What is a framework?

Oct 20, 2009 | George Fairbanks

Kevin Bierhoff,
Ciera Jaspan, Jonathan
, and I submitted a paper to
ICSE that tries to describe what frameworks are today, since the
academic literature on them is becoming a bit dated. The paper draft
The abstract is:

Software frameworks have changed significantly since they were
described by researchers more than a decade ago. They have entered
mainstream use in most domains of software development, and their
structure and interaction mechanisms have evolved. This paper provides
a revised definition of frameworks and surveys commonly used
frameworks to extract two categorizations: a categorization of the
different kinds of frameworks found in the wild and a summary of
common interaction mechanisms employed by frameworks. Four popular
frameworks are described in detail to illustrate these findings. The
paper also discusses unique framework challenges and avenues for
future research on frameworks.


George Fairbanks is a software developer, designer, and architect living in New York city


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