Social Architecture: Building Online Communities, Pieter Hintjens, 2016


This book is an all-in-one primer for anyone aiming to build on-line communities. It covers the theory of Social Architecture, and the tools you need to build a community. It explains the ZeroMQ community in detail, including its collaboration process (C4). This is a powerful book for anyone building an Open Source community, or an on-line community in other areas.

Google Books

Available on GitHub, the book is CC-SA.


Hintjens is the founder of the ZeroMQ open source software community, as well as several movements around anti software patents. The book collects his experiences and thoughts on open source software community building. He died of cancer October 4, 2016.

He has strong views on the BSD “permissive” licenses vs the copyleft GPLs wrt to how ZeroMQ is integrated into systems. is still online with all of his writing

Quoted in the article:

Today we face another software crisis, but it’s one we don’t talk about much. Only the largest, richest firms can afford to create connected applications. There is a cloud, but it’s proprietary. Our data and our knowledge is disappearing from our personal computers into clouds that we cannot access and with which we cannot compete