9. Shell Contracts

One of the authors of this book started using Windows as far back as version 3.1 in the early 1990s. Even before then, Windows provided the ability to transfer information in various formats between apps without any of the participating apps knowing where the data was going to or coming from. The user initiated the action, but it was the shell that facilitated the communication between these two apps, providing one API to store data from the source of the transfer in multiple formats and another API to query data from that store. The API and the well-known data formats provided a contract between apps, allowing each to participate without knowing who was on the other end as well as allowing the system to expand to support new ...

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