Head First Design Patterns

Author: Eric Freeman & Elisabeth Robson
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 676
ISBN: 978-0596007126
Print: 0596007124
Kindle: B00AA36RZY
Audience: Intermediate Java programmers
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Mike James

 

This book has reached its 10th Anniversary edition, which has been updated for Java 8. 

 

 

The short version of this review is - “this book is very good", but you might just be one of the minority that is irritates to the point where you simply don’t agree with this conclusion.


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The time and effort spent on creating the book is obviously above average. Like all Head First titles, it has pictures of people with speech bubbles representing what you might want to say or ask the authors. It has asides, footnotes, margin notes, diagrams, listings, annotations – in short it must have been a nightmare to layout. In addition the language and style is “cute” and, well, stylish. If you don’t like the style then you might not read sufficiently far to discover that it is also educational. I almost fell into this trap and it took quite a few pages of reading to convince me that I was wrong.

Having explained what a desing pattern is and the advantages of using one, basically not having to reinvent the wheel every time, the following patterns are covered in a dedicated chapter:

  • Observer
  • Decorator
  • Factory
  • Singleton
  • Command
  • Adapter & Facade
  • Template Method
  • Iterator & Composite
  • State
  • Proxy

A final chapter is devoted so some of the practicalities of using desing patters and then an appendix titled Leftover Patterns cover a further nine in a couple of pages each.

 

 

This is a gimmicky book that actually works for once. It is an intelligent and well thought out discussion of Java design patterns and if you don’t know what a design pattern is then this is an excellent way to find out. It is also an interesting discussion of object-oriented design. I found that the authors,  often anticipated my reaction to their initial explanations and asked the questions that I would have asked had it been a lecture.

My only real reservation is that for some the information density is too low. Written in a more direct style the book would probably be 200 pages shorter and a much quicker read. As long as you aren’t one of the people who react against the style this is highly recommended.

 

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Getting MEAN with Mongo, Second Edition

Author: Simon Holmes and Clive Harber
Publisher: Manning
Pages: 504
ISBN: 978-1617294754
Print: 1617294756
Audience: JavaScript web developers 
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

The so-called MEAN stack of MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node.js offers the tools for developing data-driven web appli [ ... ]



NoSQL for Mere Mortals

Author: Dan Sullivan
Publisher: Wiley
Date: April 16, 2015
Pages: 552
ISBN: 9780134023212
Print: 0134023218
Kindle: B00VO27P1K
Audience: Techies learning about NoSQL
Rating: 4

Reviewer:  Kay Ewbank

Confused about the range of options on offer from NoSQL? Will this book  [ ... ]


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 September 2017 )