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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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Mar 2012 10:59:18 GMT
A very objective review this and basically its bang on, perhaps for a future release the team could rework the book slightly so that it doesn't use language specific features ?

Its the only thing really keeping this book from true greatness.
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