Object oriented programming has many advantages over conventional procedural programming for constructing systems
with highly modular and extensible abstractions. This project aims at objectifying large sized procedural code like
the Linux kernel. The techniques though discussed with respect to the kernel, can be applied for objectifying any
An insideout approach is adopted with which kernel structures can be objectified bottom up.
Five levels of objectication are defined. Kernel files move from level 0 to level 4 as they mature in terms of
degree of objectification. The kernel carrying partly objectified code has been tested.
The Ox project is being carried out at the Computer Science and Engineering
Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
under the guidance of Prof. R. K. Joshi.
What are Objectification Levels ?
Five levels of objectification are used to
indicate the extent to which a particular file in the kernel has been
objectified. At all levels, all files are required to be compilable
(gcc or g++) compiler to produce a bootable kernel image.
Besides guiding the objectification process,
the five levels described below
can also be used to track the progress
of the objectification process.
level 0 (Procedural)
A file at level 0 is
the conventional C file in the existing kernel.
level 1 (G++ Compatible)
A file at level 1 is made g++ compatible by solving all compatibility issues.
A file at level 1 also links with the rest of the kernel.
The file need not contain any
object oriented features, but once brought to this level,
it is capable of objectifying itself.
It can be noted that all header files
included in a file that has reached
level 1, are also
at level 1.
level 1.x (Client of Objects) A file at
level 1.x has reached level 1 already, and hence outgoing procedural
calls can be replaced by member function calls on objects located
in other files that have reached levels 3 or 4.
level 2 (Local Objectification) A file at level 2
has only local objectification, i.e., the external visibility
is still procedural. To achieve level 2 maturity, wrapper functions
level 3 (Dual Use) At this level, some of the dependent code
of objectified file reaches level 1.x or above, while the rest of
the dependent code may still be at level 0. Thus it is required
to maintain two interfaces to the objects located in this
level 4 (Full Objectification) A file at level 4
is used only by files that are at level 1.x or above.
Wrapper functions of files at level 4 are dissolved as they
are not needed. Further object oriented refactoring such as
structural adjustments can be applied on a group of files that
have reached level 4.
AccessViz - A tool for generating Access Graphs from C/C++ source code.
The objectification of part of kernel structures
is underway. Some of the files have been moved to various levels. Below are the files that have been
The files that have been modified can be found here
A report on the techniques for converting procedurecal code to object oriented. This also explains the
technique using Access Graphs used by Ox. Here
This report discusses the problems which o ccur when linux kernel is compiled by g++. Two different approaches, complete conversion approach and gradual iterative conversion approach, to solve these problems are also discussed.
A document describing the details of AccessViz Tool. Here
A position report describing objectification process (Jan 2006) Here
Student Members (Earlier and Present)
Nishit Desai nadesai@cse[dot]iitb[dot]ac[dot]in
Kanika Nema kanika@cse[dot]iitb[dot]ac[dot]in
Ramesh Gupta rameshg@cse[dot]iitb[dot]ac[dot]in