A generic component model for building systems software

A generic component model for building systems software,10.1145/1328671.1328672,ACM Transactions on Computer Systems,Geoff Coulson,Gordon S. Blair,Pau

A generic component model for building systems software   (Citations: 70)
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Component-based software structuring principles are now commonly and successfully applied at the application level; but componentisation is far less established when it comes to building low-level systems software. Although there have been pioneering efforts in applying componentisation to systems-building, these efforts have tended to be narrowly targeted at specific application domains (e.g. embedded systems, operating systems, communications systems, programmable networking environments, or middleware platforms). They also tend to be narrowly targeted at specific deployment environments (e.g. standard personal computer (PC) environments, network processors, or microcontrollers). The disadvantage of this narrow targeting is that it fails to maximise the genericity and abstraction potential of the component approach. In this paper we argue for the benefits and feasibility of a generic yet tailorable approach to component-based systems-building that offers a uniform programming model in a wide range of target domains and deployment environments. More specifically, we present our OpenCom component model which is explicitly tailorable to diverse domains and environments. The component model is supported by a reflective runtime architecture that is itself built from components. After describing OpenCom and evaluating its performance and overhead characteristics, we present and evaluate two case studies of systems we have built using OpenCom technology, thus illustrating its benefits and its general applicability.
Journal: ACM Transactions on Computer Systems - TOCS , vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 1-42, 2008
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