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on 29 June 2000
I think the previous reviewers have been a little bit harsh with their ratings, but I have to agree, this book is not well-written. The description of each pattern is forced into a rigid and rather contrived format, with sections on Synopsis, Context, Forces, Solution, Consequences, Implementation etc. What do they all mean?
I think the problem is that the descriptions jump from a very brief introduction (the synopsis) to quite involved coverage of the various aspects of the pattern, rather than gradually drilling down into the details.
You won't find sentences like 'let's see how this might work in practise', or 'there are a couple of ways we might approach a problem like this'. The text isn't just dry, it's parched. I've just opened the book at random, and found a section (consequences) that begins 'Content determination and the construction of a specific data representation are independent of each other'. Uhuh.
Nevertheless, the content itself is quite good, and as the only book around at the moment discussing patterns in a Java context, it may be worth adding to your bookshelf - particularly if you're looking for a quick introduction to UML at the same time.
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on 6 June 2001
If you are a Java programmer without years of experience, the GoF book may be quite difficult. This book is not as thorough but is a lot easier and has the sample code in Java. This book does adequate job in introducing the pattern concept and the most important patterns to the not-so-experienced coder. If you feel intimidated by the GoF book, buy this first. If not, then you might want to pass this one.
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on 2 July 2001
In my opinion, some of the previous reviewers have been a little harsh.
First off, it isn't for the faint hearted. Ideally you will be an experienced Java developer, and hopefully you will have had some prior contact with UML. If you haven't, the "Overview of UML" chapter is a big help.
As a first step into design patterns, this is an excellent introduction for a professional Java developer. The presentation of each pattern is concise and to the point. Each pattern chapter is divided into sections: "Synopsis, Context, Forces, Solution, Consequences, Implementation, Code Example" and believe me as you get towards the more advanced chapters, you will be grateful for this kind of rigorous consistency in evaluating each pattern.
The code examples are generally well-written and helpful. The example scenarios may seem a little contrived sometimes however. Bottom line is: as an experienced Java developer you have probably come into contact with many of these patterns "informally" in the past, so many of the patterns will be familiar to you - thus the examples will serve to reinforce your own understanding of a particular pattern.
However, you won't get through the book if UML scares you.
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on 20 July 2001
I, too, thought the other reviewers were harsh. I actually prefer dipping into this book than the GOF Design Patterns book as I prefer having a java centric view of the patterns. I find it more concise than "Design Patterns" (which to an other might mean "dry"). If you're looking for an intro to UML as well the UML intro is pretty good. I WOULD recommend this book.
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on 10 September 1999
Covering the three most significant tenets of modern software engineering (Patterns, Java and UML), this book is full of promise, frustratingly however, it fails to deliver. The author has an uncanny knack of turning even the simplest patterns into intellectual exercises. In some cases, the design examples are esoteric and prior knowledge is assumed. The Java code is lightweight in the extreme and the accompanying CD-ROM provides little or no additional information. On a more positive note, the introduction to UML is clear and concise, providing an excellent platform from which to view the book's examples.
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on 31 January 2000
This book is not very good. It describes mainly the patterns which are discussed in 'Design Patterns : Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software' but not in as clear a manner. The emphasis on Java code is worth very little. I would strongly advise anyone looking for a pattern book to buy Design Patterns and anyone who already has Design Patterns not to bother buying this book.
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