Beautiful Code

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How do the experts solve difficult problems in software development? In this unique and insightful book, leading computer scientists offer case studies that reveal how they found unusual, carefully designed solutions to high-profile projects. You will be able to look over the shoulder of major coding and design experts to see problems through their eyes.

This is not simply another design patterns book, or another software engineering treatise on the right and wrong way to do ...

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Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think

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How do the experts solve difficult problems in software development? In this unique and insightful book, leading computer scientists offer case studies that reveal how they found unusual, carefully designed solutions to high-profile projects. You will be able to look over the shoulder of major coding and design experts to see problems through their eyes.

This is not simply another design patterns book, or another software engineering treatise on the right and wrong way to do things. The authors think aloud as they work through their project's architecture, the tradeoffs made in its construction, and when it was important to break rules.
This book contains 33 chapters contributed by Brian Kernighan, KarlFogel, Jon Bentley, Tim Bray, Elliotte Rusty Harold, Michael Feathers,Alberto Savoia, Charles Petzold, Douglas Crockford, Henry S. Warren,Jr., Ashish Gulhati, Lincoln Stein, Jim Kent, Jack Dongarra and PiotrLuszczek, Adam Kolawa, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Diomidis Spinellis, AndrewKuchling, Travis E. Oliphant, Ronald Mak, Rogerio Atem de Carvalho andRafael Monnerat, Bryan Cantrill, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat, SimonPeyton Jones, Kent Dybvig, William Otte and Douglas C. Schmidt, AndrewPatzer, Andreas Zeller, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Arun Mehta, TV Raman,Laura Wingerd and Christopher Seiwald, and Brian Hayes.
Beautiful Code is an opportunity for master coders to tell their story. All author royalties will be donated to Amnesty International.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596510046
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Series: Theory in Practice (O'Reilly) Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 620
  • Sales rank: 956,073
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Wilson holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, and has worked on high-performance scientific computing, data visualization, and computer security. He is the author of Data Crunching and Practical Parallel Programming (MIT Press, 1995), and is a contributing editor at Doctor Dobb's Journal, and an adjunct professor in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in free software and open source technologies. His work for O'Reilly includes the first books ever published commercially in the United States on Linux, and the 2001 title Peer-to-Peer. His modest programming and system administration skills are mostly self-taught.

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Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: A Regular Expression Matcher
  • Chapter 2: Subversion's Delta Editor: Interface As Ontology
  • Chapter 3: The Most Beautiful Code I Never Wrote
  • Chapter 4: Finding Things
  • Chapter 5: Correct, Beautiful, Fast (in That Order): Lessons from Designing XML Verifiers
  • Chapter 6: Framework for Integrated Test: Beauty Through Fragility
  • Chapter 7: Beautiful Tests
  • Chapter 8: On-the-Fly Code Generation for Image Processing
  • Chapter 9: Top Down Operator Precedence
  • Chapter 10: The Quest for an Accelerated Population Count
  • Chapter 11: Secure Communication: The Technology Of Freedom
  • Chapter 12: Growing Beautiful Code in BioPerl
  • Chapter 13: The Design of the Gene Sorte
  • Chapter 14: How Elegant Code Evolves with Hardware The Case of Gaussian Elimination
  • Chapter 15: The Long-Term Benefits of Beautiful Design
  • Chapter 16: The Linux Kernel Driver Model: The Benefits of Working Together
  • Chapter 17: Another Level of Indirection
  • Chapter 18: Python's Dictionary Implementation: Being All Things to All People
  • Chapter 19: Multidimensional Iterators in NumPy
  • Chapter 20: A Highly Reliable Enterprise System for NASA's Mars Rover Mission
  • Chapter 21: ERP5: Designing for Maximum Adaptability
  • Chapter 22: A Spoonful of Sewage
  • Chapter 23: Distributed Programming with MapReduce
  • Chapter 24: Beautiful Concurrency
  • Chapter 25: Syntactic Abstraction: The syntax-case Expander
  • Chapter 26: Labor-Saving Architecture: An Object-Oriented Framework for Networked Software
  • Chapter 27: Integrating Business Partners the RESTful Way
  • Chapter 28: Beautiful Debugging
  • Chapter 29: Treating Code As an Essay
  • Chapter 30: When a Button Is All That Connects You to the World
  • Chapter 31: Emacspeak: The Complete Audio Desktop
  • Chapter 32: Code in Motion
  • Chapter 33: Writing Programs for "The Book"
  • Afterword
  • Contributors
  • Colophon

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book is a challenging and inspiring read for new and seasoned programmers.

    I heard about Beautiful Code, by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson a few years back, but haven't had the chance to read the book until now. It was worth the wait. This book is a challenging and inspiring read for new and seasoned programmers.

    The editors of Beautiful Code were able to take some of the top programmers of our era and pick their brains on what they considered to be beautiful code. The result of this endeavor is a book that covers a wide range of topics: from recursion in processing regular expressions to interface design. Each chapter isn't particularly lengthy, but they all follow a similar pattern. First, the background and issues surrounding a problem are outlined. Next, some (if not all) of the code that solved the issue is provided. Finally, analysis of why the code works is explained. More importantly, each chapter also outlines why the code is beautiful. Sometimes it is the clever use of a common programming practice that makes the solution beautiful. Other times it is the algorithm that produced the code that makes things beautiful. Each chapter is unique in this regard.

    This book is not for the casual reader. There are a lot of complex situations covered in this book. Likewise the code used to solve these situations can be equally complex. However, it is reading through these complex pieces of code with their analysis that you gain a greater appreciation of programming. It will give you concepts and code for future use. It can also give insight to problem solving techniques you might have not though of before.

    Students can use this book to see what problems they will face outside of the academic setting. Intermediate programmers can use this book to refresh themselves of core concepts and how to implement them in an elegant way. Veteran programmers can appreciate the problems faced and even see inspiration as they continue in their career. Beautiful Code is an instant classic to read and reread.

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  • Posted January 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Experts Discuss Their Favorite Topics

    This is quite a good book, although not every topic will appeal to every reader. Because this is a collection of papers by individual authors, there is some variation in tone and writing quality from section to section.

    I enjoyed seeing what each contributor felt to be an especially noteworthy case study, and learned a lot from several of the chapters. A handful of offerings were somewhat less interesting, but the book is large enough that most readers should find enough solid content to be worth the asking price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    A great peek into some truly brilliant minds

    This book was designed as a way for modern programmers to show how they think: why should a system be designed one way and not another? What makes code beautiful? This book is organized into 33 different chapters, where leading programmers pick a software topic that is beautiful to them, then proceed to describe what makes it so. This book is a fascinating insight into the minds of some leading programmers. The authors cover many different topics: from Subversion¿s Delta Editor to Python¿s Dictionary implementation from the enterprise system behind the Mars rover to some design decisions behind Ruby. Again, these are all fascinating to look at, but the breadth of material is so varied that it might be difficult for a lot of individuals to really get into. Lead programmers or software architects will likely eat this stuff up, but it¿ll probably be too much for the average working software developer. If you are able to get past the fact that each chapter comes from an entirely new author with an entirely new project, this is an interesting book and a great peek into some truly brilliant minds.

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