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Object-Oriented Software Construction (Book/CD-ROM) (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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More About the Author
He is the initial designer of the Eiffel method and language and has continued to participate in its evolution. He also directed the development of the EiffelStudio environment, compiler, tools and libraries through their successive versions.
His latest book, published in May 2014, is an irreverent, in-depth introduction to agile methods: "Agile! The Good, the Hype and the Ugly", the first book to take a critical look at agile development and sort out the productive and damaging ideas.
His previous book is an influential an introduction to programming, "Touch of Class: Learning to Program Well, Using Object Technology and Contracts", based on more than a decade of teaching introductory programming at ETH and now supported by a MOOC (http://se.ethz.ch/mooc/programming).
Earlier books include "Object-Oriented Software Construction" (a general presentation of object technology, winner of the 1998 Jolt Award); "Eiffel: The Language" (description of the Eiffel language); "Object Success" (a discussion of object technology for managers); "Reusable Software" (a discussion of reuse issues and solutions); "Introduction to the Theory of Programming Languages". He has also authored numerous articles (see publication list) and edited or co-edited several dozen conference proceedings, including the 2005 "Verified Software".
Other activities include: chair of the TOOLS conference series (running since 1989, hosted at ETH since 2007, next year session in Malaga, Spain); director of the LASER summer school on software engineering (taking place every year since 2003 in early September in Elba island, Italy); member, and chair since 2009, of the IFIP TC2 committee (Software technology); member of the IFIP Working Group 2.3 on Programming Methodology; member of the French Academy of Technologies. He is also active as a consultant (object-oriented system design, architectural reviews, technology assessment), trainer in object technology and other software topics, and conference speaker.
Awards include ACM Software System Award, IEEE Harlan D. Mills prize, Fellow of the ACM, Dahl-Nygaard Prize, and an honorary doctorate from ITMO University(Russia).
Prior to founding Eiffel Software in 1985, Meyer had a 9-year technical and managerial career at EDF, and was for three years on the faculty at the University of California. His experience with object technology through the Simula language, as well as early work on abstract data types and formal specification (including participation in the first versions of the Z specification language) provided some of the background for the development of Eiffel.
At ETH Zurich he pursues research on the construction of high-quality software (see Web site of the Chair of Software Engineering at http://se.ethz.ch).
Top Customer Reviews
(1) it spends a lot of time discussing particulars of the Eiffel language or the considerations leading Meyer to design Eiffel as he did. Observation: Even if you skip these parts, you could find useful information in the rest of the book, and many people may enjoy these insights into Meyer's approach.
(2) the attitude is often rather dogmatic and judgmental. As one authority commented on the first edition, it "tends to confuse Eiffel with universal principles." Observation: though unfortunate, this does not detract from the value of the content.
(3) If you don't know any object oriented language, the book is a natural choice, since it is very clear and does not require prior knowledge of any particular language.
(4) If you know another OO language, especially C++, you may get more for your time and money by choosing another book, at least to start. But you still could find valuable material here. For alternatives, you might check out the comments on Gamma's Design Patterns and Martin's Designing Object-Oriented C++ Applications: Using the Booch Method, or standard books by Booch, etc.
Hence my advice is to read it once, put it aside, and re-read it again.
Learning OO efficiently means forgetting what you know (or think you know) about OO and trying to follow the Author's idea, and how his views on software engineering interact. You don't have to agree with the Author right away to learn from him.
Of course, not everyone can use Eiffel. But only the concepts matter, not their actual implementation. And if you think this book's leitmotiv is "Look how Eiffel is the purest language that embodies all the necessary concepts" (how convenient!), then recall that Eiffel indeed started as a notation and only evolved towards an implementation after the fundamental concepts were layed down. Therefore, no wonder Eiffel seems a natural fit!
The audience for this book is any experienced (5 years or more) software engineer, or software architects, whith an experience in designing complex systems and making them evolve over time. Some technical background is required though, otherwise you may only see things superficially and miss the underlying gems.
Remember that OO is not a static technology, so to speak. Its natural support for encapsulation and evolution is what makes it an ideal technology in today's modern software management.
Read this book again!
Meyer has a very engaging writing style: very clear, with lots of good (and humorous : ) examples. And the Eiffel language itself seems quite simple, readable (it was obviously influenced by ADA) and brilliantly designed (think of Java, but with multiple inheritance, generics, and without the run-time inefficiency of the java virtual machine).
But whether you program in Eiffel, Java, C#, or C++, OOPSC2 has alot to offer in terms of OO software design, and a good understanding of the issues behind inheritance, polymorphism, the importance of static typing, and dynamic binding.
For example, I program in C++, and this book has helped me clearly understand the object-oriented features of the language, because in clearly explaining the principles, it helped me understand the intentions of the C++ language designers.
May be my only complaint, at perhaps half a star, is the fact that Meyer often weighs in heavily against other languages for their shortcomings, while going easy on his own Eiffel language. For example, he failed to give an objective analysis regarding the run-time costs of garbage collection. Indeed, the chapter on garbage collection seemed more of handwaving defense of the fact that Eiffel uses this technology.Read more ›
Other reviewers have mentioned that Meyer was unable to separate OO principles from the Eiffel language used as the book's notation. I disagree with that analysis, though perhaps he went further into describing the notation than was necessary to make the basic point in a few instances. As a reader, I was never left in confusion about which points were conceptual and which were notational.
I also appreciate the fact that this book was NOT written using a more popular language. The above criticism would have been more true but less noticed if he had. A more familiar langauge would have distracted readers from the real topic. It is useful to learn about priciples that are not directly supported in C++ or Java. Such a presentation helps you more effectively apply the features of the language that you are using and the other features can often be simulated when it seems useful to do so.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes, this is the definitive tome which gets cited everywhere on Object-Oriented design for information hiding and design by contract. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Paul Jarrett
Thanks for all, it was a real pleasure to buy this product from you, I gladly recommended to all. Wish you the best!Published 11 months ago by thalassa
This book is truly a treatise for object oriented development. In fact, it's arguably the most comprehensive and profound OO development book on the market. Read morePublished 19 months ago by geewhiz
I knew what I was getting into when I got this book, i.e. that it was a large book that described OO principles while teaching Eiffel surreptitiously. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Brad Neufeld
I found a copy of this book in a university library and had high hopes though a bit dismayed by the heft of the book at some 1220 pages. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Richard Chambers
I am working on my programming skills and i was recommended this book. I have books for C and Design patterns.Published on October 30, 2013 by jason s arnold
Before now, I've only had "programming for dummies" books that take you through basic syntax, data types and some library objects and is generally very suitable for... Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Silverdawn
Single best book on software development I have read. Keep coming back, it repays study.Published on August 19, 2010 by Willem J. Homan
After reading the first couple of hundred pages, I felt something was not right. The notation the author used to explain his OO theories seemed like I was actually being forced to... Read morePublished on October 7, 2008 by Clint Pachl