ISBN: 9780596510046
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Found in 13 comments on Hacker News
adriantam · 2020-02-13 · Original thread
This is chapter 1 of "Beautiful Code" (
wallflower · 2019-11-26 · Original thread
“Beautiful Code” is flawed but it aims towards what you mentioned.

“The Architecture of Open-Source Applications”

You also might be interested in “Coders at Work”.

andyjpb · 2019-04-01 · Original thread
That's great!

If you're interested in more detail about how a VFS (Virtual File System; the bit where it finds the file and then finds the data in the file) works, Chapter 17 (Another Level of Indirection) in Beautiful Code ( ) is well worth a read.

It explains how the VFS in FreeBSD works. How disks, partitions, volumes, filesystems, offsets, etc all get orchestrated together so that the Unix "single directory hierarchy" abstraction works as intended even tho' the actual data may be spread around a number of locations (both local and remote).

The concepts and ideas are largely applicable to other Unixes and Unix-like operating systems.

It's also a great example of how elegantly one can express polymorphic code, even in plain C.

msinghai · 2017-03-13 · Original thread
A few weeks ago, I spent some time in reading O'Reilly's Beautiful Code ( The book is essentially a collection of essays from various programmers describing what they think of as beautiful code.

I particularly liked Brian Kernighan's description and implementation of a regex matcher, and Travis Oliphant's discourse about multidimensional iterators in NumPy.

Worth a read.

niftich · 2016-07-18 · Original thread
Urbit [1] is a real software effort that many have considered a deliberate performance art.

Beautiful Code [2] is a well-known book that attempts to examine the development of some successful software projects from the perspective of the lead developers, and how they came to design decisions.

Beautiful Architecture [3] is a similar book focusing on large-scale project design.




weej · 2016-03-13 · Original thread
"Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think" is a book that attempts to to tackle this topic. "The authors think aloud as they work through their project's architecture, the tradeoffs made in its construction, and when it was important to break rules." The book has been sitting in my to-read stack forever. You might want to check it out.

mark_h · 2012-03-07 · Original thread
Beautiful Code (O'Reilly, has a chapter on the dictionary implementation.
slug · 2011-07-03 · Original thread
This an excerpt of the excellent book
There is a book called Beautiful Code by O'Rielly
ecaron · 2011-03-31 · Original thread
This is discussed best in the opening chapter of O'Reilly's Beautiful Code: Google Books has a readable snippet of the section at, but I highly recommend buying the book because it is a great read.
gnubardt · 2010-05-27 · Original thread
Sounds like Beautiful Code (

Maybe if a user's submission becomes well liked they could be asked to write a more in-depth explanation or article.

mgrouchy · 2009-11-14 · Original thread
iirc isn't there a chapter in Beautiful Code about this?

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