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Beautiful Architecture

Cover of Beautiful Architecture by Georgios Gousios... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

The Architecture

Darkstar is built as a set of separate services available in the address space of the server side of a game or virtual world. Each service is defined by a small programming interface. Although not the original intention, the basic services provided by Project Darkstar are much like those of a classic operating system, allowing the server side of the game or virtual world to access persistent storage, schedule and run tasks, and perform communication with the client side of the game or virtual world.

Structuring the system as an interconnected set of services is an obvious way to begin the process of divide and conquer that is basic to the design of any large computer system. Each service can be characterized by an interface that protects those using the service from changes in the underlying implementation, and allows those implementations to be undertaken independently. Changes in the implementation of one service ought not affect the implementation of another, even if that other service makes use of the implementation being changed (assuming the interface and the semantics of the interface don’t change).

We had other reasons to adopt the service decomposition approach. From the very beginning, Project Darkstar was envisioned as an open source project, with the hope that we could leverage the work of the core team by allowing other members of the community to build additional services that could enrich the functionality of the core. Running an open source community ...

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