Date: 28 Feb 2003

Lightweight Plug-In-Based Application Development

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“Fat software” significantly reduces the effect of new and faster computer hardware. Such software is only possible due to the impressive success of the hardware developers. The main reason for this trend is the users’ demand for new gimmicks driving the software developers to include all possible features into their systems. Those features are loaded every time the program is executed and make the system bulky. The fact that most add-ons are simply integrated without a clear interface only adds insult to the injury. This paper shows a way to design software which helps to battle this development of bulky systems. The well-known plug-in concept is formally described as a design pattern. Based on this pattern a development principle is proposed. As a special case, GUI development is considered.