Things That Make You Go “Hmm…” (Some software architecture questions)

The attendees at the Software Architecture webinar had lots of interesting questions, but unfortunately we ran out of time before we could address all of them.  Here are some of the questions we didn’t get to, or which bear revisiting; feel free to discuss them in the comments, or on your blog. If you write about them let me know and I’ll include a link to your post here.

  • Are there fundamental differences between front-end and back-end architecture concepts? What about graphics, connections and other aspects of many finished projects? —Alexander Ostrow
  • Has there been any study of how much open source software has influenced closed source software?  Not in the sense of “closed source product A embeds open source project B in their code”, but more in terms of imitating [and] knowledge sharing (i.e., Twitter discussions between competing open source projects)?  That is, is there any way to know if or how much architecture of closed source applications has been influenced by open source software? —Jeff Squyres
  • How do each of the open source projects achieve consensus on their architecture? Open source is sometimes known as quite contentious / flame war-intensive. How does distributed consensus between the human participants — particularly those in different organizations — factor into good and bad decisions in software architecture? —Jeff Squyres
  • [In open source] How do you deal with people who won’t let go of a bad idea (or an idea that they just can’t get other people on board with)? —Fahd Khan
  • Is good architecture key for any project to be successful? Can a project be successful without good architecture? Do all size projects need architecture to succeed? —Lokesh SP
  • The subtitle of the book mentions “A Few Fearless Hacks”.  Could you guys talk about some of the more interesting hacks, specifically how those became an appropriate direction of development for the project and how those hacks lasted over time? —Rocco Pigneri [AB: Honestly, we mainly put that in the subtitle because it sounds cool, but I’m posting this question to see if we get any good stories.]
  • What tools (if any) do you use to track a project’s history?  How do you remember why a feature was added, or not added? —John Jensen
  • You have referred to the importance of learning from previous experiences, and I liked the term “Architecture Archaeology”, but how far are we from formalizing the essential software architectural principles and standards? Are open source projects helping in merging ideas together towards this essential set of principles and standards? —Zaid Basha
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