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Building Scalable Web Sites

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Learn the tricks of the trade so you can build and architect applications that scale quickly--without all the high-priced headaches and service-level agreements associated with enterprise app servers and proprietary programming and database products. Culled from the experience of the lead developer, Building Scalable Web Sites offers techniques for creating fast ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Barbara Krein
I am still reading this book. But I can tell that is the most important book for any developer out there. Read it. Watch the videos.
Gang Lei
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is definitely worth reading, even thouhg not exactly my style. I recommended it to a friend of mine and got back only positive feedback.
Chris Witt
Dec 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Maybe this book was relevant when it first came out, but going through it in early 2009 I couldn't believe how many inaccuracies were present throughout the book. Completely outdated and misleading information on web services, XML feeds, and the .NET platform.

The book should have just been called "Why I Am In Love With .PHP and MySql And Don't Believe That Any Other Combination Can Be Used To Build A Successful Website".

I found myself shaking my head repeatedly, thinking "Have you ever actually
Prasanth Gangaraju
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book IS outdated, and irrelevant in the current tech scenario. But, it certainly is very good in a way - it teaches the experienced programmer about the necessary foresight one must have while building an application that s/he wishes would scale. Sure there is the famous quote - "Plan to throw one [version] away; you will, anyhow.", but this book helps you to avoid doing that. ...more
Wish Krispacharawich
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
highly recommended
Ben Haley
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Cal is not a great writer, but he is a great resource and so if your MO is to design a large website well from the get go Cal will point you on the roads you need to walk down. The book was practical, but obviously couldn't go too deep into any of its topics, layered architectures, unicode, security, email, database scaling, caching, monitoring, and APIs. It came with a decent amount of redundancy and to me some parts were pointing to topics so advanced that I just had to shrug a maybe later. Bu ...more
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
This would be a great book to give to someone working on their first web service. I wish I had read something like it when I first started.

The author opts for breadth rather than depth, covering unicode, data sanitation, load balancing, database sharding and replication, SQUID proxies, monitoring, email servers, and many other topics. Fortunately, he acknowledges that he's only skimming the surface of many of the areas, and provides ample references to other books or software projects.

The main c
John Hobbs
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
While it is a bit dated, and you could probably scrape all of this together off the web, it's still a good book.

Very little of it has passed into total irrelevance, most of it you can gain some value from.

He's best at describing high level concepts, like sharding.

A good read, even if you are passingly familiar with this stuff, you will gain a deeper understanding.
Dmitry Fink
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Most if the book is outdated and irrelevant, the tools and mechanisms (MYSQL, PHP, XML-RPC, SOAP, RSS) is not
something one would expect to see in a book on scalability in our iaas/paas/automatically sharded nosql/json/single page webapp world,
however it is still a good book and I have enough notes after reading it to justify the time spent.
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Great overview of the different types of considerations you need to be mindful of when building scalable web applications. Breadth valued over depth, but there are whole books on most of the topics covered, so it's worth the read as an introduction to mega-app issues. ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Funny time back to 2006. Having the book back in the time, wow man, so much knowledge and experience. Overview of more advanced approaches (replication, web services authentication) can be still useful nowadays.
Omar Espinosa
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Right now this is a very very dated book. I has some historical value, as it helps you to remember how things were done several years ago. One example is that it discusses magnetic spinning disks a lot.
Ala' Abuhijleh
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent book. it covers most of scalable website aspects. Very practical and enriched with examples. however, the flow of ideas is not clear and some topics are prematurely concluded. It also misses to cover important issues related to scalable website e.g. caching engines
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Guía muy completa sobre el proceso de creación de un website escalable y exitoso. Desde el modelo MVC hasta trucos para escalar mysql.

Toca todos los niveles de detalle, y aunque sea del 2006 todavía es actual. Muy bien escrito, toca todos los temas importantes.
Tim Chase
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fpl, geek, web, database
Excellent & approachable guide for scaling websites; Chapter 4 is a bit long & out of place, but rest is high-quality stuff
Presley Acuna
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
A good one to add to your bookshelf, if you are a web-techie. Contains useful knowledge, clearly presented.
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Some useful tips drawn from experience for scaling a high traffic web application.
Jeff Jia
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Cal seems not to be a good writer, and the book is poorly written.
Daryn Nakhuda
Aug 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: web engineers
A little dry (and I love this topic). Good information is contained within, and it's a good read for web engineers. ...more
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ops-production
Great book from the front lines.
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