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Modular vs Integrated

There’s actually no single “correct” answer! It all depends on

  1. where in a stack the component lives;
  2. the state of the market for that component region;
  3. sometimes even geographic location of the user comes into play.

Yes, for OSS projects modularity is handy in terms of handling contributions, but modularity may not be the best way to deal with a problem in a certain market state and situation!

Research has shown (see, for example, “The Innovator’s Solution” by Clayton Christensen) that the “integrated” region over time actually shifts to a subcomponent of an original integrated component that has since gone modular. An interesting example of this for MySQL its pluggable storage engine interface since version 5.1. MySQL is more modular now, but individual storage engines are tightly integrated for performance reasons, and in some cases they are even proprietary. …

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