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Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software [Hardcover]

Erich Gamma , Richard Helm , Ralph Johnson , John Vlissides
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 31 1994 0201633612 978-0201633610 1
Capturing a wealth of experience about the design of object-oriented software, four top-notch designers present a catalogue 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 catalogue 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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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 Inside Flap

This book isn't an introduction to object-oriented technology or design. Many books already do a good job of that. This book assumes you are reasonably proficient in at least one object-oriented programming language, and you should have some experience in object-oriented design as well. You definitely shouldn't have to rush to the nearest dictionary the moment we mention "types" and"polymorphism," or "interface" as opposed to "implementation" inheritance.

On the other hand, this isn't an advanced technical treatise either. It's a book of design patterns that describes simple and elegant solutions to specific problems in object-oriented software design. Design patterns capture solutions that have developed and evolved over time. Hence they aren't the designs people They reflect untold redesign and recoding as developers have struggled for greater reuse and flexibility in their software.Design patterns capture these solutions in a succinct and easily applied form.

The design patterns require neither unusual language features nor amazing programming tricks with which to astound your friends and managers. All can be implemented in standard object-oriented languages, though they might take a little more work than ad hoc solutions. But the extra effort invariably pays dividends in increased flexibility and reusability.

Once you understand the design patterns and have had an "Aha!" (and not just a "Huh?") experience with them, you won't ever think about object-oriented design in the same way. You'll have insights that can make your own designs more flexible, modular, reusable, and understandable - which is why you're interested in object-oriented technology in the first place, right?

A word of warning and encouragement: Don't worry if you don't understand this book completely on the first reading. We didn't understand it all on the first writing! Remember that this isn't a book to read once and put on a shelf. We hope you'll find yourself referring to it again and again for design insights and for inspiration.

This book has had a long gestation. It has seen four countries, three of its authors' marriages, and the birth of two (unrelated) offspring.Many people have had a part in its development. Special thanks are due Bruce Andersen, Kent Beck, and Andre Weinand for their inspiration and advice. We also thank those who reviewed drafts of the manuscript: Roger Bielefeld, Grady Booch, Tom Cargill, Marshall Cline, Ralph Hyre, Brian Kernighan, Thomas Laliberty, Mark Lorenz, Arthur Riel, Doug Schmidt, Clovis Tondo, Steve Vinoski, and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock. We are also grateful to the team at Addison-Wesley for their help and patience: Kate Habib, Tiffany Moore, Lisa Raffaele, Pradeepa Siva, and John Wait. Special thanks to Carl Kessler, Danny Sabbah, and Mark Wegman at IBM Research for their unflagging support of this work.

Last but certainly not least, we thank everyone on the Internet and points beyond who commented on versions of the patterns, offered encouraging words, and told us that what we were doing was worthwhile. These people include but are not limited to Ran Alexander, Jon Avotins, Steve Berczuk, Julian Berdych, Matthias Bohlen, John Brant, Allan Clarke, Paul Chisholm, Jens Coldewey, Dave Collins, Jim Coplien, Don Dwiggins, Gabriele Elia, Doug Felt, Brian Foote, Denis Fortin, Ward Harold, Hermann Hueni, Nayeem Islam, Bikramjit Kalra, Paul Keefer, Thomas Kofler, Doug Lea, Dan LaLiberte, James Long, Ann Louise Luu, Pundi Madhavan, Brian Marick, Robert Martin, Dave McComb, Carl McConnell, Christine Mingins, Hanspeter Mossenbock, Eric Newton, Marianne Ozcan, Roxsan Payette, Larry Podmolik, George Radin, Sita Ramakrishnan, Russ Ramirez, Dirk Riehle, Bryan Rosenburg, Aamod Sane, Duri Schmidt, Robert Seidl, Xin Shu, and Bill Walker.

We don't consider this collection of design patterns complete and static; it's more a recording of our current thoughts on design. We welcome comments on it, whether criticisms of our examples, references and known uses we've missed, or design patterns we should have included. You can write us care of Addison-Wesley, or send electronic mail to design-patterns@cs.uiuc.edu. You can also obtain softcopy for the code in the Sample Code sections by sending the message "send design pattern source" to design-patterns-source@cs.uiuc.edu.

Mountain View, California - E.G.
Montreal, Quebec - R.H.
Urbana, Illinois - R.J.
Hawthorne, New York - J.V.

August 1994



0201633612P04062001


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Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic, and still the best Aug. 13 2002
By Jase
Format:Hardcover
From all other people's reviews, you have already known this is the classic text on the subject of design patterns. This is indisputable so I don't need to waste time trying to prove it again.
However, I would like to say something to those readers who are totally new to design patterns and C++/Smalltalk -- please do not be intimidated by the seemingly terse, dry and difficult style of this book. Since I myself am new to the world of design patterns, I would like to share with you my own experience and hope you can make a better decision when you pick your design patterns book.
"Design Patterns" is the classic text; its style is academic-oriented, rigorous, and terse. Unlike most popular computer books, you will find reading this book takes a lot of thinking, for each paragraph or even each sentence. Most examples used in this book are adapted from real world systems popular many years ago, so you will likely find you're not familiar with them at all. Moreover, some examples are related to GUI programming, so if you're mainly programming for backend, you will probably feel it's tough to understand some of the examples. Most code example in the book is written in C++ (some in Smalltalk.) If you're a Java programmer and have limited knowledge in C++, it might take you some time to guess what certain C++ syntax means.
These all seem to be negative comment, but my conclusion is to the contrary -- this is the BEST book in the area, and you should read it despite of all the issues I mentioned above. I started my design pattern learning by using a couple of other books, such as "Java Design Patterns: A Tutorial", "Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design", and "Applied Java Patterns".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable May 1 2004
Format:Hardcover
It is to my eternal shame that I have been a computer scientist for this long, but before this January, I had never been exposed to the Gang of Four's DESIGN PATTERNS. In a few short months, the patterns I have learned from this book have become invaluable. I've already started going back through my legacy code looking for badly designed structures and have gradually been upgrading my work. If only I had known about this stuff years ago, I could have saved myself time, both during the creation of code and now, when I'm maintaining it.
Software patterns are a way of preventing the programmer from reinventing the wheel. Many of the patterns discussed in this book are refinements of procedures that have been tried and tested thousands of times over the years. The idea is that by studying these prototypes, we can save ourselves time by standing on the shoulders of those noble computer scientists who came before us. And it really works too. Reading about these patterns instantly drove into my head all the places in the past where I should have been using an elegant pattern as described here, rather than the ramshackle, jury-rigged solution I created. And I even learned more about the patterns that I was already familiar with. Every Java programmer knows about, say, Iterator, but I found it fascinating to read about how powerful that little routine can be.
The book is divided into three main forms of patterns: creational patterns, structural patterns and behavioral patterns. The patterns discussed span all portions of an object's life (the book is geared towards Object-Oriented Programming). We learn the best way of creating objects, the best way to have them communicate with other objects, and the best way to have them running their own algorithms.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect anything new, but read it anyway Nov. 12 2003
Format:Hardcover
A lot of people who work in Industry have left this book on the shelf, "because I picked it up and didn't see anything really new." That is the whole point behind this book. Design Patterns creates a common language for discussing designs that are common enough to have a core "pattern" modelled after them. By naming the patterns, old programmers will have names to express their designs so that others can understand them in a programming language independent way. If you are a new programmer, a lot of these ideas may be new to you, but if nothing is new, there is still value to this book (the now-standard names for these patterns). This book does an excellent job of elevating object oriented design discussion beyond merely talking about "inheritence" and "polymorphism", and into talking about the tradeoffs of the "Singleton" vs the "Document" pattern for global variable replacement (and why the Command pattern should always be used in multithreaded environments). That being said, if you are an experienced programmer, don't expect a lot of new material in here, feel free to skim chapters, etc. Just make sure you learn the names for the things you do every day so that the rest of the programmers on your team can understand you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Oct. 13 2003
Format:Hardcover
I have heard numerous accounts from programmers of varying experience levels on how this particular book and set of concepts changed the way they approach object-oriented software. Object-oriented software is about object interaction, implementation is trivial in a system where a reasonable framework is set.
Good object-oriented design, it is true, existed before Design Patterns was introduced, but it is the way object-oriented design was given a set of commonly agreed intuitive names of generic object traits that this piece of holy software scripture earned its place in the 5-star-league. By discussing and using agreed concepts, the processes involved with design, implementation and refactoring can be exposed to a much broader audience, because applying these naming conventions in code implies desired functionality. The approachable, yet rigorously thought-out guidelines in this book further makes reviewing code more efficient because comparison against tested design approaches can be utilized, pointing out many common pitfalls.
A word of caution. This work is very inspirational, and junior level programmers might, upon leafing through this book, emerge even too enthusiastic on applying generic design on systems where simpler approaches would be more logical.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, important concepts [presented in a lucid manner
Outlines solutions to common design problems and and helps one build a repository of design ideas for most situations.
Published on June 15 2009 by Simardeep Ahuja
5.0 out of 5 stars Très bon livre
Ce livre est très bien fait et demeure un très bon ouvrage de référence. Read more
Published on March 21 2009 by Fanfan Latulipe
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic
10 years ago this book revolutionize the way programmers see object oriented programming. At that time, it was essential to read it. Read more
Published on May 29 2007 by Olivier Langlois
5.0 out of 5 stars Great job
Great job guys. This book is pretty interesting for OOP. I'm sure those in search of a good structure can use it. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2005
2.0 out of 5 stars Fall asleep while reading this book
There is nothing new here for an experienced developer. It MAY be useful for fresh graduates but I am not sure. Read more
Published on July 5 2004 by Rui Jiang
5.0 out of 5 stars Changes The Way You Think
After a few years of OOP, a co-worker of mine suggested I read this book. After glancing through it for a few minutes I knew this book was full of content that would make me a... Read more
Published on July 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Will change the wake you develop software
When I first saw this in the bookstore, I didn't really know what to make of it. Intending only to glance quickly through it, I found myself immersed in the new and exciting world... Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Taddese Zicke
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that applies to virtually any language
I picked up this book at the recommendation of another book (Guru's Guide to Sql Server Stored Procedures) and was surprised at how well what it teaches applies to the languages I... Read more
Published on May 22 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Way overrated
This book serve mostly as historical note. In its time pepole use to think that "the answer" is OOP/OOD. If this book prove anything is that OOP/OOD is NOT the answer. Read more
Published on May 7 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A ground-breaking book that needs to be updated
Design Patterns was originally published in 1995 and is now on its 27th reprint.
It is the seminal work in Object Oriented programming. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by Scott Powell
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