Experiences in Teaching Program Transformation for Software Reengineering

Author Mohammad El-Ramly

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Mohammad El-Ramly

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Mohammad El-Ramly. Experiences in Teaching Program Transformation for Software Reengineering. In Transformation Techniques in Software Engineering. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 5161, pp. 1-6, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2006)


Little attention is given to teaching the theory and practice of software evolution and change in software engineering curricula. Program transformation is no exception. This paper presents the author’s experience in teaching program transformation as a unit in a postgraduate module on software systems reengineering. It describes the teaching context of this unit and two different offerings of it, one using Turing eXtender Language (TXL) and the other using Legacy Computer Aided Reengineering Environment (Legacy-CARE or L-CARE) from ATX Software. From this experience, it was found that selecting the suitable material (that balances theory and practice) and the right tool(s) for the level of students and depth of coverage required is a non-trivial task. It was also found that teaching using toy exercises and assignments does not convey well the practical aspects of the subject. While, teaching with real, even small size, exercises and assignments, is almost non-feasible. Finding the right balance is very important but not easy. It was also found that students understanding and appreciation of the topic of program transformation increases when they are presented with real industrial case studies.
  • Teaching Program Transformation
  • Reengineering
  • Source to Source Transformation
  • Software Engineering Education


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