Saturday, February 16, 2013

Alien Architecture

In this episode, Russ and Bett discuss an architecture that many architects will find alien to the common way of thinking--especially with regard to encapsulation and coupling.  The basis for the discussion is the paper: "Challenging Encapsulation in the Design of High-Risk Control Systems" by Daniel Dvorak.  It discusses an architecture used in systems like a Mars rover, where encapsulation and loose coupling are avoided because of the need to produce subsystems that have more insight and control into each other.

In the case of a rover, the author argues this is necessary because such a system has physical issues that couple subsystems in a way that must be understood at a model level in order to permit the system to operate in extreme conditions with limited resources. The author makes the case that typical enterprise business systems do not have such issues.  In relation to this assertion, this podcast takes an interesting twist near the end, you will have to listen to hear the surprising conclusion.

Link to the paper discussed:

Books we mentioned:
Bett's book recommendation -- Ada, the Enchantress of Number by Betty A. Toole
Russ' book recommendation -- The Most Human Human by Brian Christian

Link to the upcoming Developing Cloud Services Symposium in Tampa.

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