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Programming Tools

Led by De Moor, this activity had 11 postdocs and research students whose research was focussed on tools for software evolution. It was supported by several substantial EPSRC grants and donations from Microsoft and IBM, totalling about £1.4M over the RAE period. Achievements include the first optimising compiler for AspectJ (abc). This has transformed academic research by providing a common platform for 20 research teams around the world. It has also influenced industrial practice; many of the optimisations pioneered in abc have been adopted by IBM. Several new language features, including tracematches and open modules, were also pioneered by the group on abc. With the arrival of Torbjorn Ekman, the programming tools group also became the home of JastAdd, the attribute grammar system of choice for experimenting with tools for Java. However, these people have now all left, and this is no longer an active area.

Faculty

Past Members