4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The figure 5.1
I've read a review here, which says that "UML Distilled" 3rd edition has a lot of errors and mention missing figure 5.1 as an example. So I bought "UML Weekend Crash Course" instead, and was very disappointed with it. Then I finally bought this book, and I love it. It describes everything in a clear and simple way. And, by the way, the figure 5.1...
Published on June 19 2004 by Sergey
2.0 out of 5 stars UML 2, but not as we know it!
I disappointed by this, the third edition of UML Distilled. The first edition of this book was clearly rushed out to meet the release of the UML specification and so contained many inaccuracies. However, this is now the third edition and it still has many problems.
The biggest issue is that the author has too many non-standard diagrams. These are helpfully labelled...
Published on Oct. 30 2003
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The figure 5.1,
This review is from: UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) (Paperback)I've read a review here, which says that "UML Distilled" 3rd edition has a lot of errors and mention missing figure 5.1 as an example. So I bought "UML Weekend Crash Course" instead, and was very disappointed with it. Then I finally bought this book, and I love it. It describes everything in a clear and simple way. And, by the way, the figure 5.1 is there on page 67, exactly where it should be.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great at beginning but sloppy at the end,
This review is from: UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) (Paperback)Fowler is one of my favorite writers. This book is a great book that is a must on the bookshelf of any serious developers. However, in spite of its power, which you can read in other reviews, it has some minor problems/mistakes.
Fowler, in this book, reminds me of a good instructor who starts a course very well, but at the end of the semester he just wants to finish all the topics carelessly.
The first eleven chapters are great and very well done, but the problem starts at chapter twelve, specifically when he tries to explain the "Composite Structure Diagram" and the usage of Ball-and-Socket notation in Component Diagram. He fails to do the job, however later on in his blog he tries to justify some of his mistakes. you can find the discussion under Ball-And-Socket post.
Another minor mistake is on page 89, when he confuses the concept of the namespace in .Net. I have seen that most of the people with Java background are confusing the "namespace" concept in .Net with "package" in java. Namespaces in .Net have nothing to do with access modifiers. I believe the more equivalent of packages in java are assemblies in .Net and for the Package diagram in UML one should consider an assembly as an equivalent to a package in the diagram.
The first two editions of the book were very successful, and after releasing the UML 2.0 a new edition, which covers the new elements in UML 2.0, was needed, but it seems Fowler was very busy at the time and he just wanted to upgrade the book in two or three days.
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable and informative introduction to UML,
This review is from: UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) (Paperback)Readable! Excellent intro. On the inside covers, nice quick reference. As a web developer with no UML experience looking for a clearer way to pre-visualize my projects, this book got me going fast and offered perspective on best usage of the UML. The author's experience-driven opinions helped me learn faster. The book is honest about itself in that it admits it doesn't try to offer rare details of the UML that you'll rarely use. It keeps to what you'll use MOST of the time. It delivered 100% of what I was looking for. If you're already using the UML, I still think this is a great read for you.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction,
This is, by intent, a very brief book about a very large topic. Part of its value is in giving the quick tour without dragging the reader through the thousands of pages of OMG specifications. That means a lack of rigor, reinforced by the informal writing style - all very approriate to an introduction.
The UML can be intimidating in its mass and in the level of detail it prescribes. Fowler cuts through all that very well. Best of all, he keeps a slightly skeptical tone. The UML is a tool, meant to serve the developer. It is not intended to take over the development process, so don't let it.
There are just two things I wish this book decribed better. First is the unification problem. The UML offers dozen or so different representations of different aspects of a program's structure and behavior. The question is, how do I get all those representations to relate to each other so it's clear that they describe the same thing? The complete answer may be too long for this book, but this isn't a book about complete answers. A few more clues would have strengthened the discussion.
Second is the discussion of state diagrams. It's a concept that beginners seem to stumble over: what do states really model? The best answer I know is that it describes situations where one input elicits different responses at different times, in different operating modes. The number keys on an ATM keypad are an example: first they represent the PIN, then they choose the banking operation to perform, then they may represent the numeric dollar amount of a transaction. Fowler just says to use state diagrams for "interesting behavior."
It's a good intro to UML with a good (though aging) bibliography. It should not be your only book on UML, but never meant to be. Beginners get a gentle start to a tough topic. Seasoned users can jog their memories on fine points of notations they haven't used in a while. This book really is for everyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars : Good introductory book that covers the basics well,
Martin Fowler has done it again with the third edition of the UML Distilled book. Informative, well organized, quick read and more importantly an easy read. He starts with a background on UML and where it came from, and where it is currently heading. He continues with the introduction with going over what a software process is and why it's needed. The importance and the benefits of how UML can assist the software process during all the phases of the process sets the stage for UML throughout the rest of the book. If you are unfamiliar with software processes such as the Rational Unified Process, Fowler's introduction goes a long way and clear things up.
"... the creators of the UML see the [UML] diagrams as a secondary; the essence of the UML is the meta model. Diagrams are simply a presentation of the meta-model."
Probably the best explanation of UML you can find anywhere. Folwer, from the get go tries to set the stage straight and clear up some of the misconceptions that UML. At the beginning, he focuses on the fact that UML is not the solution to everything a development team faces during a project, but rather a starting point, and "you shouldn't hesitate to use a non-UML diagram if no UML diagram suits your purpose."
Starting with the basics of UML, such as class diagrams and sequence diagrams, Fowler delves into the basics of UML and mainly the critical components on UML 1.0. A very controversial topic in UML and mainly the class diagrams are the notion of Aggregation and Composition. Aggregation being the part-of relationship and composition being an object with only one owner are depicted well thru a number of examples. For simplicity, Fowler suggests the aggregation be entirely dropped from diagrams.
5.0 out of 5 stars exactly what I wanted,
1.0 out of 5 stars drive-by publishing is full of errors and misinformation,
By A Customer
The author's informal style glosses over the numerous errors in the book. This is not standard UML (1 or 2). Often the most important concepts of UML are shown in only a single diagram and discussed very briefly, while the author's pet peeves and non-standard adaptations of UML are elaborated for pages.
There are several outright errors. E.g., just try to find figure 5.1, it is not there!
This book seems to be part of an effort to cast UML as being defined by celebraties, specifically Fowler, Booch, Jacobson, Rumbaugh, and some of the XP advocates. Repeatedly, individual preferences are shown to superceed the standard. UML is not a cult of personality, it *is* a standard notation. The whole point of UML is to have one notation that students, professionals, and tool vendors can agree on.
2.0 out of 5 stars UML 2, but not as we know it!,
By A Customer
The biggest issue is that the author has too many non-standard diagrams. These are helpfully labelled "non-normative", and are an odd mix of UML 1, UML 2 and some other bits and pieces that the author likes. Now what is the point of this? These diagrams won't be supported by UML 1 tools, or by UML 2 tools, so how is one to draw them? Also, the non-normative diagrams do not have a metamodel or any well-defined semantics, so even if one were to build a tool to support their syntax, their semantics would still be open to debate.
The next issue is that many of the UML 2 diagrams are syntactically incorrect (e.g. the use of dependencies rather than connectors in composite structures). Perhaps this is because the author was writing the book while the UML 2 specification was still being developed. Personally, I would rather he had waited a bit rather than give us something only partially baked.
The discussion of UML syntax implies that UML as a visual language is much less powerful and complete than it actually is. For example the very brief discussion of sequence diagrams misses out most of their important new features. You don't learn about combined fragments, references, gates or parameters (although some of these are mentioned in passing). Yet these are the things that make UML 2 sequence diagrams so much more powerful and useable than they were in UML 1. In fact, the sequence diagrams in this book look like they have been translated directly from UML 1 sequence diagrams without applying any of the new features.
The discussion of UML semantics is generally disappointing. UML 2 has tied UML semantics down very tightly - it has had to do this because of MDA. However, in this book you get the impression that much of it is still quite vague and open to interpretation - hence the "non-normative" diagrams.
On the whole, the level of detail is, in many cases, too low to be useful even in a "distilled presentation". For example, you get 2 pages on interaction overview diagrams, and in this you lean that the author hasn't really worked out how to use them effectively and doesn't really care for them anyway. Yet these diagrams are important. They give us, for the first time, the ability to string together isolated interactions into workflows in a precise way.
On the whole, I can't recommend this book. Try "UML 2 for Dummies" instead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Improved 3rd Edition,
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point,
By A Customer
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UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) by Martin Fowler (Paperback - Sept. 15 2003)
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