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Flow-Based Programming - 2nd Edition [Kindle Edition]

J. Paul Morrison
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $69.95
Kindle Price: $28.99
You Save: $40.96 (59%)

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Book Description

Written by a pioneer in the field, this is a thorough guide to the cost- and time-saving advantages of Flow-Based Programming. It explains the theoretical underpinnings and application of this programming method in practical terms. Readers are shown how to apply this programming in a number of areas and how to avoid common pitfalls. This is a revision of the original book, describing a number of related approaches and uses of the technology that have developed since the book first came out.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul was born John Paul Rodker, the son of John Rodker, writer, translator, and publisher, and the artist, Barbara Stanger McKenzie-Smith, in London, England. His name was changed to Morrison by deed poll when his mother remarried. He was educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he studied Anthropology and Archaeology. He joined IBM UK in 1959, moved to the US where he worked for 5 years, and then moved to Canada and became a Canadian citizen. He retired from IBM in 1992, worked for a bank for 2 1/2 years, and then as a contractor for 10 more years. He now lives in Unionville, Ontario.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1530 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004PLO66O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TFlow based programming - it is the future? August 8, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the single most valuable book on programming that I purchased in the last ten years.

If you are a programmer writing conventional programs using standard programming languages such as C++ and Java you've probably learned the hard way that concurrency is hard, that code usually isn't reusable, and that translating design into actual programs is a lot of work. There is a better way; it's called flow based programming.

In this book Morrison explains the principles of flow based programming. Conventional programs are structured around the flow of control; flow based programming is based upon flow of data. In FBP applications are developed by creating a network of components. Each FBP component acts like independent mini-process with input and output ports. Information is transferred between components using data flow channels. Systems are built by specifying the flow of information in the system.

Flow based programming promises easy and natural concurrency, real reusability, and easy translation of design into code. It's an attractive idea, but does it work? Morrison says yes and shows us how and why. This is a distillation of decades of experience with real life systems. It talks about structuring components, structuring networks, and building applications.

It also discusses the relationship of the flow based paradigm to other programming paradigms such as object oriented programming and functional programming. In the final sections it surveys other languages and projects that are conceptually related.

The one complaint that I have with the book is that it does not have an index.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Be careful not to take the information here at face value. There are sound ideas to extract from the book, but they're often embedded in horrible ones. I'm not convinced that the author has written more than one program in their life, and that was in the 1970's. When he contrasts "Flow Based Programming," which has nearly enough in common with the Actors model so as to be indiscernible, with "traditional programming," I'm pretty sure he means "assembly," because anything that he suggests is difficult in traditional programming is trivial to do with language standard libraries in 2013, even in C.

That said, it's a very interesting and fruitful paradigm, both for its potential for visual programming and for inherent concurrency, so its a shame that this is the only real source on it.

The Kindle edition has no useful ToC and no valid page number references. For this reason, I wanted to return my copy, but it was too late. I recommend you read the free first edition on the author's website, for the perspective that it can provide if you haven't been exposed to similar ideas before (Actors, Dataflow,) but don't waste your money on the second edition, as not much has changed (although it definitely should have.)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is the world not using Flow based programming? February 8, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I coincidently ran into this technique while researching some efficient coding and design styles. I have to say the first time I read about FBP , i knew this is how I want to develop my applications going forward. As the author Mr. Morrison rightly said, it brings us close to the "lego programming" that we all have been dreaming for. It's the best programming book I have read in 12 years of my programming life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FBP is revolutionary ... October 18, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book is great for showing why historicaly and technical how is FBP different-better than conventional programing paradigm.

Now we need book which will be tutorial for FBP in one modern environment, for example NoFlo/NodeJS/Browser/JavaScript/CoffeeScript etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book November 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is how I thought programming should be done since the first time I tried to write a program. Very interesting. I really hope the this becomes the new way to program.
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More About the Author

Paul was born John Paul Rodker, the son of John Rodker, writer and publisher, and the artist, Barbara Stanger McKenzie-Smith, in London, England. His name was changed to Morrison by deed poll when his mother remarried. He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Eton College, and then King's College, Cambridge, where he studied Anthropology and Archaeology. He switched to the expanding computer field, starting to work for IBM UK in 1959, moved to the US in 1963, and then moved to Canada 5 years later and became a Canadian citizen. He retired from IBM in 1992, worked for a major bank for 2 1/2 years, and then as a contractor for 10 more years. He now lives and consults in Unionville, Ontario.

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