Modeling Software with Finite State Machines: A Practical Approach

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0849380860
ISBN-10: 0849380863
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Auerbach Publications (May 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849380863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849380860
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,368,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazonian on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As others have added, the first 1/3 of this book is a very opinionated editorial on the software industry, the middle 1/3 a pretty good presentation of state machines, and the final 1/3 simply a sales pitch for Stateworks.

My biggest disappointment is that there is little in the way of code examples demonstrating their principles in this book. Obviously, they would rather you buy Stateworks instead.

Stateworks - I think you'd be crazy to stick a proprietary black box bunch of code into a major project, but that's just me. No idea what the license costs, but the price of this book as the the main sales literature isn't cheap.

Suggest checking out the SMC compiler at: smc dot sourceforge dot net. This open source code combined with some of the general design principles found in this book set me on my way. If you can't afford the book, you'll probably do pretty well with just the SMC material.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Nash on December 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent for making the reader understand how a complete software application can be easily controlled using state machines, simplifying the architecture. The writing can be hard to follow sometimes and the authors make claims about areas they are not expert in that are clearly false but when it comes to state machines and developing applications using them, they clearly know what they are talking about. Just skip the non-state machine parts of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Boyd-Madsen on August 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The title "Modeling Software with Finite State Machines", and the accompanying web-site [...], proclaim a new and fabulous way to design, develop and implement software-solutions. This method, so the authors state, will bring the engineering back into software development.

To my mind, those statements are ludicrous, very biased and uninformed and so it made it really very hard for me to read the book. The tendentious style penetrates pretty much the entire first third of the book. As however I needed a good overview of practical use of state-machine (for a non-hardware problem), I persevered.

Chapters 4, 8 and 9 gave me what I needed, though again the material is presented in a pseudo-academic, know-it-all style. The academic material on Finite Automata I have read tends to be pretty impractical, whilst this book takes a practical approach and as I get the impression, that the authors are experienced in their fields, that was good enough for me.

The last third of the book (Chapters 10 to 17), focus on StateWorks. As I do not intend to buy that product, this gave me little information I could use.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Su on July 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The subject of this book is probably one of the most written about in software industry.

The first three chapters is authors' view on just about every thing in software development including a brief rundown of programming languages (with healthy dose of authors' anecdote), and (somewhat biased) a view of development methodologies including Agile.

The rests are introduction to FSM, discussions about Moore and Mealy machines, design considerations and case studies. Finally in Chap 10 is about the StateWorks, the software they're selling (By purchasing this book you're entitled to a copy of their light version of StateWorks software. I didn't evaluate the software)

The book takes pragmatic approach to design and analysis of state machine. There are a lot of practical advises, considerations that could only have come from many years of experience applying the principle in practice. On the other hand, I don't think the first three chapters serve any purpose to the entirety of the book. Thus I'm giving a four star.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jz3 on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Extremely difficult read:
This book appears to have been written by four world class experts in the field of Finite State Machines; apparently only one of which was born in a first-language-English country. Their target audience seems to be the other four world class experts of Finite State Machines.
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