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All Things Pythonic
Library or Framework?
by Guido van van Rossum
March 15, 2006
A quick observation on the difference between libraries and frameworks.


Neil Schemenauer made me see an interesting difference between frameworks and libraries. These are my words but it's really his idea:

A framework is just an application with a lot of hooks; you can design a framework in an entirely ad-hoc fashion by starting with an app that does one thing and trying to generalize in various directions. You can stop at almost any moment and call it "a framework". But a good library requires much more -- there, you need to start with requirements, abstractions and attempt at a minimal API that addresses the maximal set of requirements. Frameworks have no requirement to be minimal in size while maximal in features.

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About the Blogger

Guido van Rossum is the creator of Python, one of the major programming languages on and off the web. The Python community refers to him as the BDFL (Benevolent Dictator For Life), a title straight from a Monty Python skit. He moved from the Netherlands to the USA in 1995, where he met his wife. Until July 2003 they lived in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC with their son Orlijn, who was born in 2001. They then moved to Silicon Valley where Guido now works for Google (spending 50% of his time on Python!).

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2006 Guido van van Rossum. All rights reserved.

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