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Overview

What are the ingredients of robust, elegant, flexible, and maintainable software architecture? Beautiful Architecture answers this question through a collection of intriguing essays from more than a dozen of today's leading software designers and architects. In each essay, contributors present a notable software architecture, and analyze what makes it innovative and ideal for its purpose. Some of the engineers in this book reveal how they developed a specific project, including decisions they faced and tradeoffs they made. Others take a step back to investigate how certain architectural aspects have influenced computing as a whole. With this book, you'll discover:

  • How Facebook's architecture is the basis for a data-centric application ecosystem

  • The effect of Xen's well-designed architecture on the way operating systems evolve

  • How community processes within the KDE project help software architectures evolve from rough sketches to beautiful systems

  • How creeping featurism has helped GNU Emacs gain unanticipated functionality

  • The magic behind the Jikes RVM self-optimizable, self-hosting runtime

  • Design choices and building blocks that made Tandem the choice platform in high-availability environments for over two decades

  • Differences and similarities between object-oriented and functional architectural views

  • How architectures can affect the software's evolution and the developers' engagement

Go behind the scenes to learn what it takes to design elegant software architecture, and how it can shape the way you approach your own projects, with Beautiful Architecture.

Subscriber Reviews

Average Rating: 3.8 out of 5 rating Based on 5 Ratings

"should state technical Ms architecture" - by frengilstrom on 14-SEP-2011
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
restricted to ms world
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"Interesting but high-level with limited use" - by Christopher on 26-APR-2011
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
The book is a collection of essays from various writers looking at various solutions to various architectures considered "beautiful".  I found the various systems and solutions quite interesting and I did learn some things from it.  2 or 3 of the essays were compelling.  However, the book overall left me with this question: "So what?".

Why do I say that?  It wasn't because of the architectural solutions themselves.  Each one has a point, a purpose, and were inspiring.  However, almost each easy was lacking in various ways:
1) Most, but not all, were too high-level and the beauty of the solution was lost in the lack of detail in how the solution was realized.  The essays felt more like basic descriptions and random thoughts, rather than a detailed discussion of the architectures and how they worked.  Without this, "why they were called beautiful" was a regular question in my mind.
2) Very few of the articles discussed "lessons to be learned for the reader", at least in a way that was obvious or compelling.  After reach one, again I just felt I had read about a description of an architectural solution, but what to take away from them (the lessons) was sorely lacking.
3) There was a lack of an overarching message throughout the book.  If it was just to describe so-called "beautiful architecture", then maybe it did that.  But if that is all it was for, then it isn't worth it.  For me, if a book doesn't have you coming away with "I see how I can use something from this in my work", it has no purpose for being.  I get that feeling with this book.

If you want to read about various system solutions and learn a bit about how others have built something in a rather basic, high-level manner, then this book is worth reading.  If you are looking for something to help you expand your understanding of, views of, and skills in designing architectures, then look elsewhere.  This book isn't it.

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"overview from far above, yet practical" - by oldbrazil on 08-MAR-2011
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
I've read just some parts of this book, but can already say that it is perfectly written, and encompasses many technologies (social web with Facebook, Virtualization with Xen, ...)

Great insight, impressive overview ...

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