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Monday, June 18, 2012

Architecture of Open Source Software

Authors of over four dozen open source applications explain the architecture of their software and their design decisions, in a set of two books that are freely available under a Creative Commons license. Find them here: "The Architecture of Open Source Applications".   

In the introductory chapter, Amy Brown and Greg Wilson explain the intent of the books: 

"Building architecture and software architecture have a lot in common, but there is one crucial difference. While architects study thousands of buildings in their training and during their careers, most software developers only ever get to know a handful of large programs well. And more often than not, those are programs they wrote themselves. They never get to see the great programs of history, or read critiques of those programs' designs written by experienced practitioners. As a result, they repeat one another's mistakes rather than building on one another's successes."

"This book is our attempt to change that. Each chapter describes the architecture of an open source application: how it is structured, how its parts interact, why it's built that way, and what lessons have been learned that can be applied to other big design problems..."