Domain-Specific Languages and Maintainability

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Software maintenance is an important consideration for software development projects. Therefore, we must also consider maintainability for software systems built using domain-specific languages (DSLs). While there has been significant research into the benefits and challenges associated with DSLs, research into the potential impacts of using DSLs on the maintainability of software is lacking. This paper presents the results of an exploratory survey into the maintainability of systems constructed using DSLs compared to the maintainability of systems constructed using object-oriented programming. We propose a conceptual model using several dimensions of software maintenance that will be used to create a survey and then evaluate the survey results. Analysis of these survey results indicate that the maintenance of software created using DSLs differs from the maintenance of software created using OOP in important ways that, while often beneficial, can lead to maintenance issues.
Added on Jul 21, 2012 by 2974576
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