Book Review: Beautiful Code

January 30, 2008
Ganadeva Bandyopadhyay

A collection of thirty three chapters from experts in their fields, Beautiful Code comes as a whiff of fresh air into the book shelf of the programmer. The contributing authors include illustrious names such as Brian Kernighan, Karl Fogel, Ashish Gulhati and Yukihiro Matsumoto amongst the many.

Going a step beyond the lecture mode of many computer programming books, the authors give their contrasting and very interesting ways of reaching the programming goals.

The chapter dedicated to an analysis of the elegant quick sort algorithm by Jon Bentley, is impressive as the author has involved the relevant quotations and used them for implementing the quick sort algorithm using three different approaches.

Among the many gems in this book is a discussion by Ronald Mak on design and development of a Collaborative Information Portal related to NASA's Mars Rover Mission and used by large number of users worldwide. The beauty of this enterprise application is that this is in three-tiered SOA and provides the functionality, reliability and robustness required from such type of application.

Some of the discussed codes include code generation for image processing, population count, three libraries as levels of Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms, eLocutor and Emacspeak.

The book will give color to imagination of programmers used to reading bland text-book type documentation and programming manuals. One interesting aspect of this book is that all the royalties from this book would be given for donation to Amnesty International.

Beautiful Code
Edited by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson

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