Designing a Scalable Cross Platform Imposed Code Reuse Framework.

Kenton McHenry, Rob Kooper, Luigi Marini, Peter Bajcsy

National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Microsoft Research eScience Workshop 2010
Berkeley, CA, October 11–13

In order to construct a file format conversion service supporting as many formats as possible we have introduced the notion of imposed code reuse in our past work. Traditional code reuse, when an option, can save a significant amount of energy and time with regards to new software development while at the same time adding robustness through the use of code that has been proven over time. Imposed code reuse comes into play when original source code is not available. Consider proprietary software where only a compiled binary version is available. Such software will often provide only a graphical user interface (GUI) allowing humans to utilize the software with a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

While a GUI is useful for human interaction it is not exactly useful for accessing functionality programmatically by software developers. Imposed code reuse attempts to bridge this access to functionality locked away in compiled software by wrapping it through various scripting languages in such a manner that it can be used in other software through an API like interface.