Abstract Yourself With Modules
John L. Furlani
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Peter W. Osel
Siemens Components, Inc.
Modules abstracts the activation of applications from the
details of their installation. It provides a uniform interface for
selecting applications and for applying the necessary changes to
Five years ago, the first paper on Modules was published .
Since then, Modules has been written in C, uses Tcl  as its
extension language, has seen acceptance and use at a rich variety
of sites and has acquired several features for supporting the
management of hundreds of software packages across large and
diverse intranets. With Modules' proven combination of features and
flexibility, we believe it has the potential to become the
preferred standard for software management and activation.
In this paper, we compare the Modules package with several
systems that have appeared in the years since its introduction. We
also present some real-world examples of how the Modules package is
being applied. This paper covers some of the new features in the
current implementation. Finally, we discuss how the Modules
concept can be applied elsewhere, including the problem of loading
and installing on-demand applets and applications.
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