Some addons are standalone, and are able to run without any additional addons being installed; others can require certain other addons to be installed to work at all, or integrate with other addons to provide additional functionality. Collections of addons that have been put together to form a coherent user interface are sometimes referred to as UIs. 

I only subscribed about 2 days ago after coming back to WoW after 6 years. The game has changed so much since I left right around the Cata release. I decided to start fresh on a new server. I still had all my old links and logins to places like Curse, WowInterface, etc. Loaded up all the addons I had favorited years ago (of the maybe 1/3rd that were still maintained). Got to level 20 in a few hours of playing. Had to look a bunch of stuff up. 
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