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Head First Design Patterns Paperback – Nov 4 2004


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Head First Design Patterns + Head First Java + Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design: A Brain Friendly Guide to OOA&D
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 694 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Nov. 4 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007126
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 20.1 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By yukondude on June 15 2006
Format: Paperback
Oh sure, we've all got the Gang-Of-Four Design Patterns books on the shelf, right up there next to Knuth. I'd yank down my dusty copy whenever I needed to look up what a fellow coder meant by Facade or Visitor. (Actually, the short description of the patterns on the inside front cover usually was enough to fake my way through the rest of the conversation.)

In contrast, I charged through Head First Design Patterns in all of about two days. It was my first exposure to the breezy diagram- and photo-laden Head First series. You could consider the non-text portions to be just so much tree-killing fluff, but I found them a pleasant respite from what is, at heart, a pretty dry subject.

There were more than a few times during my reading that I sat back, whistled, and said aloud, "so that's how that works." The book covers the most common patterns from GoF in an incremental order. I was disappointed that some patterns were lumped in the last "Leftover Patterns" chapter because I would've enjoyed the authors' take on them, particularly the Flyweight pattern, a personal fave.

Examples are illustrated using Java. That's definitely an improvement over the templated C++ in GoF, but it does illustrate a failing: the old-school object-oriented languages like C++ and Java needed patterns to solve common problems. The latest batch of OO/functional languages like Python and Ruby have little use for some patterns, and add new patterns all their own. For instance, what use is there for an iterator pattern in Ruby that uses closures to loop? Why bother with factory patterns in languages with first-order functions and class objects?

That opinion aside, patterns are still an everyday matter for the OO practitioner, and Head First Design Patterns is a superb introduction to them.
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By Lap Luu on July 5 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Print copy gets 4 starts. -1 star for the Kindle version due to difficulty viewing diagrams.

Decent book on design patterns, with tons of illustrations and games to help reinforce design patterns. They are repeated in many different ways to help you remember them, though I found its approach childish at times, speaking down to the reader. If you found the Gang of Four book to be dry and academic, this book is precisely the opposite. Tons of pictures. A pi

Get the print copy though. I've gone through this book twice. The first was a print copy that I borrowed from a colleague, but when I participated in a book club, I figured it was time to buy this book for myself. This time I chose the Kindle version because the horrible cover frequently drew comments from my wife and others. The Kindle version does not do well with complex illustrations and class diagrams and requires you to use a computer or colour tablet to get reasonable visibility to the diagrams. Many diagrams on the Kindle are very faint and do not stand out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book to understand OO design patterns and when to use each, this is for you. The stories in the book show how each pattern can be practically used. If you really want to understand various patterns and are not afraid of reading lengthy books, this is a good investment!
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By Antoine Cloutier on Aug. 20 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book the learn design patterns while "having fun".
This book doesn't overwhelm you with scientific terms and what not.

Great book for starters.
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By Andreas on July 9 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is absolutely simple. Exercises are fairly helpful. Small asides are good reminders for the concepts.

Overall a great book for programmers that never use design patterns but still get GoF for a much deeper understanding of these patterns.
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Head First Design Patterns gets you up to speed on this vital topic. Perfect for the beginner and an excellent resource for even the most accomplished OO designer this book provides easy-to-understand examples, and covers a wide range of patterns. If you are looking for a book that you can truly learn from then this book is for you.
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While I think it greatly helps that this book happens to fit my skill level perfectly (I know everything it assumes I know, and I don't know most of what it assumes I don't know), it is really amazingly well designed as a learning tool. There are some books (like the GoF book that this is based off of) that are such an unbelievable chore to absorb, requiring a monumental effort to get anything out of, but Head First Design Patterns is built specifically to avoid that exact problem.

Normally, we see low-level books that are written in an accessible manner, with high-level books written pretty much ignoring accessibility, leaving the reader to fend for himself. But it doesn't have to be that way. Head First Design Patterns is a high-level book written to be accessible. You will be floored by just how fast you can read this book, and just how fast you can learn what it teaches.
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