- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 3 edition (September 4, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0672330164
- ISBN-13: 978-0672330162
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Object-Oriented Thought Process (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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About the Author
Matt Weisfeld is an associate professor in business & technology at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland, Ohio.A member of the information technology faculty, he focuses on programming, web development, and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Tri-C,Weisfeld spent 20 years in the information technology industry gaining experience in software development, project management, small business management, corporate training, and part-time teaching. He holds an MS in computer science and an MBA in project management. Besides the first two editions of The Object-Oriented Thought Process, he has published two other computer books and articles in magazines and journals such as developer.com, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, The C/C++ Users Journal, Software Development Magazine, Java Report, and the international journal Project Management.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This Book's Scope
As the title indicates, this book is about the object-oriented (OO) thought process. Obviously, choosing the theme and title of the book are important decisions; however, these decisions were not all that simple. Numerous books deal with various levels of object orientation. Several popular books deal with topics including OO analysis, OO design, OO programming, design patterns, OO data (XML), the Unified Modeling Language (UML), OO Internet development, various OO programming languages, and many other topics related to OO development.
However, while pouring over all of these books, many people forget that all of these topics are built on a single foundation: how you think in OO ways. It is unfortunate, but software professionals often dive into these books without taking the appropriate time and effort to really understand the concepts behind the content.
I contend that learning OO concepts is not accomplished by learning a specific development method or a set of tools. Doing things in an OO manner is, simply put, a way of thinking. This book is all about the OO thought process.
Separating the methods and tools from the OO thought process is not easy. Many people are introduced to OO concepts via one of these methods or tools. For example, years ago, most C programmers were first introduced to object orientation by migrating directly to C++before they were even remotely exposed to OO concepts. Other software professionals were first introduced to object orientation by presentations that included object models using UMLagain, before they were even exposed directly to OO concepts. It is not unusual to find that programming books and courses defer OO concepts until later in the learning process.
It is important to understand the significant difference between learning OO concepts and using the methods and tools that support the paradigm. This came into focus for me before I worked on the first edition of this book when I read articles such as Craig Larman's "What the UML Isand Isn't," In this article he states,
Unfortunately, in the context of software engineering and the UML diagramming language, acquiring the skills to read and write UML notation seems to sometimes be equated with skill in object-oriented analysis and design. Of course, this is not so, and the latter is much more important than the former. Therefore, I recommend seeking education and educational materials in which intellectual skill in object-oriented analysis and design is paramount rather than UML notation or the use of a case tool.
Although learning a modeling language is an important step, it is much more important to learn OO skills first. Learning UML before OO concepts is similar to learning how to read an electrical diagram without first knowing anything about electricity.
The same problem occurs with programming languages. As stated earlier, many C programmers moved into the realm of object orientation by migrating to C++ before being directly exposed to OO concepts. This would always come out in an interview. Many times developers who claim to be C++ programmers are simply C programmers using C++ compilers. Even now, with languages such as C# .NET, VB .NET, and Java well established, a few key questions in a job interview can quickly uncover a lack of OO understanding.
Early versions of Visual Basic are not OO. C is not OO, and C++ was developed to be backward compatible with C. Because of this, it is quite possible to use a C++ compiler (writing only C syntax) while forsaking all of C++'s OO features. Even worse, a programmer can use just enough OO features to make a program incomprehensible to OO and non-OO programmers alike.
Thus, it is of vital importance that while you're on the road to OO development, you first learn the fundamental OO concepts. Resist the temptation to jump directly into a programming language (such as VB .NET, C++, C# .NET or Java) or a modeling language (such as UML), and take the time to learn the object-oriented thought process.
In my first class in Smalltalk in the late 1980s, the instructor told the class that the new OO paradigm was a totally new way of thinking (despite the fact that it has been around since the 60s). He went on to say that although all of us were most likely very good programmers, about 10%20% of us would never really grasp the OO way of doing things. If this statement is indeed true, it is most likely because some people never really take the time to make the paradigm shift and learn the underlying OO concepts.
What's New in the Third Edition
As stated often in this introduction, my vision for the first edition was primarily a conceptual book. Although I still adhere to this goal for the second and third editions, I have included several application topics that fit well with object-oriented concepts. For the third edition I expand on many of the topics of the second edition and well as include totally new chapters. These revised and updated concepts
XML is used for object communication.
Object persistence and serialization.
XML integrated into the languages object definition.
Adding properties to attributes.
XML-based Internet applications.
Expanded code examples in Java, C# .NET and VB .NET.
The chapters that cover these topics are still conceptual in nature; however, many of the chapters include Java code that shows how these concepts are implemented. In this third edition, a code appendix is included that presents the chapter's examples in C# .NET and Visual Basic .NET.
The Intended Audience
This book is a general introduction to fundamental OO concepts with code examples to reinforce the concepts. One of the most difficult juggling acts was to keep the material conceptual while still providing a solid, technical code base. The goal of this book is to allow a reader to understand the concepts and technology without having a compiler at hand. However, if you do have a compiler available, then there is code to be investigated.
The intended audience includes business managers, designers, developers, programmers, project managers, and anyone who wants to gain a general understanding of what object orientation is all about. Reading this book should provide a strong foundation for moving to other books covering more advanced OO topics.
Of these more advanced books, one of my favorites remains Object-Oriented Design in Java by Stephen Gilbert and Bill McCarty. I really like the approach of the book, and have used it as a textbook in classes I have taught on OO concepts. I cite Object-Oriented Design in Java often throughout this book, and I recommend that you graduate to it after you complete this one.
Other books that I have found very helpful include Effective C++ by Scott Meyers, Classical and Object-Oriented Software Engineering by Stephen R. Schach, Thinking in C++ by Bruce Eckel, UML Distilled by Martin Flower, and Java Design by Peter Coad and Mark Mayfield.
The conceptual nature of this book provides a unique perspective in regards to other computer technology books. While books that focus on specific technologies, such as programming languages, struggle with the pace of change, this book has the luxury of presenting established concepts that, while certainly being fine-tuned, do not experience radical changes. With this in mind, many of the books that were referenced several years ago, are still referenced because the concepts are still fundamentally the same.
This Book's Scope
It should be obvious by now that I am a firm believer in becoming comfortable with the object-oriented thought process before jumping into a programming language or modeling language. This book is filled with examples of code and UML diagrams; however, you do not need to know a specific programming language or UML to read it. After all I have said about learning the concepts first, why is there so much Java, C# .NET, and VB .NET code and so many UML diagrams? First, they are all great for illustrating OO concepts. Second, both are vital to the OO process and should be addressed at an introductory level. The key is not to focus on Java, C# .NET, and VB .NET or UML, but to use them as aids in the understanding of the underlying concepts.
The Java, C# .NET and VB .NET examples in the book illustrate concepts such as loops and functions. However, understanding the code itself is not a prerequisite for understanding the concepts; it might be helpful to have a book at hand that covers specific languages syntax if you want to get more detailed.
I cannot state too strongly that this book does not teach Java, C# .NET, and VB .NET or UML, all of which can command volumes unto themselves. It is my hope that this book will whet your appetite for other OO topics, such as OO analysis, object-oriented design, and OO programming.
This Book's Conventions
The following conventions are used in this book:
Code lines, commands, statements, and any other code-related terms appear in a monospace typeface.
Placeholders that stand for what you should actually type appear in italic monospace . Text that you should type appears in bold monospace .
Throughout the book, there are special sidebar elements, such as
Note - A Note presents interesting information related to the discussiona little more insight or a pointer to some new technique.
Tip - A Tip offers advice or shows you an easier way of doing something.
Caution - A Caution alerts you to a possible problem and gives you advice on how to avoid it.
Source Code Used in This Book
You can download all the source code and examples discussed within this book from the publisher's website.
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The book opens with a subject that likely doesn't affect many new programmers today: transitioning from procedural programming to Object-Oriented development. In the halycon days before the dominance of .NET and Java, OOP was not a required application development skill. One could program in C, Visual Basic (VB) or in various other non-OOP languages without a thought of objects or classes. This book even argues that some early C++ developers were not using real OOP techniques, but simply writing C programs with C++ compilers. But once OOP Java broke into the mainstream and VB6 developers realized that they couldn't just dive into VB.NET as though it were just an upgrade to VB6, the divide between "real" OOP programmers and those who "just don't get it" arose. For the majority of beginning programmers within the past decade, OOP principles likely accompanied them from the start. So the "moving from procedural to OOP" problem will likely remain a largely generational one. The section nonetheless contains much useful information on the differences between procedural and OOP.
The remainder of the book delivers a solid coverage of OOP principles. Many have accompanying code examples in Java, C# and VB.NET and UML diagrams. Some of the concepts will seem familiar, but the discussion goes far more in-depth than most beginner's books. Objects, classes, attributes, encapsulation, data-hiding, methods, object messaging, inheritance, polymorphism and other essential concepts get clearly elucidated with diagrams and code. Other topics usually not covered, at least in depth, in beginner OOP coding books also appear: composition (Has-a relationships), abstraction and interface vs. implementation. Some sections emphasize object thinking, such as thinking abstractly and in terms of object behavior.
Later sections deal with constructors (a topic now vital to Dependency Injection), overloading, class modeling, the golden fleece of reuse, maintenance, object comparison and marshaling. One section provides a walk-through of a real-world example, a Black Jack game, of identifying the required classes, behaviors and attributes and how they should interact. An in-depth discussion of "is-a" versus "has-a" relationships helps elucidate the design principle to "favor composition over inheritance" or at least help decide when to most efficiently use either concept. Later chapters put objects into different contexts, such as XML, persistence with databases, the internet and client/server applications. These sections are less in-depth and provide cursory overviews to give one a taste of the technologies presented. The final chapter introduces design patterns, a crucial topic for OOP design. Though it too remains at a very high-level, it does cover a few patterns, though not deeply: Model/View/Controller (a now dominant pattern), Singleton, Adapter and Iterator. It also introduces the concept of an antipattern, or how not to do things.
This book will not make anyone an expert in OOP design, though it's difficult to see how anyone could become an expert without first mastering the knowledge it contains. Most importantly, it emphasizes concepts that are not purely code-based and helps one think in new ways about how to structure an application. Anyone who has this feeling that they haven't quite absorbed OOP design principles should read this book end to end. The final chapter on design patterns also provides a perfect segueway into further studies. Lastly, the book is currently in its 3rd edition, which appeared in 2008, so some of the information here may seem out of date. A planned forth edition will tenatively appear in March of 2013 that will cover unit testing, web services and mobile applications. Nonetheless, for those who can't wait, the 3rd edition still contains enough useful information about OOP to make it worth a read even now.
I am returning the 4th edition for a refund.
I just finished reading the last chapter of this book and rushed to my PC to write this review. This is the first programming book I've read cover to cover.
Before reading this book, coming across terms like polymorphism, composition, and encapsulation would only confuse me. Reading tutorials online gave me somewhat of an idea of the basics, but lacked the depth and meaningful examples needed to fully elucidate the big picture of Object-Oriented Programming. But now, I feel totally comfortable with those terms and even picked up a few more like contracts, aggregations, associations, and cardinality.
This book is big on diagrams and pictures. As I thumb through the pages, it's rare to go more than two pages without finding a picture or diagram that illustrates the point the author is trying to get across. The coding examples are in Java, but should be pretty easy to follow even if you haven't programmed in it. There is a conclusion summary at the end of each chapter without review questions or exercises. I personally think that was a good move on the part of the author since the examples, pictures, and code put forth are so clear and concise, there is no need to quiz on them. The last chapter on Design patterns was an unexpected surprise. It was a short and sweet introduction to a topic I had heard a lot about but wasn't really sure what all the fuss was about.
Some people complained about the author's excessive use of quotes from other authors. I found those quotes to be very pertinent to the topic at hand and offered some great insight on many occasions. I didn't find the later chapters dealing with Javabeans and more network related stuff as helpful.
If you find yourself struggling with OOP concepts and would like an introduction that will quickly get you up to speed without bogging you down with contrived review questions or exercises, then get this book.
book to get the wheels turning. However if you are seasoned and looking for
in an in-depth discussion of OO concepts you will probably give this book 3
The Book does a great job covering the basics, however towards the end of
the book it seems that the "Connecting Dots" seem to spread further and farther apart.
But on that Note, It somewhat solidified the information that I already knew,
and as a result, I am pleased that I read it.