Concepts, Operations, and Feasibility of a Projection-Based Variation Control System

Stefan Stanciulescu, Thorsten Berger, Eric Walkingshaw, Andrzej Wasowski

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Highly configurable software often uses preproces-
sor annotations to handle variability. However, understanding,
maintaining, and evolving code with such annotations is difficult,
mainly because a developer has to work with all variants at a
time. Dedicated methods and tools that allow working on a subset
of all variants could ease the engineering of highly configurable
software. We investigate the potential of one kind of such tools:
projection-based variation control systems. For such systems we
aim to understand: (i) what end-user operations they need to
support, and (ii) whether they can realize the actual evolution
of real-world, highly configurable software. We conduct an
experiment that investigates variability-related evolution patterns
and that evaluates the feasibility of a projection-based variation
control system by replaying parts of the history of a highly
configurable real-world 3D printer firmware project. Among
others, we show that the prototype variation control system does
indeed support the evolution of a highly configurable system and
that in general, it does not degrade the code.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2016 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME)
Number of pages11
Publication date5 Oct 2016
ISBN (Print)N/A
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2016
EventInternational Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution - Raleigh Marriott City Center, Raleigh, United States
Duration: 5 Oct 20167 Oct 2016
Conference number: 32


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution
LocationRaleigh Marriott City Center
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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