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(FC-Devel) AFL 1: components

AFL 1(architecture + feature list part 1)

Jason wrote:
> Hi Duane,
> >In terms of architecture, my personal preference would be a 
> >system of small inter-operating components (OK, I'll succumb to
> >temptation and use a buzz-word, "Software Agents"), rather than
> >a single application. This will give us a great deal of flexibility
> >and scope for integration with existing and future tools, add-ons
> >and environments. It would also allow us the freedom to develop
> >different components in different languages, and provide other
> >benefits in terms of ease of development.

In my view this comes close to an optimal form of what 
we have right now, under the assumption that everybody
on the team has it's own set of collaborating tools and
toolettes, in a very suboptimal way. We are not yet able
to cooperate as a team because of the zillions
of differences in mind-sets and in the formats. 
So if we just stick together and to the goal, we grow our 
own FreeCASE, working out the interfaces as we are improving
in getting along. The UML gives coordination on the mind-set,
now let's crunch those formats.

> By "components" I assume you mean pieces of code running in 
> different processes.  I am totally in favor of good modularization, 
> but having a lot of processes gets really sticky.

Please expand on that, Jason. This is where the problems are
that we have to tackle anyway.
> There are a number of trade-offs here.  Component-based systems are
> much easier to develop if you have a good, stable architecture and
> interface specs.  Devloping such an architecture is best done by
> people who have substancial experience with similar systems.  

They did. It is called 'the Internet'. 
Should I include the word in the glossary?
I hesitated putting in CORBA ;-)

> It seems that the FreeCASE team has a lot of experience in a 
> lot of things, but I think this would be the first component
> based CASE tool for all of us (including me), and it is 
> unlikely that we would get interfaces right on the first few trys.  

Should we? I don't think so. Not getting the interfaces right at
the first go gives some nasty jobs later on, but that is - I think -
what we agreed to give our best shot at when we joined the team.