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Code Reading: The Open Source Perspective

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If you are a programmer, you need this book.

  • You've got a day to add a new feature in a 34,000-line program: Where do you start? Page 333

  • How can you understand and simplify an inscrutable piece of code? Page 39

  • Where do you start when disentangling a complicated build process? Page 167

  • How do you comprehend code that appears to be doing five things in parallel? Page 132

You may read code because you have to-to fix it, inspect it, or improve it. You may read code the way an engineer examines a machine--to discover what makes it tick. Or you may read code because you are scavenging--looking for material to reuse.

Code-reading requires its own set of skills, and the ability to determine which technique you use when is crucial. In this indispensable book, Diomidis Spinellis uses more than 600 real-world examples to show you how to identify good (and bad) code: how to read it, what to look for, and how to use this knowledge to improve your own code.

Fact: If you make a habit of reading good code, you will write better code yourself.

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