Developer Preview: Interstellar Module System

Stellar is a universal financial network supported by Stellar.org, a foundation with a mission to expand access to financial services to the two billion unbanked people worldwide. In addition to building core technology, Stellar.org contributes to open-source developer software for the Stellar network.

To further our mission, we’re designing an open web application ecosystem for Stellar with the foremost goal of inclusion. This ecosystem is called the Interstellar Module System.

Designing for inclusion

Money has deep, complex roots. Context—geographical and cultural—matters. How do we design a system that will scale across diverse boundaries?

We’re designing a system with several high-level objectives:

  • Empower developers to build localized solutions specific to their communities
  • Enable Stellar.org to design inclusive, diverse educational initiatives and web applications for reference
  • Design with the developer experience in mind
  • Be as minimally opinionated as possible—opinions should be derived at the local level

With these in mind, we’re excited to give a developer preview of Interstellar.

Design goals

We often think of modularity in silos:

  • Feature modules
  • Interface modules (header, navigation, buttons, tables)
  • Code modules (libraries, services, dependencies)

Interstellar aims to connect disparate models of modular systems into one holistic, expressive, interconnected system.

Interstellar has several technical design goals. It should enable:

  • Development of different apps from reusable, modular pieces of the same system
  • Development of features without codependencies (i.e., no house-of-cards style collapsing if you decide to pull out one feature)
  • On-the-fly tests of beta features without impact on existing features
  • Easy customization by any developer or organization

Interstellar AbstractionPowering different applications with reusable modules

Early preview, early feedback

Interstellar is barely a seedling — it’s not ready for public consumption yet, but we want to involve our developer community in the design process.

Right now, design of the technical architecture is more important than design of the user interface itself. We’d love your feedback on and participation in the architectural decisions. None of them are set in stone, and the system will only be better with your participation.

How it works for now

We developed a command line tool that standardizes the build process for Stellar web applications based on the module configuration. Try building the fledgling Interstellar client to get a quick and dirty overview.

interstellar-overviewOverview of the Stellar ecosystem, with Interstellar

Quick Start

More to do

More modular goodness to come

Interstellar is in its early stage, but here’s what’s coming up next:

  • In-depth exploration of design decisions
  • Introducing Solar, our new CSS framework
  • Technical architecture and decisions behind Interstellar
  • Process of naming the Interstellar Module System (hint)
  • New module releases
  • Roadmap

Community translations of this post

Chinese: 星际模块化系统开发者预览

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