Author: cpacheco

Modularity Infrastructure Design

Co-authored by Courtney Pacheco and Ralph Bean

Note: This article is a follow-up to Introduction to Modularity.


Introduction

The purpose of our Modularity initiative is to support the building, maintaining, and shipping of modular things. So, in order to ensure these three requirements are met, we need to design a framework for building and composing the distribution.

In terms of the framework, in general, we are concerned about the possibility of creating an exponential number of component combinations with independent lifecycles. That is, when the number of component combinations becomes too large, we will not be able to manage them. So that we don’t accidentally make our lives worse, we must limit the number of supported modules with a policy and provide infrastructure automation to reduce the amount of manual work required.
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Introduction to Modularity

What is Modularity?

Modularity is an exciting, new initiative aimed at resolving the issue of diverging (and occasionally conflicting) lifecycles of different “components” within Fedora. A great example of a diverging and conflicting lifecycle is the Ruby on Rails (RoR) lifecycle, whereby Fedora stipulates that itself can only have one version of RoR at any point in time – but that doesn’t mean Fedora’s version of RoR won’t conflict with another version of RoR used in an application. Therefore, we want to avoid having “components”, like RoR, conflict with other existing components within Fedora.

Although RoR can be thought of as a component, the definition of “component” is actually a work-in-progress. In other words, another example of a component might be a “LAMP module”, where module is defined as a well-integrated and well-tested set of smaller components that provide functionality. The LAMP module would contain the necessary smaller components required to build and deploy a dynamic, high-performance Apache web server that utilizes MariaDB and PHP. Such a module would be completely independent of all other modules.

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