Talk by Nic Volanschi at Inria Bordeaux Sud-Ouest

Nic Volanschi will give a talk on friday, February 21st - 11:30 - Ada Lovelace meeting room

Title : Safe Clone-Based Refactoring: achievements and new perspectives

Abstract : Most advanced existing tools for clone-based refactoring propose a limited number of pre-defined clone-removal transformations that can be applied automatically, typically under user control. This fixed set of refactorings usually guarantee that semantics is preserved, but is inherently limited to generally-applicable transformations (extract method, pull-up method, etc.). This tool design rules out many potential domain-specific or application-specific clone removals. Such cases are ordinarily recognized by humans as stereotypes derived from a higher-level concept and manually replaced with an appropriate abstraction. Thus, in current tools, generality is sacrificed for the safety of the transformation. We describe here an alternative approach, in which the spectrum of refactoring techniques is open, including manual interventions, while keeping strong safety guarantees. This talk presents some achievements demonstrated on a real-world legacy asset containing C and COBOL programs, and also some new perspectives towards automating most of the manual work and ensuring that the refactoring is not only a one-shot operation, but rather a toolset for continuous code improvement.

Short bio: Nic Volanschi received his PhD in 1998 at the University of Rennes. He later worked for Canon Research Centre France, for Metaware Technologies, and also as a freelance researcher and an independent open source developer. These activities resulted in open source software such as mygcc, mypatterns, and metapp. His research interests include program analyses and transformation, checking compilers, code generation, program reengineering, pattern matching, and software clones.