Software architecture in an open source world

TitleSoftware architecture in an open source world
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsFielding, RT
Secondary TitleProceedings of the 27th international conference on Software engineering
Place PublishedNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number1-58113-963-2
Keywordsapache, collaborative open source development, eclipse, extensibility, Firefox, linux, linux kernel, loose coupling, modularity, mozilla, open source, software architecture

In spite of the hype and hysteria surrounding open source software development, there is very little that can be said of open source in general. Open source projects range in scope from the miniscule, such as the thousands of non-maintained code dumps left behind at the end of class projects, dissertations, and failed commercial ventures, to the truly international, with thousands of developers collaborating, directly or indirectly, on a common platform. One characteristic that is shared by the largest and most successful open source projects, however, is a software architecture designed to promote anarchic collaboration through extensions while at the same time preserving centralized control over the interfaces. This talk features a survey of the state-of-the-practice in open source development in regards to software architecture, with particular emphasis on the modular extensibility interfaces within several of the most successful projects, including Apache httpd, Eclipse, Mozilla Firefox, Linux kernel, and the World Wide Web (which few people recognize as an open source project in itself). These projects fall under the general category of collaborative open source software development, which emphasizes community aspects of software engineering in order to compensate for the often-volunteer nature of core developers and take advantage of the scalability obtainable through Internet-based virtual organizations.

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