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The Timeless Way of Building


The Timeless Way of Building
by Christopher Alexander
ISBN 0195024028
Date Read 10/2006

My Rating


Excellent architecture book. From the pure architectural point of view, though. I was looking for more of a software design point of view. I did not find too much of it in this book. It was, nonetheless, a valuable read. Hey, I got to see what ‘normal’ architects go through, and what makes buildings live — you can find a lot of that in this book.

Few interesting points. All patterns have to work together to form a whole, to make the structure uniform. One bad pattern will start destroying it, and eventually it will.

This book is all about thinking in general terms — high level thinking. It’s very important when architecting — same is true when building software.

I also found something else interesting. In the last chapter of the book, the author says that you should throw away your ego. Once you “get” the pattern language, you should throw it away. When starting a new project, always start from scratch — blank piece of paper — and forget about all of the projects you did before. Only then you will create truly ‘live’ structures. Is this possible in software? In the age of frameworks, language dependencies, probably not.

Overall, a great architecture book; but not the software architecture book that I was looking for. (From what I find now, the second book in the series is more applicable to building software.)

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