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Smalltalk, Objects, and Design Paperback – April 27, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Book News

A programmer's guide to Smalltalk integrating its language with object-oriented design solutions. Consultant Liu focuses on practical alternatives and trade-offs, introducing Smalltalk basics in objects, classes and inheritances, and explaining topics in abstract classes, containers, object identity, the use of polymorphism to improve design, patterns and frameworks in Smalltalk, the consistent nature of metaclasses, building a basic application, and effective user interfaces. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"...recommend[ed] ... to practitioners who don't want to read a dry treatment on design methodology or yet another programming book." -- Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, author of Designing Object-Oriented Software

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (April 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583484906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583484906
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,473,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shubha Ramani on May 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover" rings true with Chamond Liu's "Smalltalk, Objects, and Design". Its pea green, unappetizing exterior does not tempt most to least, I felt that way when I first spotted the book at a walk-in bookstore. However, I read all the glowing reviews about the book on Amazon, and based upon this, I decided to purchase the book. What can I say ? This book is awesome ! After stumbling through many OO, C++, Smalltalk, you-name-it-OO books in my lifetime, I have finally found THE BOOK which explains so clearly all those fuzzy OO concepts which I never quite understood before. This book is geared towards Smalltalk, and is a great beginner's Smalltalk book. However, even if your goal doesn't include learning Smalltalk - this book is highly advised. It is full of gems and surely has something to teach to even the most seasoned OO professional (regardless of her programming language background). Thank You Mr. Liu for taking the time and effort to write such a terrific book. You have done a great service to the software development community, with this effort. I anxiously await your next book.
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David on August 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Smalltalk, Objects, and Design" is such a simple and unexciting title, and yet that's what this book is, in its entirety. This book will teach you about Smalltalk, it will teach you about objects (using Smalltalk as the medium, but you will learn much about Object Oriented programming that is applicable in any language), and it will teach you about good design principles.

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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By tangofan on January 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first looked into this book I thought "Oh well, this is just another book for Smalltalk and OOP beginners". Well I was wrong.

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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mr. Liu has done a great service to the software development community by writing a clear, concise, approachable book on O-O Design & Programming. Thank you, Mr. Liu.
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
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