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Open Source, Modular Platforms, And The Challenge Of Fragmentation, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2016

Open Source, Modular Platforms, And The Challenge Of Fragmentation, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Open source and modular platforms represent two powerful conceptual paradigms that have fundamentally transformed the software industry. While generally regarded complementary, the freedom inherent in open source rests in uneasy tension with the strict structural requirements required by modularity theory. In particular, third party providers can produce noncompliant components, and excessive experimentation can fragment the platform in ways that reduce its economic benefits for end users and app providers and force app providers to spend resources customizing their code for each variant. The classic solutions to these problems are to rely on some form of testing to ensure that the ...