Read It! The Architecture of Open Source Applications

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The Architecture of Open Source Applications

This anthology of software development and general programming books have a focus on exploring open source applications and the way they are built.

Who created this?

The Architecture of Open Source Applications - AOSA for short - has several editors and contributors. Dozens of volunteers work to create the book and maintain it.

The AOSA editors maintain a blog and a Twitter account via @aosabook.

If you want to contact the editors with questions, suggestions, or a desire to contribute, you can email AOSA as well.

What’s inside?

There are several volumes published by AOSA’s editors convering a wide range of topics.

In the first volume: Elegance, Evolution, and a Few Fearless Hacks, edited by Amy Brown and Greg Wilson, the book attempts to draw a parallel between building architecture and software architecture, making a significant case for developers to learn from the codebase of large-scale open source software projects.

Published a year later, in volume 2, Structure, Scale, and a Few More Fearless Hacks, editors Brown and Wilson followed up with several more examples that exemplified software development at scale.

The third volume, The Performance of Open Source Applications: Speed, Precision, and a Bit of Serendipity, this time edited by Tavish Armstrong, is a collection of case studies in identifying performance bottlenecks in real-life examples and improving them to meet the growing demands of mobile and network development.

In the fourth and most recent volume, 500 Lines or Less, editor Michael DiBernardo steps back from the large-scale open source giants and refocuses the critical lens on the small projects where developers are starting from scratch. Each chapter is a case study - in programs written especially for the book - that encourages readers to consider their own approaches, considerations, and constraints when developing a new application.

Who is the audience?

The AOSA series targets junior developers seeking enrichment and senior developers seeking industry reference. Just as architects are expected to learn from their masterful peers, AOSA’s editors believe that developers have a lot to learn from each other and can skip making the same mistakes for solved problems.

Where can you find it?

The series is available for free, online at AOSA’s website. Each volume is also available in paperback, epub, and PDF formats at cost - all royalties from sales are donated to Amnesty International. If you’re interested in picking up a print or epub version of the material, it’s suggested you purchase throug instead of through Amazon or another retailer.

How much time would you be putting in?

There’s a lot of reading to be done, so, if you’re inclined to get into this work, you’ll need a lot of time if you hope to get through all four volumes.

What’s the license?

The AOSA series is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Is it possible to contribute?

If you’re interested in contributing, it is suggested that you contact AOSA by email. The editors are always looking for translators and volunteers who are interested in fixing the writing itself.