andhow writes "Practically any time I hear a large software system discussed I hear "X is a #%@!in mess," or "Y is unmanageable and really should be rewritten." Some of this I know is just fresh programmers seeing their first big hunk o' code and having the natural reaction. In other cases I've heard it from main developers, so I'll take their word for it. Over time, it paints a bleak picture, and I'd be really like to know of a counterexample. Getting to know a piece of software well enough to ascertain its quality takes a long time, so I submit to the experience of the readership: what projects have you worked on which you felt had admirable code, both high-level architecture and in-the-trenches implementation? In particular I am interested in large user applications using modern C++ libraries and techniques like exception handling and RAII."