Contemporary software systems combine many artifacts specified in various modeling and programming languages, domainspecific and general purpose as well. Since multi-language systems are so widespread, working on them calls for tools with cross-language support mechanisms such as (1) visualization, (2) static checking, (3) navigation, and (4) refactoring of cross-language relations. We investigate whether these four mechanisms indeed improve efficiency and quality of development of multi-language systems. We run a controlled experiment in which 22 participants perform typical software evolution tasks on the JTrac web application using a prototype tool implementing these mechanisms. The results speak clearly for integration of cross-language support mechanisms into software development tools, and justify research on automatic inference, manipulation and handling of cross-language relations.
Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems: 15th International Conference, Models 2012, Innsbruck, Austria, September 30–october 5, 2012. Proceedings, 2012, p. 168-184