2004 Darwin Awards Anders Hejlsberg and AOP
May 26

Microsoft, Aspects, and Domain Specific Languages

AOP, Tech Add comments

Sun has recently shown that they are a little skeptical of AOP. I hadn’t heard anything from Microsoft on the matter, until I got a glimpse yesterday.

I was in a talk by Keith Short on “Tools for SOA”. It turned out SOA (Same Old Application?) was really put out there to lure in the buzzword biters :) What the talk was really about was Microsoft’s vision for modelling. Keith went through where he think CASE went wrong, and that Microsoft think that there is much value in modelling… so we can’t just give up.

Keith walked us through some DSLs (Domain Specific Languages) that are in VisualStudio 2005, showing the higher level abstraction and how it is useful. He told us how if you tool is generates reams of code, you will not succeed. Round-tripping doesn’t work. Microsoft wants “Tripless” (Martin Fowler term).

On a few of the slides for these domains, you would see the header “Aspects”, and under them some cross cutting concerns. I asked Keith about this after his talk, and he said that Microsoft sees a lot of value in modularizing cross cutting concerns, but is scared by code injection. “That is the point!” Microsoft gets AO, and wants to use it in some way in its tools. They need to know that it isn’t about using code-injection, and they are already thinking in the right way. There is such a natural fit for AO in the high level languages that they are building in this modelling framework, and I hope they take a serious closer look at AO and don’t get caught up in some of the implementation details.

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