In short, it's time revisit the handbook.
It is a sign of maturity for any given architectural discipline when we can name, study, and apply the patterns relevant to that domain. In civil engineering, one can study the fundamental elements of architecture in works that expose and compare common architectural styles. Similarly, in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and now even genomic engineering, there exist libraries of common patterns that have proven themselves useful in practice. Unfortunately, no such architectural reference yet exists for software-intensive systems. Although the patterns community has pioneered the vocabulary of design patterns through the work of the Hillside Group and the Gang of Four (in their seminal book, Design Patterns), our industry has no parallel to the architecture handbooks found in more mature design disciplines. The primary goal of developing a Handbook of Software Architecture is to fill a void in our fields by codifying the architecture of a large collection of interesting software-intensive systems. The language of our times, patterns will be used as a basis for exposing and comparing the essential elements of these systems.
In this BoF, we'll examine the Handbook project and discuss its potential content and the process for completing it. Associated with this effort is a project at the Computer History Museum on the preservation of classic software, and so this BoF will also cover what can be done to contribute to that effort.
The panel and talk on both scheduled for Thursday the 20th and the BoF is scheduled for the previous evening.