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<The Benefits of Modular Programming ⁄ >




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Nobody writes software entirely in-house anymore. Outside the world of embedded systems, almost everyone relies upon libraries and frameworks written by someone else. By using them, it is possible to concentrate on the actual logic of the application while reusing the infrastructure, frameworks, and libraries written and provided by others. Doing so shortens the time needed to develop software.

The rise of open source software over the past decade makes library reuse doubly compelling. For many kinds of programs there are existing solutions for various problems, and those solutions are available at zero monetary cost. The set of open source offerings starts with UNIX kernels, base C libraries, command-line utilities, and continues over Web servers and Web browsers to Java utilities such as Ant, Tomcat, JUnit, Javacc-ad infinitum. Writing modern software is as much a process of assembly as it is creation. Picking available pieces and composing them together is a large part of modern application development. Instead of writing everything from scratch, people who need an HTTP server for their application select Apache or Tomcat. Those who need a database could choose MySQL or PostgreSQL. The application glues these pieces together and adds its own logic. The result is a fully functional, performant application developed in remarkably little time.



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