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Automatically Identifying Reusable OO Legacy Code
October 1997 (vol. 30 no. 10)
pp. 66-71

Although object-oriented code may be inherently more reusable than functionally oriented code, most object-oriented legacy systems were not designed with reuse in mind. OO code, due to the very aspects that make it desirable, tends to suffer from a wide scattering of the code that performs even a fairly simple task. It is considered to be good object-oriented programming style to write small member functions, which results in an OO system consisting of a large number of small modules. Through inheritance, a class may inherit one or more classes, each with its own associated methods, but few defined locally.

These aspects of object-oriented code underline the need for good, semantically based tools to aid in the understanding, and thus the reuse, of object-oriented code. The Patricia (Program Analysis Tool for Reuse) system, developed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, identifies reusable components in OO code. To understand a program, Patricia uses a unique heuristic approach, deriving information from the linguistic aspects of comments and identifiers and from other nonlinguistic aspects of OO code, such as class hierarchy.

Letha H. Etzkorn, Carl G. Davis, "Automatically Identifying Reusable OO Legacy Code," Computer, vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 66-71, Oct. 1997, doi:10.1109/2.625311
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