The de-facto standard software architecture: the BIG BALL OF MUD

Posted by on August 28, 2014

Believe it or not, despite the efforts you see about good practices and about good software architecture design.

The BIG BALL OF MUD is still the most used software architecture design, is the de-facto standard software architecture and is seldom discussed.

Thats what you can read in a paper by Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder’s.

Dung beetle

A paper with its origing in 1997

“A Big Ball of Mud is a haphazardly structured, sprawling, sloppy, duct-tape-and-baling-wire, 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 a shred of architectural sensibility shun these quagmires. Only those who are unconcerned about architecture, and, perhaps, are comfortable with the inertia of the day-to-day chore of patching the holes in these failing dikes, are content to work on such systems.”

—Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder, Big Ball of Mud. Fourth Conference on Patterns Languages of Programs (PLoP ‘97/EuroPLoP ‘97) Monticello, Illinois, September 1997

That old? Yes. But!

The BIG BALL OF MUD is a paper without waste, describes a reality still valid.

Check it out at

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