Type checking annotation-based product lines


Software product line engineering is an efficient means of generating a family of program variants for a domain from a single code base. However, because of the potentially high number of possible program variants, it is difficult to test them all and ensure properties like type safety for the entire product line. We present a product-line-aware type system that can type check an entire software product line without generating each variant in isolation. Specifically, we extend the Featherweight Java calculus with feature annotations for product-line development and prove formally that all program variants generated from a well typed product line are well typed. Furthermore, we present a solution to the problem of typing mutually exclusive features. We discuss how results from our formalization helped implement our own product-line tool CIDE for full Java and report of our experience with detecting type errors in four existing software product line implementations.

DOI: 10.1145/2211616.2211617
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@article{Kstner2012TypeCA, title={Type checking annotation-based product lines}, author={Christian K{\"a}stner and Sven Apel and Thomas Th{\"{u}m and Gunter Saake}, journal={ACM Trans. Softw. Eng. Methodol.}, year={2012}, volume={21}, pages={14:1-14:39} }