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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an easy read
This is an excellent book. I have read other books on design patterns including Design Patterns Explained by Shalloway Trott and whilst it was a good book it was rather a dry read.

By contrast the Head First book although looking a bit like a Design Patterns for Dummies type book by the cover does indeed cover the same material but in a way which is definetely...
Published on 15 Aug 2006 by C. CLARK

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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Can See Why People Like It, But....
With all the raving my fellow reviewers have done about this book, you'd think it was God's gift to software engineering. But it has some downsides. Firstly, although the patterns it teaches you are useful for all OO languages, the implementation of them and some other knowledge this book uses is Java-specific. OK, so needed a real language they needed for their examples...
Published on 6 Jun 2007 by Mr. Stephen Jones


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an easy read, 15 Aug 2006
By 
C. CLARK "Web Developer" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
This is an excellent book. I have read other books on design patterns including Design Patterns Explained by Shalloway Trott and whilst it was a good book it was rather a dry read.

By contrast the Head First book although looking a bit like a Design Patterns for Dummies type book by the cover does indeed cover the same material but in a way which is definetely easy to read and hopefully better to remember.

Where the book excels is in it's examples which clearly show you where you may wish to apply a paticular pattern which is really the key to the whole field. There may be more exhaustive books on the market but this one explains the key patterns and more importantly the principles behind them well.

I'm a C# programmer and the fact it's a Java book doesn't really make a difference. The code samples are almost exactly the same as they would be in C#. On a few occasions it does make reference to paticular Java classes to show examples of patterns in use (e.g. Iterator) but it's easy enough to relate these to their .NET equivalent and even if you can't it doesn't really matter.

All in all the most enjoyable computer book I have ever read and thoroughly recommended if you want to start learning about Design patterns and their use.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book - now!, 26 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
Before reading this book I was not that passionate about programming. I could knock out some code and get things to work which was fine. After reading this book my thinking has been changed forever...this book presents ways in which you can write slick, elegant code....and get more of a buzz out of your work because you know how to do it better. It's easy to read, entertaining and best of all it sinks in without you straining trying to stay awake.
The different patterns are presented in each chapter. The chapter begins with a problem scenario and then proceeds to follow the thoughts of a developer as to how to implement the solution. A solution using basic programming techniques is used first which would work, and then the design pattern is used to show how the problem could be solved in a way that would make the code easier to maintain and extend. In amongst all of this are puzzles and games that allow knowledge to sink in, and detailed explanations of class diagrams and code.
A day after reading a few chapters of this book I was able to look at code in my workplace, and could immediately see how to improve it.
The designers of the book did all the hard work so that we wouldn't have to. Brilliant.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment, 27 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
Ok, if you work in a big consultancy your boss/client may not want to see this on your desk.
If you can read the GOF patterns book, then you dont need it. If like me, you know patterns are good, but you quickly lose the will to live when seeing yet another esoteric UML diagram describing a pattern, then get this book.
One important way that this book differs from others I read, is in the examples. These actually look like something you might write and the final example using many of the major patterns was superb.
Oh, and this book is funny.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best software book I've bought, 2 Aug 2006
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This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
ESSENTIAL reading if you develop or test OO software. You can read this book cover to cover (not something I'd recommend for the GoF book, unless you are actually a computer). Use this book to learn the concepts quickly, then use the excellent GoF book for reference. If you're already familiar with and have used a lot of OO patterns this book is not for you, however, if you want to learn how to design and write more robust, elegant and maintainable code, read this book now! It will even show you why some areas of the Java API have been built the way they are.

Warning: this book contains some cheesy jokes and slightly wacky examples, but you will not be worried about that when you get to the last page and realise that virtually all of it is stored securely in your mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, easy and oh so interesting - Design Patterns?, 6 Feb 2005
By 
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
I have been struggling with Design Patterns and trying to remember them and how to use them, but this book seems to unveil all the secrets and really help you remember how to use them.
The book really is unique in it's approach and consequently make the information stick into the grey matter.
Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for PHP 5 users too, 23 Nov 2006
By 
John Baldock (York, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
I ordered this book before I read that the examples inside it are written in Java. I do not have any knowledge of Java, the only language I know is PHP.

However this was not a problem as the code in the book is minimal and is very focused on the design pattern being explained at the time. If you have knowledge of object oriented programming then I'm sure this book will be good for you. It is an absolute Gem!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 12 Nov 2005
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
After reading some of the reviews for this book I had high hopes for its content and I wasn't dissapointed! this is easily the most well written computer book on my shelf.
I never really use Java and mostly use C# however I don't think it matters what language your used to using as this book concentrates more on the design principles of OOP rather than the how to apply it to a particular language, however the syntax between the two are so similar it didn't take long to pick it up.
If you understand the basic's of OOP Abstraction, Encapsulation, Polymorphism, Inheritance... but want to find out how best to apply these to create robust and extensible applications then I definitely recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - but why is it so Java-oriented?, 24 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
Having read several books on design patterns before, and ending up no wiser than before, this book was a refreshing change. Even without the wacky style (which I liked a lot), the explanations were clear, and the samples realistic enough to be useful, without being boring.

So my overall opinion of this book is that it's easily the best design patterns book around, and essential reading for anyone who wants to do Grown Up Programming.

Having said that, I have a very serious complaint about this book, which is why I gave it four stars not five.

Design patterns are language agnostic, so you can use them equally well in any true OO language. Given that Java is (probably) the most widely-used OO language around today, it made sense to give the samples in Java. I don't think anyone could complain about that.

However, why oh why did the author have to make it SO Java-oriented? A lot of the book kept referring to the JVM, and using the Java console and so on. This was unnecessary and annoying to us non-Java programmers. The chapter on the Iterator pattern made it even worse by using a Java-specific feature, without any real explanation of how to do it in other languages.

Even this might not have knocked it off the five-star rating, had it not been for the chapter on the Proxy pattern, which was basically useless to non-Java programmers, as instead of showing how to implement it in a neutral way, they used a Java-specific one, which doesn't help the rest of us. Although the description of the pattern was good, it wasn't clear enough how to implement it in other OO languages, and I ended up skimming most of the chapter.

So, the book was brilliant, but if you aren't a Java programmer, be prepared for some disappointing bits. The annoying thing is that it would have been SO easy to have written the book to apply to any OO language, and just add some notes as to how specific languages have extra features that can help.

So well done guys, but how about a revised version of the book that appeals to everyone? Why do you assume that only Java people are interested?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the presentation style, 28 Mar 2007
By 
C. White "Carl" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
So many of my colleagues are sniffy about this book when they see its cartoon-like presentation. However, don't be put off. The team of authors are exceptionally clever people who have found great ways of engaging both sides of your brain to make this information make sense and really stick.

Of course, if you're as concerned about your reputation as I am, you can read it on the train and hide it when you're at work. I bet your grasp of patterns will be more practical and applicable than some of your sniffy colleagues who like to quote more obscure works!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best design patterns book, 18 Oct 2005
This review is from: Head First Design Patterns (Paperback)
I have bought many design pattern books and found all of them dull - but not this one! It explains the patterns with excellent examples that makes you REMEMBER and UNDERSTAND them. I wish all computer books were like this!
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