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Books Open Source Programming

The Architecture of Open Source Applications 85

Posted by timothy
from the look-a-free-book dept.
jrepin writes "In new free book the authors of twenty-five open source applications explain how their software is structured, and why. What are each program's major components? How do they interact? And what did their builders learn during their development? In answering these questions, the contributors to this book provide unique insights into how they think." Note: the whole text of the book, under a Creative Commons license, is available on the site.
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The Architecture of Open Source Applications

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  • I don't understand why so many people put "Free Book" on the web, but put it in an HTML page with links to the various chapters. Is it too much to ask for the convenience of a single PDF, MOBI, or EPUB I can download to an eReader? They went to the trouble of publishing on Lulu, could they take the additional step of checking the "Make my book available as a free ebook" checkbox so I could download the PDF that Lulu uses to print it?

    Other than that, this sounds like something I look forward to reading, afte

    • by blair1q (305137)

      If they're paying for "free book" by charging advertisers for your clicks, then that's why you get the wisdom for "free".

      Also, despite the chronology of their development and deployment, webpages are newer and better technology than e-Books are.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Indeed, I'd say that it's a fair compromise. Probably the other option would be a dynamically created PDF complete with ads. It's generous to give away a book, even with advertising.

    • by wondafucka (621502) on Monday May 23, 2011 @07:15PM (#36222950) Homepage Journal

      I don't understand why so many people put "Free Book" on the web, but put it in an HTML page with links to the various chapters. Is it too much to ask for the convenience of a single PDF, MOBI, or EPUB I can download to an eReader? They went to the trouble of publishing on Lulu, could they take the additional step of checking the "Make my book available as a free ebook" checkbox so I could download the PDF that Lulu uses to print it?

      Other than that, this sounds like something I look forward to reading, after I copy and paste each chapter into a Word Document and convert it myself. : )

      I'm sorry, I thought you were a programmer.

      • That's ridiculous. Just because you're a programmer doesn't mean you're familiar with the various SDKs necessary to do such at thing. Which do you think would be faster? Copying and pasting a few pages into Word or learning (at least) two new SDKs and dealing with everything involved with that. Some of us have jobs and don't have the time to research and write a program like that in addition to actually reading the book.

        • Ok, before anyone responds to this, I should note that I just read the post below mine that says "use wget, then calibre..." That's actually not a bad way to do it - I didn't think of that. However that doesn't make you a programmer, that makes you a "super user," as stackexchange would call it.

          • Ok, before anyone responds to this, I should note that I just read the post below mine that says "use wget, then calibre..." That's actually not a bad way to do it - I didn't think of that. However that doesn't make you a programmer, that makes you a "super user," as stackexchange would call it.

            Wow, I get superuser privileges by downloading the book and converting it with calibre? :-)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      use wget, then calibre to convert it to any of those formats

    • by asdf7890 (1518587)

      I don't understand why so many people put "Free Book" on the web, but put it in an HTML page with links to the various chapters. Is it too much to ask for the convenience of a single PDF, MOBI, or EPUB I can download to an eReader?

      I don't understand why so many people, when given good content for free, moan that it is not in the format they prefer. Is it too much to ask that they pony up for the print version, or make a modicum of effort to convert the content if they so desire?

      On a less factious note: this is how I sometimes prefer to read such content. A good PDF (by "good" I mean "properly formatted as pages", not just the HTML hastily thrown at a PDF generating virtual printer) is nice for printing sections or the whole docume

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        I don't understand why so many people, when given good content for free, moan that it is not in the format they prefer. Is it too much to ask that they pony up for the print version, or make a modicum of effort to convert the content if they so desire?

        Of course it is too much to ask. Far too many on slashdot truly believe they are entitled to anything they want, for free, and if you fail to provide exactly what they demand, for free, you're a piece of crap.

        Far too many suffer from self delusion and a massive sense of self entitlement.

        I'm sure this post will be troll moderated, but it doesn't change the fact its true.

        • by asdf7890 (1518587)
          If you think that is a trait unique to slashdot, then you have a higher opinion than I of human nature in general!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arwild01 (7568)

      I don't understand why so many people put "Free Book" on the web, but put it in an HTML page with links to the various chapters. Is it too much to ask for the convenience of a single PDF, MOBI, or EPUB I can download to an eReader?

      Since it's Creative Commons, Derivative works should be allowed. I took a stab at pulling down all the files with wget and then generating an EPUB using Calibre [calibre-ebook.com]. Don't claim the format is perfect, this is the first time I've ever tried anything like this. However, it should be readable. If you interested, I've put it up on Google Docs [google.com].

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      Other than that, this sounds like something I look forward to reading, after I copy and paste each chapter into a Word Document and convert it myself. : )

      Please do us all a favor and put the chapters in the correct order when you do. The chapter on Continuous Integration, listed as Chapter 9, is actually Chapter 6 for example.

      Thanks.

    • by Akima (1998920)

      See their FAQ entry titled "[2011-05-24] Is the book available as a PDF or in e-book format?" http://www.aosabook.org/en/faq.html [aosabook.org]
      "We're working on it."
      "If you are an expert, and would like to help, we'd be grateful for assistance. "

  • I scanned the Sendmail chapter and it was pretty interesting - an important piece of Internet's software infrastructure that evolved over time along with the internet.

    Eclipse chapter is pretty good if you have (or are interested in) written Eclipse plugins.

    Good stuff.

    • by Lennie (16154)

      What I don't get how could anyone choose to put Sendmail in the book instead of Postfix, which obviously has a better architecture.

      • by oldhack (1037484)

        It's not about the good ones, but ones out there, and sendmail is certainly ubiquitous and its history teaches us a lot.

        Eclipse (the other section I read), despite her success, has gathered quite a crud along the way (anyone who tried to write plugins would know this), and is evolving to adapt to new challenges.

        I think I'll kick a few bucks their (book) way.

  • The first chapter is on Asterisk. Don't get me wrong, Asterisk has done a lot of good for the open source community, but I shudder to think that anyone would use it as an example of good development
    • by kent_eh (543303)

      The first chapter is on Asterisk. Don't get me wrong, Asterisk has done a lot of good for the open source community, but I shudder to think that anyone would use it as an example of good development

      FTFA:

      As a result, they repeat one another's mistakes rather than building on one another's successes

      One can learn from another's mistakes as well as from their successes.

    • by swillden (191260)

      The first chapter is on Asterisk. Don't get me wrong, Asterisk has done a lot of good for the open source community, but I shudder to think that anyone would use it as an example of good development

      What's bad about it?

      • by gpuk (712102)

        As a current Asterisk 1.6 user, I can attest that it is a piece of junk. It's monolithic, buggy, poorly documented and unwieldy to install from source (witness the number of ISO based all in one installation solutions).

        I'm in the process of reading up on FreeSwitch with a view to shifting to it.

        Have a read of: http://www.freeswitch.org/node/117 [freeswitch.org]

        • by swillden (191260)

          As a current Asterisk 1.6 user, I can attest that it is a piece of junk. It's monolithic, buggy, poorly documented and unwieldy to install from source

          Hmm. According to the architecture document, it is not monolithic. Your other complaints may or may not have anything to do with architecture; they're partly about execution and partly about a lack of user focus. It can still be very interesting and useful from an architectural perspective.

          • by gpuk (712102)

            It claims to be modular but is effectively monolithic due to myriad cross dependencies (some of which are poorly documented) and a terrible thread management system.

    • by wrook (134116)

      I thought the same thing at first too, although I haven't really worked with the code much other than to play with the SIP code. If, like me, your only view of the code is a 30K line file containing an ad-hoc parser you aren't left with too much confidence. But in fairness, the concepts that they talk about (channels, etc) are decent abstractions. I've worked in telephony long enough to know that there a *lot* of very poorly designed PBXs out there. While the implementation sometimes lacks in Asterisk,

  • Cause it sure looks like it going off that map.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is an interesting and instructive collection of essays, notwithstanding complaint here from people who have made a lot fewer contributions than the authors of this book.

  • Exsqueeze me, but Emacs is not on that list.
  • I see Battle of Wesnoth is included. I downloaded this game a number of years ago, when it was touted as one of the better free Linux games. I enjoyed it, mostly.

    I also like a piece [wesnoth.org] written by the original developer. He talks about how he had worked on various games which were unsuccessful, and what he learned subsequently and what he then did in preparation so that Battle of Wesnoth would be successful. I thought it was a pretty good short read of how he went from projects that fizzled out to a succes

  • The architecture of software is something almost (if not totally) always neglected in all forms of docs I find on open source project.

    One problem I perceive in the open-source community, which I love, is that sharing of knowledge and the education of peers is something that is often considered a mercenary's game - each is left to his own devices. The mentality seems to be: if you can't read the code and figure it out, then stfu noob. This mentality completely forgets that noobs need to learn and not everyth

  • They mention that it's not in EPUB or other ebook formats yet because it's difficult to make a good-looking book out of LaTeX source. They also say the book is under a CC license. Anyone manage to find the LaTeX source yet? I'd like to take a stab at ebook conversion for them, and the closer I get to the original source (the LaTeX files), the more flexibility I ought to have in doing so.

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