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Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns [Paperback]

by Kent Beck
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 13, 1996 013476904X 978-0134769042 1
This classic book is the definitive real-world style guide for better Smalltalk programming. This author presents a set of patterns that organize all the informal experience successful Smalltalk programmers have learned the hard way. When programmers understand these patterns, they can write much more effective code. The concept of Smalltalk patterns is introduced, and the book explains why they work. Next, the book introduces proven patterns for working with methods, messages, state, collections, classes and formatting. Finally, the book walks through a development example utilizing patterns. For programmers, project managers, teachers and students -- both new and experienced. This book presents a set of patterns that organize all the informal experience of successful Smalltalk programmers. This book will help you understand these patterns, and empower you to write more effective code.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The real-world style guide for better Smalltalk programming. This book presents a set of patterns that organize all the informal experience successful Smalltalk programmers have learned the hard way. When programmers understand these patterns, they can write much more effective code. The concept of Smalltalk patterns is introduced, and the book explains why they work. Next, the book introduces proven patterns for working with methods, messages, state, collections, classes and formatting. Finally, the book walks through a development example utilizing patterns. For Smalltalk programmers, project managers, teachers and students -- both new and experienced.

From the Back Cover

This book presents a set of patterns that organize all the informal experience successful Smalltalk programmers have learned the hard way. Understand these patterns, and you can write much more effective code. Understand the concept of Smalltalk patterns and why they work. Then learn patterns for working with methods, messages, state, collections, classes and formatting. Walk through a development example utilizing patterns.Smalltalk programmers, project managers, teachers and students -- both new and experienced.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (October 13, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013476904X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0134769042
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for SmallTalkers October 9, 2000
Format:Paperback
Although I've never used SmallTalk and have read only a couple of on-line introduction chapters on Dolphin SmallTalk, I had no problems reading it and applying the patterns in another language like Java, C++ or Python.
Let me put it simple: If you want to learn to think in objects, don't just read the book, do it!
If you have read "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" by Martin Fowler et al. then you'll recognize the thougts presented in this book. In this book the patterns are close to refactorings with a bunch of simple, good, readable and understandable advices to just about every little thing - it's more than a simple style guide: You'll always get told what the raison d'etre is - and if not, where to look for it.
I'm currently using the book as a reference for style of OOP. From a teaching point of view, the book is also extremely useful. Kent Beck likes to ask quistions in a heuristic manner. Because of the simple approach to every day experiences of developing, all the way down to the experiences of beginners, you won't have any trouble answering these quistions. In fact you'll probably start asking quistions to yourself likewise because of the magnicifent way this mind trick works for your way of thinking in objects (or otherwise).
As a developer - doing these patterns - you'll be amazed at how much little things can mean in a much bigger and more complex context, when you develop systems applying OO - especially huge systems.
I am compelled to repeat: Don't just buy it, do it!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the title scare you away January 27, 1999
Format:Paperback
Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns isn't just for Smalltalkers---there's something here for everyone who programs. Kent's insights, experiences, and raw wit are as entertaining as they are enlightening. If you have any passion for programming, in any language, buy this book. Read it. Live it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Before I read Kent's book, my team had a Smalltalk coding guidelines document, a boring, cluncky text that didn't seem to help beginners write good code (mostly there so project quality plans could reference it). After I read Kent's book, I wrote a few team-specific points in the margins and declared it our new coding guidelines document.
Kent's book is a pleasant, readable mix of the obvious that beginners need to know and the clever that experienced Smalltalkers can still learn from. I was surprised at the absence of Booby Woolf's strategy for classifying instance variables (as identity, status or cache; see The Smalltalk Report, June 96) and at how little there was on protocol naming. Otherwise, it seems to cover almost everything at its chosen level (which complements, instead of competing with, that of books like the Smalltalk Design Patterns Companion).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! One of my favorites. April 20, 2000
Format:Paperback
I bought this book years ago from McGraw-Hill in NYC,...but I'd gladly pay double...for it today - don't be fooled by the fact that there are only 240 pages to this small, softcover book. The patterns are concise and the examples, priceless. Although I love Gamma's Design Patterns, if I were forced to be stuck on an island with one choice, it'd easily be Beck's BPP.
I currently use C++ on UNIX in practice (wish there were more Smalltalk & Objective-C jobs out there), but I would still highly recommend this book for any OO-Practitioner: the lessons here can be applied to many different scenarios.
Take this chance to observe the beauty of PURE OO - concise code with the semantic richness and clarity reminiscent of poetry... ...alas, if only code at work were so well crafted!
This is a handbook of OO Programming. Patterns are broken into the following categories: Behavior, State, Collections, Classes, and Formatting. Each pattern is given a question/problem that the pattern answers/solves and references to other patterns are shown with page numbers.
It's definitely one of those rare books that I return to over and over again... ...a classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Smalltalk book June 19, 1998
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book that all Smalltalkers should have. This book should be helpful for beginners in avoiding common programming mistakes.
I am using this book heavily for all software projects I'm in. Instead of wasting time on deciding how to code things, just look at the patterns, then decide and code. The patterns presented in the book simplify software code maintaintenance.
With a little work, many patterns in this book can apply to Java as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, even for non-Smalltalkers June 10, 1999
Format:Paperback
I've never programmed in Smalltalk and probably never will. Actually, I'm not able to write the most primitive program in Smalltalk. Nonetheless, I highly recommend the book to anyone who has (or wants to develop) a sense for understandable and aesthetic code. Most of the advice applies to any programming language and even the parts specific to Smalltalk provide interesting food for thought.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential Smalltalk book January 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book should be adopted as a standard in all Smalltalk development shops. While many of the implementation patterns within seem obvious, the book can help solve the endless debates over which coding techniques to use and why. The book is useful to both novices and developers with considerable experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful little book -- all Smalltalkers should have November 6, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Idioms, patterns ... all programmers' minds should be imprinted with them. Why work hard, with these solutions at your fingertip?
Kent Beck is probably one of the best thinking developers in the industry, appropriately combining theory and practice to produce results with elegance. All Smalltalkers should own this book, and programmers in other languages can probably find a lot of inspiration too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to know Smalltalk to be able to learn from patterns...
You don't have to know Smalltalk to be able to learn from patterns presented, they are reusable in other object languages.
Published 8 months ago by pletisan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read,
This book is great for learning design patterns even if you don't know smalltalk. This is a must read for developers.
Published 12 months ago by Todd Pickell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of sound coding - excellent Smalltalk showcase.
Although not a recent book, it gives a great overview of sound object oriented coding practices. At the same time it is an excellent showcase of the beauty of Smalltalk.
Published 13 months ago by Sven Van Caekenberghe
5.0 out of 5 stars Jewel
This book and "TDD" from K. Beck are essential to anyone interested in being a prolific Smalltalk develper. Read more
Published on August 25, 2009 by Carlos Crosetti
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for understanding why smalltalk code is written like it is
I have just recently started looking at smalltalk and like many people (being used to c++), when starting out in smalltalk, just going through the code didn't actually tell me much... Read more
Published on February 13, 2007 by A. Paes
5.0 out of 5 stars The Zen of OO
I wish more Java/C#/C++ programmers would read this (and maybe even learn Smalltalk) so that they can appreciate the weaknesses in those languages and possibly in their practices... Read more
Published on February 16, 2006 by Goosemeyer
2.0 out of 5 stars Missable
I'm always looking for ways to make coding work better, at any level from nanosecond arithmetic operations to decade-long enterprise operations. Read more
Published on July 31, 2005 by wiredweird
5.0 out of 5 stars Milestone for Your Programming Life
SBPP has changed me. Kent Beck has changed me.
SBPP shed a new light on my previous knowledge of "patterns" in computer programming. I was deep in the DP tar pit. Read more
Published on July 30, 2002 by K. C. JUN
5.0 out of 5 stars Real OO, not just for Smalltalkers
I wish I had read this book when I started getting into OO programming. This is OO to the max, at maximum granularity. Read more
Published on April 29, 2002 by "ce10"
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Smalltalkers
Every Smalltalker should use this book as a style-guide or to help with refactoring.
Published on June 27, 2001 by Andreas Kuckartz
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