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500 Lines or Less


Architects look at thousands of buildings during their training, and study critiques of those buildings written by masters. In contrast, most software developers only ever get to know a handful of large programs well—usually programs they wrote themselves—and never study the great programs of history. As a result, they repeat one another's mistakes rather than building on one another's successes.

The Architecture of Open Source Applications ( is a book series that aims to change this. The fourth volume (""500 Lines or Less"", contains 20 short examples of canonical programs written and explained by experienced software developers. This talk will give a brief overview of the book, and will explore the most surprising lessons we learned by producing it.


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