It's taken me a while to post, this apologies for that.
The most important thing I got out of Roger Sessions' presentation at the January IASA NE meeting in Boston is that modularity helps reduce complexity.
I'm not sure Roger would put it that way, but I think he'd agree it's part of the solution to reducing the complexity of IT systems. I think his main message was that everyone needs to take reducing complexity into account whenever they're designing or upgrading an IT system. Just as you would design in security or usability, you'd design out complexity. So he says...
I'm starting to think that finding the right methodology, or the approach to software development is more important than ever. Much more important than technology per se. For one thing, I think we have the basic technology we need - operating systems, languages, databases, middleware, Web servers, etc.
For another, this often comes up in the debate over enterprise OSGi. A key issue around adoption of the OSGi programming model for enteprise applications appears to be the learning curve, or the mindset. Constructing applications using services is very different from using APIs, especially when the services support dynamic deployment, dynamic activation, and dynamic update.
Modularity is not limited to the OSGi framework at all, its variations include SOA, Web services, CORBA, .NET, Java EE, Spring, and so on. The potential relationship of complexity to modularity (i.e. as in adopting modularity as a technique to reduce complexity) was therefore the most interesting part of the presentation.
(BTW I realize this list mentions SOA and a list of technologies - typically SOA is mentioned as the approach rather than the technology. And this is correct. The most successful SOA projects I know of succeeded because of their "governance" - and I mean this in the logical sense of how people and projects are governed, not anything to do with registry or repository products. I believe the same will be true for finding industrial methods and reducing complexity through modularity.)
5 months ago