The Performance of Open Source Applications

Greg Wilson - Wed 27 June 2012 -

We are pleased to announce that we are starting work on a third book in this series, which will be titled The Performance of Open Source Applications. Each chapter will discuss a performance issue in a real open source system—it could be an over-the-shoulder view of how a performance problem was fixed, a discussion of how design decisions affected performance in a particular application, or something else along those lines. Each entry will be 12-15 pages long, and we hope to have first drafts by the end of October so that we can publish the book in Spring 2013. As with AOSA, royalties will go to Amnesty International and the book will be available for free online under a Creative Commons license. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at posabook@gmail.com.

Why performance rather than architecture? Because it's something that every programmer has to deal with eventually, but which is usually left out of their education. The last general book on making programs fast that we know of was Jon Louis Bentley's Writing Efficient Programs, which was published thirty years ago. There have been lots of more specialized books since (we're particularly fond of Steve Souders' High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites, and of John Lakos's Large-Scale C++ Software Design), but we think the time is right for something that touches on everything from squeezing the last few cycles out of every precious milliwat in an embedded sensor to maximizing throughput of large-scale e-commerce applications. We hope you'll think so too, and we look forward to hearing from you.


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