What is the difference between a Framework, a Toolkit and a Library?
Martin Fowler discusses the difference between a library and a framework in his article on Inversion of Control:
Inversion of Control is a key part of
what makes a framework different to a
library. A library is essentially a
set of functions that you can call,
these days usually organized into
classes. Each call does some work and
returns control to the client.
A framework embodies some abstract
design, with more behavior built in.
In order to use it you need to insert
your behavior into various places in
the framework either by subclassing or
by plugging in your own classes. The
framework’s code then calls your code
at these points.
To summarize: your code calls a library but a framework calls your code.
If you are a more visual learner, here is a diagram that makes it clearer: