Call for Technical Reviewers for "500 Lines or Less"

Michael DiBernardo - Fri 03 January 2014 -

While the Performance of Open Source Applications was released just a few months ago, work on the fourth AOSA book is already well underway!

This volume is called 500 Lines or Less, and is focused on short but complete implementations of canonical programs and architectural patterns in computer science.

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 commentary.

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 March onwards.

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 We look forward to having you on board!

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