The link above leads to a website article that explains what a software framework is while giving some examples. The two main reasons I chose to write about this topic is because of one, it’s listed as one of the topics to be covered in class and two, I’m not too familiar with the definition of a software framework. According to the article, a software framework is essentially a set of tools that act as a foundation for software developers. These may include preset classes, APIs, compilers, code libraries, and predefined functions among other things. Examples of software frameworks include Microsoft’s .NET framework, Android Application Framework for Android, Cocoa Touch for iOS, and Cocoa for Mac OS X.
From the definition given, the practicality of a software framework seems pretty apparent to me. Rather than creating classes and functions from scratch that will most likely see reuse, set them together in a ready to use package in order to save time and effort. It’s similar to how someone would buy ingredients at the supermarket rather than making each one from scratch. I’d imagine that software frameworks also have the added benefit of increasing portability for software that uses a specific framework. Take for example my computer which has .NET framework on it. If I were to create a piece of software using .NET, then another machine which has a similar version of same framework would be able to run my software with no additional setup needed. To be fair this is only speculation on my part; I haven’t checked whether or not this is true yet. But then again, I remember having to install a newer version of .NET framework in order for my computer to run software correctly so I might be on the right line of thinking.
In the case of porting software to machines with different operating systems, I’m not sure what role frameworks would take. I am pretty confident that software frameworks aren’t limited by operating systems. One example being Java Collections Framework or JCF for short which, as far as I know, isn’t limited to an operating system like .NET is. When a difference of frameworks is a factor, I assume that a software developer would have to make up for a lack of a framework’s components in a machine in some way. And that’s on top of the usual changes needed for porting software between operating systems.