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Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software Hardcover – 31 Oct 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Design Patterns is based on the idea that there are only so many design problems in computer programming. This book identifies some common program-design problems--such as adapting the interface of one object to that of another object or notifying an object of a change in another object's state--and explains the best ways (not always the obvious ways) that the authors know to solve them. The idea is that you can use the authors' sophisticated design ideas to solve problems that you often waste time solving over and over again in your own programming.

The authors have come up with some ingenious ways to solve some common vexations among object-oriented programmers. Want to build a page-layout program that embeds inline images among characters of various sizes? How about building a program that converts files of one format to another? Chances are, some programmer already has thought of a better solution than you will and the recipes you need are here. Solutions are presented in generalised diagrams of data and logic structures. The idea is that you can take the concepts presented here and adapt them--in whatever language you use--to your individual situation. You may have to read some of the chapters several times before you fully understand them, but when you find a solution in this book, it will make your job easier and your results more elegant. --Jake Bond

From the Back Cover

Capturing a wealth of experience about the design of object-oriented software, four top-notch designers present a catalog of simple and succinct solutions to commonly occurring design problems. Previously undocumented, these 23 patterns allow designers to create more flexible, elegant, and ultimately reusable designs without having to rediscover the design solutions themselves.

The authors begin by describing what patterns are and how they can help you design object-oriented software. They then go on to systematically name, explain, evaluate, and catalog recurring designs in object-oriented systems. With Design Patterns as your guide, you will learn how these important patterns fit into the software development process, and how you can leverage them to solve your own design problems most efficiently.

Each pattern describes the circumstances in which it is applicable, when it can be applied in view of other design constraints, and the consequences and trade-offs of using the pattern within a larger design. All patterns are compiled from real systems and are based on real-world examples. Each pattern also includes code that demonstrates how it may be implemented in object-oriented programming languages like C++ or Smalltalk.



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Format: CD-ROM
This book is compulsory reading with no real competition.
However it's very badly written. People often mention (without complaining? ) of what a lot of hard work this book is. In fact almost all the patterns are easy to grasp, but rubbish explanations in conjunction with inconsistent use of terminology and weak examples obscures each pattern to the extent that the reader's brain soon falls out of their head.
I can't point to any one example in the book since they are all as bad as each other. But re-reading the visitor pattern finally inspired this diatribe.
I can't understand how these guys have got away with it. It's absurd. There must be an unimaginable number of people who have given up on Design Patterns due to this book, seminal or not. What a shame. The value of patterns is almost incalculable.
If only Odell & Martin or Martin Fowler would condescend to give us something readable!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've worked in the IT industry exclusively since 2006 when I graduated from university. This book was required reading for the Design Patterns module I elected to do. Back to 2010 and I've found myself doing more OO and re-factoring of some complex code bases. I picked up my copy and realised just how out-dated the examples are, especially for developers using Java / C#. The examples might be more relevant to C++ developers but I find the book really heavy going and quite hard to digest.

Design patterns are not difficult and books like Head First Design Patterns are better introductions to Designs Patterns than the GoF book. Unfortunately the Head First series does not cover all the patterns in the GoF and the Head First book is not designed to be a reference book. That said I remember much more of what I read when compared to this text.

Unfortunately there is no alternative that provides essential coverage of some of the most common patterns used day to day.

In short if your new to patterns and have a limited budget go for the Head First Book, while not a reference its a much gentler introduction.
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Format: Hardcover
This book really changed my way of thinking about object-oriented design. The idea is that when designing a new class hierarchy, though implementation details may differ, you often find yourself using the same kinds of solutions over and over again. Rather than approaching each design task out of context as an individual, isolated problem, the strategy is to study the task and identify the underlying design pattern most likely to be applicable, and follow the class structure outlined by that pattern. It's a "cookbook" school of design that works amazingly well.
There are other advantages to this book. It isolates 23 of the most common patterns and presents them in detail. You wouldn't think that 23 patterns would be enough, but once you become adept at recognizing patterns, you'll find that a large fraction of the patterns you use in practice are among these 23. For each pattern, the book carefully presents the intent of the pattern, a motivating example, consequences of using that pattern, implementation considerations and pitfalls, sample code (C++ or Smalltalk), known uses of that pattern in real-world applications, and a list of related patterns.
Upon first reading, you will start to recognize these patterns in the frameworks you see. Upon second reading, you'll begin to see how these patterns can help you in your own designs, and may also start to see new patterns not listed in the book. Once you become familiar with the pattern concept, you will be able to originate your own patterns, which will serve you well in the future. One of the most valuable contributions of this book is that it is designed not merely to help you identify patterns, but to give you a sense of which patterns are appropriate in which contexts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As you will have guessed from the other reviews this is required reading but if you do find it hardgoing I'd recommend reading "Design Patterns Explained" which is a lighter introduction ("Applying UML and Patterns" by Craig Larman is also useful for this).

Once you get the patterns, and more importantly once you understand why they are good designs, I would recommend looking at "Pattern Hatching", "Agile Software Development (2nd edition)" and "Refactoring to Patterns" which cover the use of patterns.
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Format: Hardcover
The book commonly referred to as just "Design Patterns" begins with an introduction to Object Oriented Programming and continues with a catalog of design patterns. I wouldn't recommend this book as your first OOP book, but I believe that once you have a basic understanding of OOP, you can try to cope with some of the basic Design Patterns in this book. If you are an advanced OO programmer, it's helpful to just quickly review any pattern you're about to implement and examine possible implementation issues.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is not an easy read and will only make sense if you know an OO language, understand polymorphism and are prepared to loosen your grip on your hacking axe. If you are hell-bent on smacking your keyboard like a demented monkey then this is not the book for you. The patterns in this book will, however, help you with anything from speeding up build times (try using 'bridge' to insulate commonly used classes) to using polymorphism to implement state behaviour (try 'state'!). Buy the book or a banana - the choice is yours.
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