While the Performance of Open Source Applications was
released just a few months ago, work on the fourth AOSA book is already well
This volume is called 500 Lines or Less, and is focused on short but complete
implementations of canonical programs and architectural patterns in computer
The motivation is described succinctly in the project statement:
Every architect studies family homes, apartments, schools, and other common
types of buildings during her training. Equally, every programmer ought to
know how a compiler turns text into instructions, how a spreadsheet updates
cells, and how a browser decides what to put where when it renders a page.
This book's goal is to give readers that broad-ranging overview, and while
doing so, to help them understand how software designers think.
Each chapter will consist of a (max) 500 line, self-contained program, and a
narrative surrounding that program that describes how it works, and (more
importantly) why it is designed the way it is.
Contributors are already working on
their 500 line implementations. Once each contributor completes a "first draft"
of their code, we assign them a technical reviewers to provide constructive
That's where we need your help.
There are a lot of contributors to this project, and we want them to get as
much feedback as possible before they begin writing up their chapters!
We're looking for reviewers at all levels of experience. If you're still early in
your programming career, we'd especially love to hear from you, as your
opinions as to which parts are easily accessible and which are confusing will
be incredibly helpful.
In terms of scheduling, our first-draft code submissions are due by end of February, but
many contributors are ahead of schedule and could use reviewers right now!
We're also hoping that our code reviewers will stick around to provide
commentary on the drafts of completed chapters once those start to roll in from
All technical reviewers will of course receive credit for their work in the
book, and will be supporting a good cause -- all royalties from paid-for
versions of the book will go to Amnesty International.
If this sounds fun to you, please sign up here.
Questions? Please ask at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward
to having you on board!