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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic, and still the best
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...
Published on Aug. 13 2002 by Jase

versus
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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. The authors have collectively made major contributions to every aspect of computer science and software development. Heck, the book is still not available in soft cover.
It is well organized and greatly informative. The...
Published on April 1 2004 by Scott Powell


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic, and still the best, Aug. 13 2002
By 
Jase (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (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". I chose these books mainly because they seem to be much easier to understand than "Design Patterns". However, after spending time in these alternative books, I found none of them offers the accuracy and depth as "Design Patterns". Often, after I read a chapter of the "easy" book, I feel I am still kind of lost. I seem to have understood the pattern I just learned, but then I feel it's not quite so. I guess I only learned the pattern in a superficial way, with little depth, and without being part of "big picture." Later, I turned to the classic, "Design Patterns". I forced myself to sit down and try to understand the authors' terse and rigorous writing and their unfamiliar examples. Gradually I found I was getting used to the style and the examples, and I actually started to learn much more from this book than from others. After reading half-way through the book, I felt the rigorous style is actually a big plus for this book, because I can get more accurate and in-depth information.
Therefore, I strongly suggest that you buy and read this book, even if you feel it's difficult to read. Your effort will pay off eventually. Use other books as reference only.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, May 1 2004
By 
Andrew McCaffrey (Satellite of Love, Maryland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (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. It really encourages the writing of clean code. Decoupling objects is the order of the day, and while I already knew vaguely that this was a good idea, this book showed me why exactly this is desirable, and equally importantly, it showed me how best to implement it.
I was introduced to this book by enrolling in an excellent class, which walked us through the various patterns. Given that the book has a tendency towards dryness, I would recommend this learning method to anyone. The examples proposed on these pages are, perhaps, a little esoteric and can at times be obscure. Because the book was written way back in the dark ages of 1994, the sample code is written in C++ and Smalltalk; we can assume that if this same book were written today, Java would reign supreme. An instructor who has used these patterns in real applications should be able to provide the student with a plethora of easy-to-understand scenarios, to really drive home how and where these patterns should be implemented.
Again, don't let the relative age fool you; get this book and take a class that explains it. If you can't find a class that teaches from this, then try to learn on your own. The skills you'll pick up from this will be immensely rewarding. Just be prepared to have the inevitable realization of: "Oh, so that's what I should have been doing all this time! Now where am I going to find the time to go back and fix it?"
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A ground-breaking book that needs to be updated, April 1 2004
By 
Scott Powell "scott_powell" (Santa Monica, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
Design Patterns was originally published in 1995 and is now on its 27th reprint.
It is the seminal work in Object Oriented programming. The authors have collectively made major contributions to every aspect of computer science and software development. Heck, the book is still not available in soft cover.
It is well organized and greatly informative. The writing style is clear and all but novice programmers should have no problem getting through the book.
But if you are buying the book to learn Java or C#, work mostly on database and web applications or are only going to buy one book on the subject, this may not be the best choice.
We really need a second edition from these leaders of OO programming.
The book is still 100% accurate and correct. But its contemporary audience was probably other computer scientists and experienced programmers who wanted to learn the emerging model. Accordingly, the book's code samples are in C++ and Smalltalk. The authors usually show the application of each pattern by solving problems from the GUI application development world. In 1995, designing portable windowing systems was probably the hottest project around (the Wintel world was still on 3.11 remember).
Thanks in no small part to Design Patterns, developers have tackled the challenges of windowing. Now, developers are probably more focused on the Internet, database portability and web services. They are using new OO languages like Java and C# (and C++).
An audience trying to work through those problems with those languages may find the book just slightly out of reach. Or at least somewhat indirect: you have to make up your own Java code samples and figure out how some of the patterns that solve GUI portability might facilitate database portability.
Of course the point of the pattern is that it can be reused to solve all kinds of problems. But it's easier to learn the patterns if the book covers the problems you are trying to solve.
Depending on your goal, this feedback on Design Patterns may not be a problem. The book is clearly written, informative and accurate. And if you have the budget for a great reference work, Design Patterns is still the seminal text on the subject. As a hardcover, it looks impressive on the bookshelf.
Other shoppers might look for another title more applicable to their specific needs. Someone trying to learn Java, for example, might consider Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies, Second Edition, instead.
Hope this helps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, important concepts [presented in a lucid manner, June 15 2009
By 
Simardeep Ahuja (Ottawa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
Outlines solutions to common design problems and and helps one build a repository of design ideas for most situations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Très bon livre, March 21 2009
By 
Louis-simon Houde (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
Ce livre est très bien fait et demeure un très bon ouvrage de référence. Il m'a beaucoup appris et a amélioré grandement la structure de mes programmes. Avant de lire ce livre, je ne comprenais pas vraiment les avantages de l'orienté objet même en ayant lu plusieurs livres et en ayant eu des cours sur ce sujet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, May 29 2007
By 
Olivier Langlois "www.OlivierLanglois.net" (Montreal, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
10 years ago this book revolutionize the way programmers see object oriented programming. At that time, it was essential to read it. In fact, I remember that employers were testing candidate knowledge on design patterns at job interviews. Today, I consider this book as a classic that I would recommand to read for everyone that has just learned object oriented programming but it is less essential than it used to be as design patterns knowledge has spread in the litterature and you could even learn about them just by working on existing code. That being said, this book is still very valuable even for people that already know about patterns. I am on my second reading after many years of using the design patterns and I am picking up new insights that has escaped my attention at the first reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great job, Feb. 14 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
Great job guys. This book is pretty interesting for OOP. I'm sure those in search of a good structure can use it. On the other hand a book that I think everyone will agree is even more fascinating is The System by Roy Valentine. Guaranteed to enhance the skills of even the best geek out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Changes The Way You Think, July 4 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
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 better problem solver. Without even knowing it, I was using patterns explained in this book. By reading this book though, I was able to make my problem solving skills better. I looked at writing software a whole different way after reading this book. For example, the "Proxy" helped me make sense ofo the NSProxy class in AppKit, and as a result I was able to make better sense of distributed objects. Anyone who does any sort of software development NEEDS this book. I recommend having two, one for the office and one for home! :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will change the wake you develop software, June 5 2004
By 
Taddese Zicke (Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
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 of design patterns.
The first 70 pages or so of the book take you through the creation of MS Word type of word processor showing you the patterns used to achieve its design. The rest of the book serves as a reference for the 24 design patterns, and includes small examples, as well consequences of each pattern.
If you have not yet studied design patterns, then I suggest you begin with this book. You can not survive in a true development environment without them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that applies to virtually any language, May 22 2004
This review is from: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)
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 use most of the time, VB.NET and Transact-Sql. The other book had a chapter on design patterns in Transact-Sql and showed how some of the ones in this book as well as a few new ones were common in Transact-Sql stored procedures.
Thanks to that book and this one, I now look at code differently and know a pattern when I see it. Even for non-OOP languages, this book is a godsend for those who care about design.
The book is also extremely well written and as clear as it possibly can be. I read through it the first time over a weekend and came away charged up and ready to pattern the world!
I can't apply everything it teaches to my daily work, but enough of it applies that I highly recommend this book regardless of the language your using.
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Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by John Vlissides (Hardcover - Oct. 31 1994)
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