Overall Objectives
Research Program
Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Software and Platforms


Participants : Christian Clausen, Julia Lawall [correspondent] , Gilles Muller [correspondent] , Suman Saha, Gaël Thomas.

Coccinelle is a program matching and transformation engine which provides the language SmPL (Semantic Patch Language) for specifying desired matches and transformations in C code. Coccinelle was initially targeted towards performing collateral evolutions in Linux. Such evolutions comprise the changes that are needed in client code in response to evolutions in library APIs, and may include modifications such as renaming a function, adding a function argument whose value is somehow context-dependent, and reorganizing a data structure.

Beyond collateral evolutions, Coccinelle has been successfully used for finding and fixing bugs in systems code. One of the main recent results is an extensive study of bugs in Linux 2.6 that has permitted us to demonstrate that the quality of code has been improving over the last six years, even though the code size has more than doubled.

Coccinelle is freely available at under a GPL v2 license.