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Element Design Patterns

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 959
Author/s    : Jason mcSmith
Publisher   : Addison Wesley
Category   : Design Patterns, UML, and Refactoring
Review by : Wendy Gibbons
Rating        : 1 horseshoes

I am not sure who this book is aimed at. The introduction feels like it is aimed at experienced developers, yet the actual body of the book states facts that are so basic anybody who has done OO for more than 6 months should already know it.

The introduction uses the decorator pattern as example for some of his concepts, it presumes you already know what the decorator pattern is.
Then he moves onto describing the Elemental Design Patterns, one of these is "create object", you may think I am talking about a new variant of the factory pattern but nope he means How about the "Retrieve" pattern, hopefully you have set your ideas low enough now to realise this is get something from another class.

Then he moves onto using his elemental design patterns into "intermediate design patterns" one of these is the "Fulfill Method" this is writing the method details for an interface method.
I have to confess I gave up at this point, as everything else seemed to be appendices.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 959
Review by : Mohamed Sanaulla
Rating        : 6 horseshoes

The Elemental Design Patterns are a result of the System for Pattern Query and Recognition(SPQR) project. Having roots in a research project the book tends to have a research thesis like attention to detail and this kind of puts off the developer who looks to gain quick knowledge or a a quick benefit out of the reading.
If you want to learn design patterns, then this is NOT the book for you.

This book:
- is all about decomposing a pattern into its components until it gets to basic part.
- reading about the basic aspects of OO like Objects, Inheritance, Abstractions.
- contains few examples of using the basic components to derive patterns.

The bottom line is- You get to learn what it takes to derive a pattern and also understand the components of existing patterns.

Some things I against the book:
- Too much of theory to read, the quantity of text might be because the author has tried to explain the concepts in detail.
- Might be irrelevant for a seasoned developer.
- Not really different from the book which explains the design patterns.
- PIN diagrams make things unnecessarily complicated.
- Basic concepts have been presented with some complicated names.
- Code Examples are predominantly in C++ with some samples in Java, Objective C, Python.

You would read this book:
- If you want to understand everything below a pattern. Something like applicable to a research student in patterns.

I wouldn't recommend this book to any developer interested to learn about the patterns. They might be misguided by the title, but for sure its not something you would find useful for your day to day coding work. Lot of Design Patterns books which cover these patterns do explain how they are derived and people pursuing learning of patterns should have already been familiar with basic OO Concepts.

I would give 6 out of 10 for its research content, new techniques like PIN diagram and effort to automate the identification of patterns in the codebase using the concepts of EDPs explained in the book.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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