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Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Design in UML [Paperback]

Meilir Page-Jones
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 3 1999 020169946X 978-0201699463 1
Reveals to aspiring and experienced programmers alike, how to apply design concepts, the UML, and the best practices in OO development to improve both their code and success rates with objectbased projects. Softcover. DLC: Object-oriented programming (Computer science)

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From the Inside Flap

"You say you want some evolution. Well, you know, I'm just doing what I can."
-- Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

People who reviewed this book in its draft form had several questions for me, questions that perhaps you share. Let me address some of them.

I'm a programmer. Why should I care about design?

Everyone who writes code also designs code -- either well or badly, either consciously or unconsciously. My goal in writing this book is to encourage people working in OO -- and their number increases annually - to create good object-oriented designs consciously and prior to coding. To this end, I introduce notation, principles and terminology that you and your colleagues can use to evaluate your designs and to discuss them meaningfully with one another.

I'm not yet an OO programmer. Will this book teach me an OO programming language?

No. Although I occasionally swoop down close to code, this isn't a book on object-oriented programming.

But if I'm learning an object-oriented language, will this book help?

Yes, it will. If you don't currently know an object-oriented programming language, you can begin your object-oriented knowledge with Chapter 1. Knowing the key concepts of object orientation will speed your learning an object-oriented language and, I hope, boost your morale as you move into unfamiliar territory. The later chapters of the book, on sound design, will also help you in getting your early programs to work successfully. On the other hand, if you're already an experienced object-oriented programmer, you can use Parts II and III of the book to enhance the design skills that are vital to your being a rounded, professional software designer or programmer.

Why aren't the code examples in this book in C++?

I've written the code in this book in a language of my own devising, which is a blend of four popular languages: C++, Eiffel, Java and Smalltalk. I did this because there are two kinds of programmers: those who are fluent in C++ and those who aren't. If you're a C++ aficionado, then you'll find the code a breeze to translate into C++. If you're not familiar with C++, then you might have found the language's arcane syntax getting in the way of the examples. I'd like you to feel welcome in this book whatever your programming language might be.

However, there is a fragment of Java in this book. I used Java because it's more accessible to a non-Java programmer than C++ is to a non-C++ programmer. Why isn't this book devoted to the design of windows, icons and menus? There are two reasons: First, I don't believe that object orientation is useful only for the design of graphical user interfaces. Second, there are many books on the market devoted solely to the topic of object-oriented window design. I want this book to cover topics that are not well covered by the other object-oriented books on the market. However, in Chapter 7 I offer some notation for window-navigation design.

Is this book about a methodology?

No. As you know, a development methodology contains much more than design. For example, there's requirements analysis, library management and so on. Also, a true methodology needs to explain how the various development activities fit together. A lot of stuff!

So, instead of turning out a book as diffuse as many other books on object orientation, I decided to focus on a single topic: object-oriented design.

You've said a lot about what this book isn't about. What is it about?

It's about the fundamental ideas, notation, terminology, criteria and principles of object-oriented software design. Object-oriented software is software that comprises objects and the classes to which they belong. An object is a component in which methods (which are like functions or procedures) are organized around a set of variables (which are like data). A class implements a type defining the group of objects that belong to that class. The above modest sentences hold some surprising implications for software designers and programmers, implications that arise from the design concepts of inheritance, polymorphism and second-order design. But, since you asked a specific question, let me give you a specific answer.

Part I of the book (Chapters 1-2) provides an introduction to object orientation. Chapter 1 summarizes the key concepts and demystifies "polymorphism," "genericity," and all the other OO jargon. Chapter 2 sets object orientation into the framework of previous developments in software. If you're already familiar with object orientation (perhaps by having programmed in an object-oriented language), then you can skip or skim Part I.

Part II (Chapters 3-7) covers the Unified Modeling Language (UML), which has become the de facto standard notation for depicting object-oriented design. In passing, Part II also illustrates many of the structures that you find in object-oriented systems. Chapter 3 introduces the UML for depicting classes, along with their attributes and operations. Chapter 4 covers UML for hierarchies of subclasses and superclasses, associations, and aggregate and composite objects. Chapter 5 sets out UML for messages (both sequential and asynchronous), while Chapter 6 covers UML for state diagrams. Chapter 7 reviews UML for system architecture and the windows that form a human interface.

Part III (Chapters 8-14) covers object-oriented design principles in some depth. Chapter 8 sets the scene with the crucial notions of connascence and level-2 encapsulation. Chapter 9 explores the various domains that "classes come from" and describes different degrees of class cohesion. Chapters 10 and 11 form the central pillar of Part III, using the concepts of state-space and behavior to assess when a class hierarchy is both sound and extendible. Chapter 12 offers some light relief, as it examines designs taken from real projects, including both the subtle and the absurd. (Chapter 12 is really about the dangers of abusing inheritance and polymorphism.) Chapter 13 looks at some ways of organizing operations within a given class, and explains design techniques such as mix-in classes and operation rings that will improve class reusability and maintainability. Chapter 14 rounds off the book by taking a stab at the old question: "What makes a good class?" In answering this question, Chapter 14 describes the various kinds of class interface, ranging from the horrid to the sublime. A class with an exemplary interface will be a worthy implementation of an abstract data-type. If the class also obeys the fundamental principles laid out in earlier chapters, then it will be as robust, reliable, extensible, reusable and maintainable as a class can ever be.

Chapter 15 traces the development of an object-oriented component for a business application. In following the component's construction, I recall some of the object-oriented principles of the previous chapters. Although I've added plenty of examples, diagrams and exercises to reinforce what I say in the main text, I must admit that the material in Part III gets tough at times. Nevertheless, I decided not to trivialize or dilute important issues. Some aspects of object-oriented design are difficult and to suggest otherwise would be to patronize you. Anyway, I know you can take it!

Does this book cover everything in object-oriented design?

I very much doubt it. Each day, I learn more about object orientation, and I'm sure you do too. Indeed, it would be a dull world if a single book could tell us everything about object-oriented design and leave us with nothing more to learn. And everything in this book may not be completely true! I certainly changed my mind about one or two things after I wrote my previous books, as I became older and wiser -- well older, anyway.

So, although I think that I've covered many important design principles in this book, if you're serious about object orientation you should continue to read as much as you can and always challenge what you read.

Do you offer courses on object-oriented design?

Yes, we offer several courses on object-oriented topics.

Bottom-line, as they say: Is this book for me?

What kind of question is that? You expect me to say "No!"? But seriously, folks, this book's for you if you are -- or are about to become -- a programmer, designer, systems engineer or technical manager on a project using object-oriented techniques. Even if you're a beginner to object orientation, you can glean a lot from this book by reading Part I, practicing some object-oriented programming and then returning to Parts II and III.

You should also read this book if you're a university student or professional programmer who has mastered the techniques of standard procedural programming and is looking for wider horizons. Much of the book's material is suitable for a final-year computer-science or software-engineering course in object orientation.

But, whatever your role in life, I hope that you enjoy this book and find it useful. Good luck!

Meilir Page-Jones
Bellevue, Washington
July 1999


From the Back Cover

Object technology is increasingly recognized as a valuable tool in application development, but what is not yet recognized is the importance of design in the construction of robust and adaptable object-oriented (OO) applications. With the recent introduction and widespread adoption of the Unified Modeling Language (UML), programmers are now equipped with a powerful tool for expressing software designs. Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Design in UML shows aspiring and experienced programmers alike how to apply design concepts, the UML, and the best practices in OO development to improve both their code and their success rates with object-based projects.

In the first two chapters, best-selling author Meilir Page-Jones introduces novices to key concepts and terminology, demystifying the jargon, and providing a context in which to view object orientation. Part II is a practical and well-illustrated guide to UML notation and to building the most useful UML diagrams. Part III grapples with advanced topics in the testing and improvement of design quality, including connascence, level-2 encapsulation, and the use of state-space and behavior to assess class hierarchies. These design principles are explained and demonstrated without reference to any one design methodology so that they are easily accessible and applicable in a variety of contexts. Programmers and designers learn how to assess and enhance their work as the author walks them through the evaluation of designs taken from actual projects and the realistic example that ends the book.

Readers will come away with a better understanding of object-oriented concepts and of how to design and develop the high-quality software their clients need.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a complete OO or UML fundamentals book Jan. 14 2003
By A Customer
The author uses his own dialect of UML in too many places, Skips Use-Cases all together. The examples are too simplified. It is not fundamental OO because he doesn't define OO terminology as it is in the standards. He gives his oppinion on everything and this colors his explanations and examples.
If you are looking for a beginners UML or OO forget about this book. If you like to read another angle on some parts of the OO or some UML diagrams then this is your book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent OO introduction Aug. 17 2001
After going through a lot of books on subjects, this is one I like to return to. It is excellent book on Object Orientation. Books has a load of fun examples that are as paractical as can be in a book. It also has examples of a bad design, errors etc. The UML part is good, but what makes this book different is OO part, I wish that part was longer. You will find out why coupling is bad, why classes should belong to single domain, how to compare different designs, what are the most common errors in inheritance... Highly recomended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Object-orientation with Principle Sept. 2 2002
Object-orientation is often criticized for lacking a theoretical foundation. While patterns proliferate, principles remain elusive. But the pursuit is on, and Mr. Page-Jones leads the hunt with this fine work.
He catalogs attributes of object-oriented design by which we may intelligently discuss their quality: connascence, encumbrance, cohesion, type conformance, contravariance, covariance, closed behavior, ideal states, ideal behavior, and others. Patterns and anti-patterns are also exhibited, but the distinctive feature is the presentation of principles that all patterns must obey.
Each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary followed by exercises with answers. Be sure to read them all. The exercises are interesting, and the "summaries" sometimes (Chapters 5 and 6, for example) introduce new concepts.
The glossary is excellent. The bibliography is unfortunately not annotated. Some passages are over-peppered with footnotes, especially when their point is merely humorous. Overall the footnotes are valuable and the humor is appreciated.
The text takes care to reference backward and forward to related topics, helping readers to trace their own threads.
Some readers want more details about UML. Part II clearly describes a basic subset of UML probably sufficient for 90% of business scenarios, but many of the fine points are omitted.
Part III treats the reader to a series of thought-provoking discussions of the qualities of good software design. Some of the thoughts provoked involve differences of opinion that this reader would like to describe below. Before doing so, however, he must emphasize first just how valuable he found the time spent considering the ideas of Mr.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Aug. 11 2001
One of the things you'll find in it that is not stressed enough in other books about OOD is state management. Programmers often understand basic concepts of how to design objects and what attributes they should have; few are good at taking complex models that involve state transformations (not just talking FSMs) and coming out with a solid design. Now that the middle tier is taking over, people need to realize that the concepts of data integrity, transactional integrity, even simple transformational integrity are part of the requirements of a good object oriented design. This book is one of the few that even addresses the issue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Java Programmer - 2 years of experience. June 8 2001
By A Customer
This book is simply great. Not only the descriptions and explanations are clear, the reader can find many practical examples as well. There is much more to this book then UML, all fundamentals of OO programming and design are explaned in detail. This book is a must-to-have for all OO folks out there, put it on the shelf next to "Design Patterns". By the way, the author also has excellent sense of humor.
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Very well written and extremely informative. It's giving me just what I hoped for: Clearly expressed key principles of OO design.
The UML stuff is limited - not good for someone really wanting to learn UML, but great for someone wanting to get started and know the most useful stuff for every day work.
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By A Customer
Probably I should have paid more attention at the word "fundamentals" in the title, before buying this book.
The book contains a pretty basic and superficial overview of UML (Part 2), stuffed in the middle of an introduction to OOD/OOP (Part 1), and a description of good OOP principles (Part 3).
Skipping preambles, jokes, and trivial examples, the juicy information about UML can be read through in a couple of hours.
If you are familiar with OOP and you just need a professional tutorial on the UML formalism, you'd better look fo another book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book About Object Orientation Around Feb. 14 2001
By ws__
This is another of Meilir Page-Jones gems. Its enjoyable to read, concise and absolutely trustworthy. Some might find it a little abstract - I just love it. It clearly states what's what in this vague field.
If you want to learn UML as the main goal you should turn to Fowlers landmark book. If you want an alternative turn to Bertrand Meyers "Object oriented software construction". I know it has very, very many pages but its excellent and the second best book around.
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