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Smalltalk, Objects, and Design Paperback – April 27, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
My favorite chapter is Chap. 17, entitled "Two kinds of inheritance". It opened my eyes and taught me things that I had never imagined before, and I have read umpteen OO books.
Take my advice - BUY THIS BOOK ! Reading it will give you a huge competitive edge.
It is written in clear, straightforward prose. In each chapter, the author presents a new idea, discusses the reason for that idea and its implementations (and often discusses several alternative solutions to a given problem that have been adopted historically or in other languages, as well), then gives some concrete examples, some exercises to reinforce the point, and then summarizes. I learned a lot of things in this book that I only vaguely understood before. How garbage collection works. How Smalltalk really accomplishes "everything is an object." What "weak references" are and how to use them. How the Model-View-Controller framework works. There are good discussions about inheritance and how to avoid overusing it, implementation of polymorphism, reifying methods, and so on. Good, meaty stuff especially for the beginning OO programmer.
This book talks about Smalltalk from a design perspective, so while there is an introduction to Smalltalk and a lot of examples to help you learn, it really isn't intended to teach the language. If you have no Smalltalk experience at all, the book will teach you enough to follow along, but you'll want another book to go further in the language.Read more ›
This book starts indeed from the fundamentals (objects and messages) and warns against certain pitfalls that beginners are prone to. It covers a few aspects of the class library, especially container classes as well as the MVC paradigm.
This book strongly focuses on design questions, i.e. "When to buy and when to inherit". It has a great chapter on "Specificaton inheritance" vs. "Implementation inheritance" and a chapter explaining the concept of design patterns as well as giving some example patterns for Smalltalk.
While a Smalltalk beginner might need more books to give a more complete introduction into the class library, this is a good book to expose beginners to the nuances of Smalltalk and OOP. The more advanced will appreciate the nuances in the design discussions especially in the 2nd half of the book.
In summary I can highly recommend this book for beginners and no-longer-beginners alike.
Many old-timers and not-so-old-timers in the profession have been trained under the so-called "Structured-Procedural" development discipline, and many are having a difficult time handling the huge paradigm shift. The learning curve is just too steep, as my own experience has shown.
As an old colleague of mine told me once, the main stumbling block in moving to Java, a popular language today, is developing a solution that's "object-oriented." One can very easily write "Pascalese" code in Java. (Of course, you can do the same in Smalltalk or C++.)
Mr. Liu's book takes one step-by-step through short chapters that can be read in 1 sitting or 2. Interspersed in the chapters are exercises to challenge the reader and scratch his head a little. These has greatly assisted me for one in understanding the topics.
A sampling of important items/lessons in the book: 1. What is the Programming Object (as opposed to programs & data-structures)? 2. Subtypes vs. Subclasses 3. Consistency and Polymorphism 4. Design Patterns "demystefied" (this book should prepare one to approach the G4 Design Patterns book with confidence)
I have always thought that the key to teaching oneself effectively, is getting hold of a good and right book for one's learning style. This could be also the right one for you.
A note on the author's use of Smalltalk: It should not really matter that it is not Java or C++. You can easily move on to them once you've grasped what Smalltalk, Objects and Design is all about.
-From an original SP-programmer turned OO-developer
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is about Smalltalk and objects... By no means is this an advanced book, on either Smalltalk or objects. Read more
If Chamond Liu's code writing is as good as his writing in this book...it must be elegant.Published on December 19, 2006 by Michael Baughman
I wanted a book I could pick up, read fast, and get a quick, passable knowledge of Smalltalk from. This was not the book, but perhaps it never meant to be. Read morePublished on July 29, 2005 by wiredweird
I have always been reading reviews before buying a book from Amazon, and those reviews helped me greatly. Read morePublished on April 25, 2004 by Jeff
I was looking for a simple, direct description of Smalltalk. The author's writing style was a bit hard for me to follow. Read morePublished on November 22, 2003
Ok, its not THAT old, but software moves fast. And Liu was downplaying 'implementation inheritance' before most people understood that there was a problem with it. Read morePublished on May 14, 2003 by Ronald J. Legere
I found this book because I wanted to learn Squeak (a dialect of SmallTalk) and I bought it because it rated so high on Amazon.com. Read morePublished on January 22, 2003 by Stephan Branczyk
This book is among my all-time favourites. The author understands how to write on technical subjects without being fatiguing. Read morePublished on October 24, 2002
I bought this book as I was embarking on a Object Oriented Software development course. The focus of the course was mostly on the theory of OOP rather than a language itself but... Read morePublished on January 11, 2002 by Amazon Customer