Evaluating meta-programming mechanisms for ORB middleware
IEEE Communications Magazine
This paper will appear in the IEEE Communications magazine special issue on "Evolving Communications Software: Techniques and Technologies," co-edited by Bill Opdyke and Algirdas Pakstas. Abstract Distributed object computing (DOC) middleware, such as CORBA, COM+, and Java RMI, shields developers from many tedious and error-prone aspects of programming distributed applications. It is hard to evolve distributed applications after they are deployed, however, without adequate middleware support
... meta-programming mechanisms, such as smart proxies, interceptors, and pluggable protocols. These mechanisms can help improve the adaptability of distributed applications by allowing their behavior to be modified without changing their existing software designs and implementations significantly. This papers examines and compares common metaprogramming mechanisms supported by DOC middleware. These mechanisms allow applications to adapt more readily to changes in requirements and run-time environments throughout their lifecycles. Some of these meta-programming mechanisms are relatively new, whereas others have existed for decades. Until recently, however, DOC middleware has not provided all these mechanisms in a single integrate framework, so researchers and developers may not be familiar with the breadth of meta-programming mechanisms available today. This paper provides a systematic evaluation of these mechanisms to help researchers and developers determine which are best suited for their application needs.