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The Architecture of Open Source Applications

June 24, 2014 #opensource #architecture

I was reading through my latest Dr. Dobbs Update email, and saw an interesting article on Firefox Release Engineering.

The article talks about their release mindset, including the importance of release automation and a “Release Coordinator,” who is the one person who is designated to assume responsibility for coordinating the entire release.  I like the terminology of “calm precision” from the quote below.

When we do have a chemspill release, the more robust the release automation, the less stressed the humans in Release Engineering are. We’re used to the idea of going as fast as possible with calm precision, and we’ve built tools to do this as safely and robustly as we know how. Less stress means more calm and precise work within a well-rehearsed process, which in turn helps chemspill releases go smoothly.

There is a lot of useful information in this article which concludes with Lessons Learned:

  • The Importance of Buy-in from Other Stakeholders
  • Involving Other Groups
  • Establishing Clear Handoffs
  • Managing Turnover
  • Managing Change

I often sit through the closing credits of a movie to see if they put anything interesting at the end.  I’m glad I also did for this article since an endnote mentioned:

This article was excerpted with permission from Volume 2 of Architecture of Open Source Applications and lightly edited.

The link brought me to a page where I could buy the paper book for $25 or ebook for $10.  I also noticed it was copyright Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.  Knowing this means I find this information for free somewhere, my google search brought me to http://aosabook.org/en/index.html, where I found three books:

  • The Architecture of Open Source Applications
    Elegance, Evolution and a Few Fearless Hacks
  • The Architecture of Open Source Applications
    Volume II: Structure, Scale and a Few More Fearless Hacks
  • The Performance of Open Source Applications
    Speed, Precision, and a Bit of Serendipity

I now have more items to add to my summer reading list.