5 Replies - 893 Views - Last Post: 13 December 2009 - 09:26 AM

#1 anirelles  Icon User is offline

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Read at open source code

Posted 08 December 2009 - 05:57 AM

I've often heard that a good way to improve programming skills is to read source code coming from another developer and more
precisely by studying open source projects.

As projects can be very complex I would like to start a discussion about how can you effectively get value from analyzing them?
Which approach do you use? What do you do in practical terms? (setup the project in an IDE? run it in debug mode? run it at all or just look at the code? etc)

About approach I'm thinking of top-down (start with a component diagram/package diagram/class diagram and go into the details after) or bottom-up (start with details to find out the design), For me top-down seems more natural and easier but because design documentation is often missing (and reverse engineering tools don't work well for big projects in my opinion), the bottom-up is how I'm thinking to do.

To dive into top project source code is very intimidating and I would like your thoughts about best practice for doing it.

This post has been edited by anirelles: 08 December 2009 - 06:05 AM


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Replies To: Read at open source code

#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Read at open source code

Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:53 AM

Hopefully the developer has documentation. I always start there. If there's nothing to read, I open the source starting at the "highest" level, unless the documentation specifies a specific design philosophy that would indicate starting elsewhere would be beneficial.


Taking a crap load of files, dumping them into Netbeans, Visual Studio,or whatever isn't really helpful to me at the start.


Do it a piece/module at a time.
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#3 anirelles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Read at open source code

Posted 12 December 2009 - 07:34 AM

Thank you.
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#4 anirelles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Read at open source code

Posted 13 December 2009 - 03:22 AM

I've found this book :

Posted Image

http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0201799405

I need to read it B)
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#5 VulcanDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Read at open source code

Posted 13 December 2009 - 03:24 AM

View Postanirelles, on 13 Dec, 2009 - 11:22 AM, said:

I've found this book :

Posted Image

http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0201799405

I need to read it B)


Umm... unrelated. Was that an advert? (Normally I wouldn't think so, but you put the Amazon link in their...wtf?
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#6 SpeedisaVirus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Read at open source code

Posted 13 December 2009 - 09:26 AM

How is that unrelated? The OP asked how to get the most from reading someone else's project code. That book is supposed to offer tools to help.
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