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Microsoft Visual Basic Design Patterns (DV-MPS General) Paperback – May 26, 2000
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To take advantage of most design patters in VB, one has to tweak them a bit so as to cater for the lack of some OO features in the language. It is exactly that that this book aims to fulfil. Chapter 2 (30 pages) provides an excellent description of VB's OO limitations and how to overcome them. The main points are further reiterated as necessary while describing the patterns in chapters 4-14.
10 patterns are described, 7 taken/based on the Gamma (Adapter, Bridge, Proxy, Factory Method, Prototype, Singleton and State). The other 3 are: Object By Value (a serialisation pattern), Repository (persisting object state to a data store) and Event Service (alternative to the Event mechanism that is based on connectable objects). Although each pattern is described in detail, Stamatakis uses a derivative of OMT for class diagrams and his own notation for sequence diagrams; personally, I found his diagrams hard to follow and also inaccurate. In addition, his writing style proves his claim that he is a developer first and a writer second. On the upside, for each pattern he provides a mini application with code on CD, which is a great idea and very useful.
Finally, a good job was done at describing further insights on the effects of each pattern to COM components. There is good stuff in this book...if only the writing style and notation were friendlier...
Stamatakis' book begins with an intro to both design patterns (Object Oriented methodologies) and the OOP methodology of Visual Basic. He goes over the Visual Basic implementation of OOP and shows methods to get around areas where VB falls short. He then covers the basics of COM necessary to creating distributed (Object based) software. The rest of the book covers individual patterns of VB OO development and includes scenarios for use, ramifications of using along with copious example code (the CD sample code alone is worth the ticket price).
The book borrows from Design Patterns (Erich Gamma, et al) and applies the theory to Visual Basic development. If you are serious about developing VB COM components, this book should be part of your library.
This book does very little to explain anything to a level useful for neophytes; instead, it's got a few examples of how to use VB to implement a few of the more common design patterns. The best thing I can say about this book is that it's an easy (although light) read.
Also, I had hoped that the CD would contain the text of the book itself (like the great Balena book, which I read more from CD than from paper because it's so useful), but the CD simply contains some sample apps that are marginally useful at best. (yawn)
This is one of those books that I read from cover to cover. The book only presents a few design patterns (I wish it had more), but it is enough to give you the ability to look at patterns designed in other languages and adapt them to VB. The author provides a simple and clear working example of each pattern and in some cases presents multiple variations of a pattern.
It's a great source for inspiration to pull you out of normal 'down & dirty' VB coding.