. As an object-oriented class library is corrected, edited, or improved, its maintainers must decide whether a change is needed in only one language version, or whether the change applies to all existing versions of that library. These decisions should take into account the different semantic constructs as well as the unique attributes and benefits of each language in order to preserve "equivalent" functionality in every case. Herein lies the problem of maintaining in parallel multiple language versions of a software library. One aspect of this problem is the more specific task of maintaining the associations between service definitions (axiomatic descriptions of essential features) and the various language versions. Due to the complexity of the original problem, this task is manifold as well. A maintenance component must fulfill several roles including supporter, editor, displayer, and maintainer. This research explores the issues and elements encountered while designing a prototype hypertext synchronization system.