Today, any large object-oriented software system is built using frameworks. Yet, designing frameworks and defining their interaction with clients remains a difficult task. A primary reason is that today's dominant modeling concept, the class, is not well suited to describe the complexity of object collaborations as it emerges in framework design and integration. We use role modeling to overcome the problems and limitations of class-based modeling. Using role models, the design of a framework and its use by clients can be described succinctly and with much better separation of concerns than with classes. Using role objects, frameworks can be integrated into use-contexts that have not been foreseen by their original designers.
Dirk Riehle and Thomas Gross. "Role Model Based Framework Design and Integration." In Proceedings of the 1998 Conference on Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA '98). ACM Press, 1998. Page 117-133.
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