30 April 2010

More books on architecture

I previously wrote about some textbooks about software architecture. I have have since received three more books.

The first, Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory, and Practice, I disregarded fairly quickly. I think it is too verbose (712 pages!). I could not find the brevity and clarity I think a good textbook should have to should support understanding instead of overwhelming the reader with facts.

I have not had the time to read through The Art of Software Architecture: Design Methods and Techniques yet, it arrived today in the mail.

Software Architecture and Design Illuminated
covers a number of different types or styles of architectures, and does so in a manner familiar to the students at SE & M (i.e. in UML models and in Java code examples). It takes a completely different approach to quality attributes compared to Software Architecture in Practice (SAiP), it is structured according to different architectural designs and explains what they are good and bad at. So rather by learning by reason about concepts if focuses on learning by examples. This means that the coverage of quality attributes and tactics is not as comprehensive as in SAiP, for example attributes and tactics related to embedded systems are lacking in comparison since there are few examples of those in the book.
However since the course presently is structured according to theory and not examples of different types of architectures it would require more update of the course compared to the other texts.
The book also has some on-line material for instructors which I have not yet been evaluated.
Summary: Good book which I think presently is the best undergraduate book out there. I like the example-based approach, but it might just be appealing to me because of the fresh approach to an already familiar subject.

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