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Constructing the User Interface with Statecharts Paperback – January 17, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (January 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201342782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201342789
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,758,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

  • written quickly and easily,
  • tested using white box techniques,
  • repeatedly enhanced over the lifetime of a system, * modified with a minimal risk of introducing unwanted side-effects,
  • regression tested without the need for full re-tests.

This book provides a practical guide to constructing real user interfaces for real projects. It is primarily written for practicing software engineers, but will also be invaluable to students wishing to gain an insight into user interface construction.



0201342782B04062001

About the Author

Ian Horrocks is a professional software engineer working for BT, where he heads a team of developers designing user interface software.

0201342782AB04062001


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By RA Botha on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
It is important to realize that this book is not about designing user interfaces. It states that quite clearly in the beginning and with a title like this it is not suppose to be. The book assumes that you know some user interface design principles and are applying them in the general screen designs.
Although it is fine that the book assumes you have the design skills, it is unfortunate that it in its examples does not use better design skills. Some of the screens/forms that are constructed in the book could also serve as good examples of how not to apply design knowledge - although there probably are worse. The author makes it clear that the book is not about the design of screens, but using well-designed screens as examples wouldn't hurt. It is however not big enough of a problem to degrade the star rating.
From a practical point of view the approach suggested in this book is very usable. Although one may design a complete system in this way, it will also serve useful in sub-systems and even individual screens. In essence this book deals with the problem that programmers started to face when event-driven programming became the norm. Before event-driven programming could predict the order in which pieces of program code are going to run. With event-driven program the events may happen in any unpredictable order. For the user interface designer this presents challenging problems regarding the currency and consistency of the user interface. This is the main problem addressed in this book.
The approach is based on splitting the presentation issues in two layers: user interface objects and control objects that manages the behavior of the user interface objects. In essence the modeling of the control objects are done using state charts.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
The first real attempt to demonstrate how to construct a rigourous controller layer using UML Statecharts. Adopting the principles in this book will lead to much better quality software with fewer bugs and improved interaction. The only pity is the psuedo code examples. Some real Java or VB would have been better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Most business systems are split into several layers, typically: Presentation objects, Business objects, and Data objects. Most object oriented design books focus on the objects in the business layer and the data layer. This book is different because it is entirely focused on the presentation layer. The book describes how the presentation layer split into two layers: user interface objects and control objects.
The book provides several case studies that show how to design the control objects using statecharts. The statcharts provide a precise description of how the user can interact with the system.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book is essentially advocating a modfied model-view-controller architecture, and using statecharts to design the controller objects. The statecharts are being used to coordinate the behaviour of user interface components in the system. If you use the method described in this book then what you will get is a precise picture of the behaviour of your controller objects. The book is good because it actually shows you how statecharts can be used to model the dynamic aspects of your system rather than just describing the syntax of statecharts. It provides useful advice on how to code and test statecharts. It also makes some useful extentions to statecharts such as prioritised events, parametised states, and transient states. The book would be better if it emphasised the use of components more - but don't let this put you off.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Kaye on August 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really learned quite a lot from this book about statecharts, enough even to write my own book using the concepts to build device simulations (Flash MX for Interactive Simulation)!
The author gives compelling arguments for adapting the design methodology, and walks the reader through progressively more complex examples. The author's writing style is easy to read yet not fluffy or wordy.
If it were not for two points, I would have given this book 5 stars. First, I think he does not tie in the idea of the UCM (User interface, Control object, and Model layer) into the statecharts enough to show how they might fit together, or maybe I'm just a little dense. Second, his nod to coding statecharts should have been left out of the book -- it really didn't help me figure out how to code the charts by any means. In my book, I explore these areas pretty thoroughly.
All in all, though, a very worthwhile read that I recommend to all my colleagues who want to learn about the power of statecharts.
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