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Application Framework

August 6, 2009
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Application framework:

An application framework is a software framework that is used to implement the standard structure of an application for a specific operating system.

It became popular with the rise of the graphical user interface (GUI), since these tended to promote a standard structure for applications.

It is also much simpler to create automatic GUI creation tools when a standard framework is used, since the underlying code structure of the application is known in advance.

Object-oriented programming techniques are usually used to implement frameworks such that the unique parts of an application can simply inherit from pre-existing classes in the framework

First commercial application frameworks were MacApp, written by Apple Computer for the Macintosh. Originally written in an extended (object-oriented) version of Pascal, it was later rewritten in C++. Other popular frameworks for the Mac include Metrowerks Powerplant and MacZoop (all based on Carbon). A different approach to an application framework is Cocoa for Mac OS X.

Free software frameworks exist as part of the Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, GNOME and KDE projects.

Microsoft created a similar product for Windows called the Microsoft Foundation Classes or MFC.

There are also a number of frameworks which will create identical applications for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows from the same source code, such as the widget toolkits wxWidgets or FOX toolkit.

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