For more than a decade, Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, has been a standard text about object-oriented development. Although Design Patterns was published in 1994 by Addison-Wesley Professional, it continues to be the most popular text in the categories of “Software Design, Testing and Engineering," and “Software Engineering" on Amazon. Students and professors both look to this text as a unique, practical and instructive book. It is recommended by many computer science professors for their classes — for example, a class at Loyola University in Chicago and one at Washington University in St. Louis — as a primary or supplemental resource for their students.
Computer engineers and anyone studying in related fields appreciate the insights offered in Design Patterns. The Preface describes the books role succinctly: “The book isn’t an introduction to object-oriented technology or design. … This isn’t an advanced treatise either." The book is unlike any other work available within the field of object-oriented design.
Design Patterns contains 23 patterns, which were previously undocumented. These are first described, along with their usefulness for computer engineers. They then are systematically named, explained, analyzed and cataloged. After understanding the concept of a design, software developers will have more freedom to overcome problems in their work.
Each of the 23 patterns contained within Design Patterns is presented by an accomplished expert in the field of object-oriented design. The four authors who collaborated together were Erich Gamma, John Vlissides, Ralph Johnson and Richard Helm. Erich Gamma co-wrote the JUnit software testing framework, led the design of Java Development Tools and worked on the IBM Rational Jazz project. Ralph Johnson works as a Research Associate Professor within the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The late John Vissides worked for years at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, New York; he also published several books and magazine articles. Richard Helm is respected as an expert in this field. Together, these authors are known as “The Gang of Four."
Design Patterns is available in a variety of formats. In addition to the paperback and hardcover editions, digital and multimedia versions are offered. It is available on Amazon’s Kindle, as well as in a multimedia CD version and an online format.
The CD-ROM edition of Design Patterns contains the original work in hypertext, along with additional features. It is compatible with any Java-enabled browser. The text, which can be viewed either in a low or high resolution, is accompanied by links to more information. This supplemental material helps readers quickly comprehend the patterns being presented. The text and these links can be searched for keywords.
The online edition of Design Patterns possesses all of the CD’s benefits, with the added ability to copy and paste code directly into programs. This version contains numerous cross-references, which provide a quick means of referencing related notes.
Design Patterns is a standard object-oriented text. While written several years ago, it still provides insights for today’s developers. For maximum convenience, students will likely prefer one of the digital copies to the hardcopies of Design Patterns.
The ISBN numbers for this textbook are 0201633612 (ISBN-10) and 978-0201633610 (ISBN-13).
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The free online textbook How to Design Programs discusses similar areas of programming and software design.