Core and periphery

Successful evolution can't simply be a matter of choosing the right boundary because that's a moving target. Even at a given point in time, there are many ways to draw the "right" boundaries. Linux, for example, is a so-called monolithic system. It shunned the microkernel architecture that became fashionable years ago, yet it enjoys wild success. And while Windows and Mac OS X embrace the microkernel approach, nobody calls that the key to their success. In all these cases, other kinds of boundaries are being drawn, and other balances struck. There's no easy answer here, but I do have a hunch about what works best. [Full story at]

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