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Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries Har/Dvdr Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342246759
ISBN-10: 0321246756
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A new edition of this title is available, ISBN-10: 0321545613 ISBN-13: 9780321545619



"This book is an absolute must-read for all .NET developers. It gives clear do and don't guidance on how to design class libraries for .NET. It also offers insight into the design and creation of .NET that really helps developers understand the reasons why things are the way they are. This information will aid developers designing their own class libraries and will also allow them to take advantage of the .NET class library more effectively."

--Jeffrey Richter, author/trainer/consultant, Wintellect

"Framework Design Guidelines will help you in two important ways. First, any .NET developer will benefit from a greater understanding of the design principles that govern the .NET Base Class Library. Second, a deeper understanding of these principles will help you to create software that integrates well with the .NET environment. Quite frankly, this book should be on every .NET developer's bookshelf."

--Bill Wagner, founder and consultant, SRT Solutions, author of Effective C#

"Not since Brooks' The Mythical Man Month has the major software maker of its time produced a book so full of relevant advice for the modern software developer. This book has a permanent place on my bookshelf and I consult it frequently."

--George Byrkit, senior software engineer, Genomic Solutions

"This book is a must-read for all architects and software developers thinking about frameworks. The book offers insight into some driving factors behind the design of the .NET Framework. It should be considered mandatory reading for anybody tasked with creating application frameworks."

--Peter Winkler, senior software engineer, Balance Technology Inc.

"Frameworks are valuable but notoriously difficult to construct: Your every decision must be geared towards making them easy to be used correctly and difficult to be used incorrectly. This book takes you through a progression of recommendations that will eliminate many of those downstream 'I wish I'd known that earlier' moments. I wish I'd read it earlier."

--Paul Besly, principal technologist, QA

"Filled with information useful to developers and architects of all levels, this book provides practical guidelines and expert background information to get behind the rules. Framework Design Guidelines takes the already published guidelines to a higher level, and it is needed to write applications that integrate well in the .NET area."

--Cristof Falk, software engineer

Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries teaches developers the best practices for designing system frameworks and reusable libraries for use with the Microsoft .NET Framework and WinFX. This book focuses on the design issues that directly affect the programmability of a framework, specifically its publicly accessible APIs.

This book can improve the work of any .NET developer producing code that other developers will use. An added benefit is a collection of annotations to the guidelines by various members of the Microsoft .NET Framework and WinFX teams, which provide a lively discussion of the motives behind the guidelines, along with examples of good reasons for breaking the guidelines.

Microsoft architects Krzysztof Cwalina and Brad Abrams offer guidelines for framework design from the top down. From their long experience and deep insight, you will learn

  • The general philosophy of framework design
  • Principles and guidelines that are fundamental to overall framework design
  • Naming guidelines for the various parts of a framework, such as namespaces, types, and members
  • Guidelines for the design of types and members of types
  • Issues and guidelines that are important to ensure appropriate extensibilityin your framework
  • Guidelines for working with exceptions, the preferred error reporting mechanism in the .NET Framework and WinFX
  • Guidelines for extending and using types that commonly appear in frameworks
  • Guidelines for and examples of common framework design patterns

Guidelines in this book come in four major forms: Do, Consider, Avoid, and Do not. In general, a Do guideline should almost always be followed, a Consider guideline should generally be followed, an Avoid guideline indicates that something is generally not a good idea, and a Do not guideline indicates something you should almost never do. Every guideline includes a discussion of its applicability, and most guidelines include a code example.

A companion DVD includes the Designing .NET Class Libraries video series, instructional presentations by the authors on design guidelines for developing classes and components that extend the .NET Framework. A sample API specification and other useful resources are also included.

About the Author

Krzysztof Cwalina is a Program Manager on the Common Language Runtime team at Microsoft Corporation. He began his career at Microsoft designing APIs for the first release of the .NET Framework. He has been responsible for several namespaces in the Framework, including System.Collections, System.Diagnostics, System.Messaging, and others. He was also one of the original members of the FxCop team. Currently, he is leading a companywide effort to develop, promote, and apply the design guidelines to the .NET Framework and WinFX. Krzysztof graduated with a B.S. and an M.S. in computer science from the University of Iowa.

Brad Abrams was a founding member of both the Common Language Runtime and .NET Framework teams at Microsoft, where he is currently a Lead Program Manager. Brad has been involved with WinFX and Windows Vista efforts from the beginning. His primary role is to ensure consistency and developer productivity of the .NET Framework through Vista and beyond. His popular blog can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/BradA/.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; Har/Dvdr edition (September 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321246756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321246752
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Seemann on September 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Depending on your experience with the .NET framework, you may consider the contents of this book as everything from invaluable insights to mildly amusing explanations of a few details of .NET you've always wondered about.

Krzysztof Cwalina and Brad Abrams have worked with designing the public API of the .NET framework from its beginning, and during that process they have compiled a comprehensive guideline for framework design. It is basically this internal guideline they are now publishing as a book.

The text is easy to read and makes for a good reference book. It is littered with more free-form comments from lots of other experts such as Jeffrey Richter, Christopher Brumme, and the occasional comment from Anders Hejlsberg. However, it is mostly reminiscent of a Word document with lots of revision comments liberally sprinkled all over, and I suspect this is how book was made: Take an internal guideline document and polish it off; pass it around to a lot of collegues in Microsoft and ask them to comment on it; incorporate most comments verbatim in the text; and publish.

That said, I still found myself using lots of the little insights in the book in my work in the weeks after having read it. Most of those insights actually came from the free-form comments, so I'm not complaining.

If you use FxCop and are familiar with many of the rules in this tool, most of the guidelines in this book will come as no surprise to you. FxCop was originally a project of Krzysztof's and Brad's designed to automate much of their code review work, so you can learn most of the contents of this book just by using FxCop.
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At Microsoft I work on a development team that has been using the guidelines from this book for nearly 4 years. I am not always a fan of coding standards, thinking they are a necessary evil, often simply arbitrary choices made for consistency.

The Framework Design Guidelines are different. These ensure deep consistency across not just source code, but more importantly the public classes themselves. They include critical, not to be ignored rules on security, cross-language access and localization, as well as the usual good practice type guidelines. But even these "good" practices are always backed with well reasoned argument and examples. As an added bonus FxCop provides a static analysis tool that enforces the guidelines.

Finally, the Framework Design Guidelines provide deep insight into how the .NET Frameworks are designed and used. With the guidelines in mind it is far easier to remember or even guess what classes are provided and how they should be used. This just makes the libraries that much more productive.

Full disclosure: I know Brad and Krzysztof personally, but I would simply remain silent if I didn't think highly of the work.
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Format: Hardcover
The title I chose for this review is no cliché. This book earns each and every penny you spend (or have already spent) on it.

I was deceived into thinking that the book was the work of only Cwalina and Abrams and that it's merely a rehash of FxCop guidelines that we have already known and been using for a while now until I read book and encountered the annotations. To have .NET gods (dare I say) like Richter and Hejlsberg contributing suggestions (whether you already knew them or not) in the same book along with other greats like Mariani, Gunnerson, Chris Sells, and Paul Vick to name just a few is simply a slam dunk.

One myth about the book is that it's only useful for folks building APIs. That is so far away from the truth. This book "should" be read by both .NET architects and developers. The suggestions and tips presented in this book can help you write better and more efficient and re-usable code whether it is for a little program or a class library.

And if all this book material was not enough to quench your thirst, the book comes with a bonus: a DVD containing video presentations and seminars on topics related to the book's material (Rico Mariani's presentation is a must see), a sample "real-life" API specification example for the .NET Framework 2.0's System.Diagnostics.StopWatch class, and a .NET 2.0 tool with source code that can be helpful in code reviewing API classes (even though it still has some minor bugs).

This book contains a wealth of material in so small a book and so easy a read that it won't take you too long to read. If you are like me, you would not be able to let go of it before finishing it.

The only take I have on this book is that it should have been available a long time ago, probably when .NET 1.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was written by *the* two Microsoft experts on design guidelines for the .NET Framework: Brad Abrams and Krzysztof Cwalina. It really is a MUST read for anybody designing OO class libraries especially libraries that are based on managed code (aka .NET Framework). What I really like is that there are not only "Do", "Do Not", "Avoid", "Consider" guidelines but most of the guidelines are accompanied by annotations from many different folks (Jeff Richter, Rico Mariani, Chris Brumme, Chris Sells, Brent Rector, etc). These annotations really help with the pragmatic side of deciding between conflicting forces. That is, there are many guidelines where you could go one way versus another. The annotations serve to help you decide which way to go. I give it two thumbs way up and even thought it's about 300 pages, it is a quick read.
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