Code generators can automatically perform some tedious and error-prone implementation tasks, increasing productivity and quality in the software development process. Most code generators are based on templates, which are fundamentally composed of text expansion statements. To build templates, the code of an existing, tested and validated implementation may serve as reference, in a process known as templatization. With the dynamics of software evolution/maintenance and the need for performing changes in the code generation templates, there is a loss of synchronism between the templates and this reference code. Additional effort is required to keep them synchronized.
The developed mechanism can lead to a 50% reduction in the effort needed to perform maintenance/evolution templatization, when compared to a manual approach. It was also observed that this effect depends on the nature of the evolution/maintenance task, since for one of the tasks there was no observable advantage in using the mechanism. However, further studies are needed to better characterize these tasks.
Although there is still room for improvement, the results indicate that automation can be used to reduce effort and cost in the maintenance and evolution of a template-based code generation infrastructure.