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AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis Paperback – Apr 3 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (April 3 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471197130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471197133
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #443,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

If patterns are good ideas that can be re-applied to new situations, AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis looks at what goes wrong in software development, time and time again. This entertaining and often enlightening text defines what seasoned developers have long suspected: despite advances in software engineering, most software projects still fail to meet expectations--and about a third are cancelled altogether.

The authors of AntiPatterns draw on extensive industry experience, their own and others, to help define what's wrong with software development today. They outline reasons why problem patterns develop (such as sloth, avarice, and greed) and proceed to outline several dozen patterns that can give you headaches or worse.

Their deadliest hit list begins with the Blob, where one object does most of the work in a project, and Continuous Obsolescence, where technology changes so quickly that developers can't keep up. Some of the more entertaining antipatterns include the Poltergeist (where do-nothing classes add unnecessary overhead), the Boat Anchor (a white elephant piece of hardware or software bought at great cost) and the Golden Hammer (a single technology that is used for every conceivable programming problem). The authors then proceed to define antipatterns oriented toward management problems with software (including Death by Planning and Project Mismanagement, along with several miniature antipatterns, that help define why so many software projects are late and overbudget).

The authors use several big vendors' technologies as examples of today's antipatterns. Luckily, they suggest ways to overcome antipatterns and improve software productivity in "refactored solutions" that can overcome some of these obstacles. However, this is a realistic book, a mix of "Dilbert" and software engineering. A clever antidote to getting too optimistic about software development, AntiPatterns should be required reading for any manager facing a large-scale development project. --Richard Dragan

From the Publisher

Patterns are popular in software development and used to identify different types of procedures, designs, or codes that work. AntiPatterns are the exact opposite. They target common mistakes, errors, and people issues that can cause a software project to fail. Despite its negative sounding name, the positive benefits of AntiPatterns are enormous. This book discusses what AntiPatterns are and then provides practical guidelines on how to detect AntiPatterns and the refactored solutions that correct them. The authors discuss over 40 different AntiPatterns in the areas of software development, architecture, and project management.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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AntiPatterns represent the latest concept in a series of revolutionary changes in computer science and software engineering thinking. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 11 2001
Format: Paperback
I can't believe the number of reviews on this site that compared the book to Design Patterns from GOF. If you bought it expecting the same, write yourself the one-star review. This book does have some problems, but it really does a whole lot of things very well.
- It's easy, and fun, to read. The authors expertly inject humor and life into a dead topic. A dull book with good ideas will rot on the shelf.
- It provides a fresh, new angle that has value. We programmers do not learn enough from war stories told around the water cooler.
- It provides the other side of the design pattern. You really do need both, and this industry needed someone to take a stab at creating a template for antipatterns. Consider health care. You need diagnostics and preventative care. Ditto for auto maintenance. Operations research has been built around building models that work while trouble shooting the kinks in a system. The authors did a noble job of seeing the vacuum and stepping up to fill it.
I find it incredible that this book has been slammed for something that it does not pretend to be. If you wrote a one star review because this book was not the second coming of the Design Patterns book, then shame on you. What you will get is a humerous look at some very real problems around software development. The bias is clearly toward project management, and that is a appropriate for a first book on antipatterns. That much was clear to me from browsing the book for a minute or two. Great job, team.
If I had a criticism, it would be that the contributions from the four authors were not better coordinated. After writing two books with two additional co-authors each, I can testify that it is a difficult problem to solve. Still, better coordination could have helped. Five stars for the writing style and the concept. That's why this book is a smashing success.
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By wiredweird on April 25 2004
Format: Paperback
Now that Design Patterns have been in the main stream for a decade or so, the idea is ready for rejuvenation. "Antipatterns" does a good job at its part of that update. The full analytic technique should include
-- patterns (what works well)
-- antipatterns (what fails miserably, sooner or later), and
-- refactoring or reengineering (connecting the two).
So far, that trio hasn't been put together in a systematic way. This book is a fair first stab at the list of common offenders, though. It has an exploratory style - it distinguishes major and minor (mini) problems, while trying out different ways of expressing evils of different scales. It proposes a systematic way to diagnose each problem, identify causes, and overcome the problem that left the mess in the first place. This is all good, even if Brown et al. haven't left the study in its final form.
This book may have lasting value, if only because it's the first to use the "patterns" methodology in studying what not to do. It's good for beginners who haven't seen the messes first-hand, and good for experienced developers who want to systematize their scars and war stories.
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By A Customer on July 14 2003
Format: Paperback
I've gotten a lot of milage out of the GoF Design Patterns book, but like many people, I have seen software where design patterns were applied inappropriately. I was looking for a book that explored some common pathologies of Patterns-based design and suggested appropriate refactorings to overcome them.
Sadly, this book is not the one I was looking for. Large amounts of the book are filled with mindless jargon, or would be better aimed at managment consultants than software engineers. The authors have a bizarre obsession with CORBA, and several of the "antipatterns" seem to be little more than a personal rant about failed CORBA projects the authors have been involved with.
Worse, the antipatterns that discuss software rather than organizational issues are often so poorly written that they are useless. Often they are written in such vague language that you can't figure out what type of system is being discussed. The problem is compounded by facile examples that don't clearly illustrate the problem or the possible solution. The authors can't even manage a clear definition & example of "Spaghetti Code", which any 1st year engineer has probably encountered.
SAVE YOUR MONEY. I'd recommend reading GoF's Design Patterns and Martin Fowler's Refactoring instead of this book.
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By A Customer on July 14 2003
Format: Paperback
I've gotten a lot of milage out of the GoF Design Patterns book, but like many people, I have seen software where design patterns were applied inappropriately. I was looking for a book that explored some common pathologies of Patterns-based design and suggested appropriate refactorings to overcome them.
Sadly, this book is not the one I was looking for. Large amounts of the book are filled with mindless jargon, or would be better aimed at managment consultants than software engineers. The authors have a bizarre obsession with CORBA, and several of the "antipatterns" seem to be little more than a personal rant about failed CORBA projects the authors have been involved with.
Worse, the antipatterns that discuss software rather than organizational issues are often so poorly written that they are useless. Often they are written in such vague language that you can't figure out what type of system is being discussed. The problem is compounded by facile examples that don't clearly illustrate the problem or the possible solution. The authors can't even manage a clear definition & example of "Spaghetti Code", which any 1st year engineer has probably encountered.
SAVE YOUR MONEY. I'd recommend reading GoF's Design Patterns and Martin Fowler's Refactoring instead of this book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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