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Florian Pilz (Bolton, UK)
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Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design (Software Patterns)
Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design (Software Patterns)
by Alan Shalloway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not about design patterns, but about good design, 19 Jan. 2010
The target of this book isn't to explain Design Patterns. It tries to teach you about good design by applying well-known principles (strong cohesion, weak coupling, ...) and by explaining several possibilities to order your thoughts.

The book is really easy to understand, too easy for me. The author repeats himself very often in the first half. The first third of the book is an slow introduction to what will come (his intentions, absolute basic thinking and definitions, an example which will be used later on and a chapter about design patterns in building).

These were the reasons I disliked the book in the beginning, it becomes constantly better after the Facade Pattern. He explains all patterns very well, so I think everybody will understand it. It can get somewhat boring if you know the pattern already or already have a responsibility-like thinking of objects (like I did).
Nonetheless I fould at least something interesting in every chapter, most often observations of his own practice were helpful.

What I found most interesting was the Bridge Pattern (really good explained) and the Analysis Matrix (a way to develop a good system from scratch, I liked it more than his CVA-approach [Commonality and Variability Analysis], because CVA is just proper OO-thinking).

His linkage to XP / agile development is generally just "works with agile development, too". What he refers to is most often the style of thinking.

To summarize: Even if I didn't found this book exciting from page to page, I fully agree with his opinion. Nothing in this book is false (I think thats an important thing to say about a technical book).
His quotes from other books are really gorgeous, they explain everything in short. His definitions made in the beginning are very good and neat (cohesion, coupling, aggregation, ...) I liked the recommodations in the end, it's always good to have an opinion on some books to know what to read next.

Whom I recommend this book:
He often refers to the old style of OO-thinking (nouns and verbs) and tell how to improve your OO-thinking to his new style. So I would recommend this book to everyone who already was involved in some projects, but doesn't know Design Patterns at all or is used to the old OO-thinking. I wouldn't recommend this book to beginners, because imho you need some experience to understand why patterns are helpfull or the way of thinking is superior.
If you already know some patterns and have a responsibility-like OO-thinking, this book will bore you most of the time. But like said, it's not wrong and there is a nugget around sometimes, e.g. the Analysis Matrix.

In the end I found it worth reading.

I expected more patterns, thats why I will read the classic Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software next.


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