Announcing The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Volume II

The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Volume II CoverI am proud to announce the release of The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Volume II. It’s a twenty-four chapter, thirty-one author book, the production of which has consumed, oh, 40% of my waking hours since last summer (or so it seems). I worked on it with Greg Wilson and a large supporting cast of authors, reviews and editors, and I think we’re all very pleased with it.

It’s not over yet; the PDF and ebook editions are still to come. I’m also planning a few blog posts about the making of the book — I want to share some of our “Lessons Learned”.

Here’s the press release:

Second Volume of Software Architecure Book Provides Valuable Insight

Toronto, ON, May 15, 2012 — A book released last week gives readers unprecedented insight into the design and structure of twenty-four different open source applications. “The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Volume II” consists of chapters written by project leads and developers from open source applications including GNU Mailman, GDB, MediaWiki and the Glasgow Haskell Compiler.

While there are thousands of books on software architecture, most of them only describe techniques and offer a few sterile examples — nothing that comes close to the messiness of real-world software development. This book (and Volume I of the same series) opens a window into the sometimes-gritty design history of many different applications.

Each chapter includes a description of the architecture of the project, discussion about how that structure came about, and the lessons the authors learned in the process of creating the application. Since all the applications are open source, readers are free to examine the code themselves — or even work on it.

The book itself is also open source, and available under a Creative Commons license. All the authors contributed their chapters for free, and the entire content of the book is available on the website ( The book is also available in print from and through other online retailers. All royalties from the sale of the book in print and ebook formats will be donated to Amnesty International to support their worldwide campaign for human rights.

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