[aspectc-user] Reflection in AspectC++

Andreas Gal gal at cs.fau.de
Sat Oct 26 20:51:44 CEST 2002

Hi Youssef,

we offer reflection for join points in AspectC++. The Trace example shows 
how to determine the type of argument types. You can use C++ RTTI 
(run-time type information) to some degree to reflect on the classes
generated by AspectC++ (every aspect is internally represented as a 
class at runtime). General reflection support to the degree Java supports 
it (dynamic method invocation, for example), however, is out of scope for 
AspectC++. This is simply a missing feature in C++. I could imagine you 
could use PUMA to add reflection capabilities to C++. Once we have 
released the PUMA and AspectC++ source code maybe somebody decides to 
write a reflective extension to C++ based on PUMA.

As far as aspect instanciation is concerned, AspectC++ behaves slightly 
different from AspectJ. Every aspect (to be precise the class used
at runtime to represent the aspect) has a static method "aspectOf", which 
returns the aspect instance. If no aspectOf implementation is supplied by 
the programmer, AspectC++ generates a default aspectOf() method which 
always returns a pointer to a single instance of the aspect.

This code snippet is taken from the Trace example:

class TestTrace3 : public Trace {
   static TestTrace3 __instance;
   static TestTrace3 *aspectOf () { return &__instance; }


On Tue, 22 Oct 2002, Youssef Hassoun wrote:

> Hi,
> Questions related to AspectC++ being very similar to AspectJ.
> 1) how to solve the problems related to reflection in AspectC++ ?
>    I mean, in AspectJ advices one can use Java's reflective API together
>    with that of AspectJ (involving thisJointPoint) to invoke an object's
>    method, for example.
>    Does the aspectC++ reflective API powerful enough to allow reflective
>    investigations in the advices ? If so, how ?
> 2) In a paper titled "AspectC++: An Aspect-oriented Extension
>    of C++" the expression "instantiated aspect object" was used.
>    Is it possible in AspectC++ to instantiate aspects ? How ?
> Thanks.
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Andreas Gal, Dipl. Inf.                         Tel: (+49 9131) 85 28026
Univ. of Erlangen/Nuernberg, Informatik 4       Fax: (+49 9131) 85 28732

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