I want to start trying to create a piece of software that uses seperate programs that are accessed through a single program - I have no idea how to go about this. I have tried searching for articles etc but I am not even sure what the terminology is. Can anyone point me in the direction of good reference material or even help get me going themselves. As a learning example I would like to make the following basic program.
A main program that has no functionality of its own except that it 'loads' a module program and adds the module programs controls into its menus.
The module program is simply a very basic text editor that allows the user to create a new text file, open an existing text file, save an open text file. This 'module' would not have any menu items itself - instead, the main program needs to be able to add this functionality to itself after it has loaded the module.
I know how to make the main program and the simple text editor myself but only as individual, seperate programs. I need help understanding what I have to learn and do in order to make the text editor work as a module within the main program.
Anyone up for helping me get started in the right direction?
This sounds to me like a plug-in architecture. The key here is that each module program (plug-in) needs to define a common entry point or interface for the main program to access. The common interface might allow the main program to do something like ask the plug-in for its menus (for example). For an example of a very extensive application framework with a plug-in architecture, see Eclipse.
Rick [ March 31, 2005: Message edited by: Rick Goldstein ]
Two very basic principles you might want to google for are the Dependency Inversion Principle and Inversion Of Control aka Dependency Injection.
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus