• Distinguished Lecture on ‘Big Ball of Mud’ software-architecture pattern set for May 18

    The Object Technology User Group (OTUG) is hosting a Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, May 18. Presenters Joe Yoder and Brian Foote will talk about their “Big Ball of Mud” software-architecture pattern. The details are posted on the OTUG website and included below.

    The event will begin with a social hour and pizza dinner at 5:30 p.m. in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall. It is free for all interested UST students, faculty and staff with a current UST ID. The cost will be $20 for the non-UST community.

    Registration is needed to get an accurate head count. To register, e-mail Jason Titus, OTUG president, by Wednesday, May 12.

    A “Big Ball of Mud” is a haphazardly structured, sprawling, spaghetti-code jungle. These systems show unmistakable signs of unregulated growth and repeated expedient repair. Information is shared promiscuously among distant elements of the system, often to the point where nearly all the important information becomes global or duplicated. The overall structure of the system may never have been well-defined. If it was, it may have eroded beyond recognition. Programmers with architectural sensibility shun these quagmires. Only those who are unconcerned about architecture and are comfortable with the daily chore of patching the holes, are content to work on such systems.

    Brian Foote

    Brian Foote

    Still, this approach endures and thrives. Why is this architecture so popular? Is it as bad as it seems, or might it serve as a way station on the road to more enduring, elegant artifacts? What forces drive good programmers to build ugly systems? Can or should this be avoided? How can such systems be improved?

    Joe Yoder

    Joe Yoder

    Foote has more than 21 years of professional software development experience. He has worked with Smalltalk and objects since 1985 and has written numerous papers on Smalltalk, object-oriented design, software reuse, patterns, and software architecture. He is the author of more than two dozen published patterns.

     Yoder is a founder and principle of The Refactory Inc., a company focused on software architecture, design, implementation, consulting and mentoring on all facets of software development. He is an international speaker and pattern author.

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