[gme-users] Aspects Question

Joe Porter joe.porter at gmail.com
Wed Apr 19 16:30:53 CDT 2006

Hopefully this is the right place for these sorts of questions, as I'm on a
journey of discovery.  I may still be far from understanding, but hopefully
I'm closer (it's a work in progress).  My question regards the use of
aspects.  GME explicitly supports the creation of aspects for models, but it
seems that such visualization aspects can only be instantiated once -- for
example, a dataflow aspect and a data type aspect.

I have not really used tools specifically for aspect-oriented programming,
but we use an aspect-oriented approach to design.  Each use case for a
particular system is treated as a separate aspect, although in practice we
handle the join points by hand during implementation.  I vaguely recall
reading something by Ivar Jacobson a while ago about this way of doing
things.  We also may look more generally at other decompositions, like the
flow of configuration info through a system, or a generic algorithm for
starting up and shutting down all server processes (which is orthogonal to
the data flows).  To design that way in GME it seems you would have to be
able to create multiple instances of a particular type of aspect and then
weave them together according to some set of joining rules.  Have I
misunderstood something about the capabilities of aspects in GME, or am I
still not far enough along the learning curve to see a good way to do it?
I'm contrasting this with the idea of using the heirarchy to segregate some
aspects of the model.  That allows me to separate some concerns, but it may
obscure some of the details I'm trying to expose in some cases.

This is a longish question, so thanks in advance for anyone that takes time
to answer.

-Joe Porter
Senior Research Engineer
Southwest Research Institute
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