Software-Intensive Systems and New Computing Paradigms
edited by: Martin Wirsing, Jean P. Banâtre, Matthias Hölzl, Axel Rauschmayer
Few real software systems are built completely from scratch nowadays. Instead, systems are built iteratively and incrementally, while integrating and interacting with components from many other systems. Adaptation, reconfiguration and evolution are normal, ongoing processes throughout the lifecycle of a software system. Nevertheless the platforms, tools and environments we use to develop software are still largely based on an outmoded model that presupposes that software systems are closed and will not significantly evolve after deployment. We claim that in order to enable effective and graceful evolution of modern software systems, we must make these systems more amenable to change by (i) providing explicit, first-class models of software artifacts, change, and history at the level of the platform, (ii) continuously analysing static and dynamic evolution to track emergent properties, and (iii) closing the gap between the domain model and the developers' view of the evolving system. We outline our vision of dynamic, evolving software systems and identify the research challenges to realizing this vision.