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What is a framework?

Oct 20, 2009 | George Fairbanks

Kevin Bierhoff, Ciera Jaspan, Jonathan Aldrich, 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 is here. 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.

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