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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Developing Quality Technical Information

Authors: Michelle Carey et al
Publisher: IBM Press
Pages: 624
ISBN: 978-0133118971
Print: 0133118975
Kindle: B00L7ZKJ26
Audience: Those who produce technical documentation
Rating: 3.5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This book gives clear and well written advice on how to write technical documentation, though yo [ ... ]



Introducing Python

Author: Bill Lubanovic
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2014
Pages: 478
ISBN: 9781449359362
Print: 1449359361
Kindle: B00PHTRLO2
Audience: Not beginners 
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James 

Python is a popular first language and it is used by many first courses in programming. An Int [ ... ]


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 September 2017 )