A Combined Technique for Automatic Detection of Backward Binary Compatibility Problems

  • Andrey Ponomarenko
  • Vladimir Rubanov
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7162)


This paper discusses the problem of ensuring backward compatibility between new and old versions of software components (e.g., libraries). Linux environment is considered as the main example. Breakage of the compatibility in a new version of a software component may result in crashing or incorrect behavior (at binary level) or inability to build (at source level) of applications targeted at a previous version of the component when the applications are used with the new version of the component. The paper describes typical issues that cause backward compatibility problems at binary level and presents a new method for automatic detection of such issues during component development (focusing on changes in structure of interfaces). C/C++ language is used as the main example. Unlike the existing means, the suggested method can verify a broad spectrum of backward compatibility problems by comparing function signatures and type definitions obtained from the component’s header files in addition to analyzing symbols in the component’s binaries. Also, this paper describes an automated checker tool that implements the suggested method with some results of its practical usage.


backward compatibility software interfaces (API and ABI) software components libraries static checking 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrey Ponomarenko
    • 1
  • Vladimir Rubanov
    • 1
  1. 1.ROSA LabRussia

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