Tuesday, September 14, 2004

AOP popularity inhibitors

Dion Almaer writes about the growing interest in aspect oriented programming. There are, however, several hurdles to large scale adoption of AOP as one of the tricks of the trade.

  • Using AOP requires not only a recognition of the cross-cutting concerns but also a paradigm shift programming practices. Conversely once you get into it, everthing starts looking like a cross-cutting concern. It is easy to confuse a candidate for method extraction refactoring with a concern
  • Another inhibitor is tooling support. For better or for worse we are only as good as our IDE will let us be. It is hard to decipher logic that has been advised without proper in-place annotations. Eclipse's AJDT goes a long way. However if you use Spring's AOP, you are SOL. So you find that AOP is not applied unless the pain (of not using it) is unbearable
  • Using AOP doesn't -- in most cases -- allow you to do something you couldn't do without it. It just makes it easier, nay logical. If on the other hand if it opened new avenues, it would have taken off gangbusters
  • Arcane terminology is also a barrier to acceptance

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