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There are clearly multiple parts to our tech 'stack' and certain bits age really slowly and other bits seem to age very quickly. Core Unix commands and major general programming languages seem to age slowly. However, things related explicitly to size, speed, & UI age really quickly. But it's a little fractal I think... look at C++ and the core of the language is the same, but then we bolt layers like Boost on as an abstraction. The add-ons age faster than the foundation it seems...
Good point. I like the fractal analogy. It's too crude to say, for example, that operating systems change slowly. Some parts of operating systems change slowly and some change frequently.

About the only thing I know about software architecture is this: separate the parts that are likely to change from the parts that are not. So, for example, separate numerical computation from the UI du jour.
The discipline is unenforceable. Reconsidering my own recent whining, I realized that my objection was to the added complexity and the variance from the "foundation". There's no stopping a developer from pouring another slab. He doesn't realize that it impacts more than the pictures his girlfriend hung in the previously stable walls.

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