Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Kent's book is a pleasant, readable mix of the obvious that beginners need to know and the clever that experienced Smalltalkers can still learn from. I was surprised at the absence of Booby Woolf's strategy for classifying instance variables (as identity, status or cache; see The Smalltalk Report, June 96) and at how little there was on protocol naming. Otherwise, it seems to cover almost everything at its chosen level (which complements, instead of competing with, that of books like the Smalltalk Design Patterns Companion).
I currently use C++ on UNIX in practice (wish there were more Smalltalk & Objective-C jobs out there), but I would still highly recommend this book for any OO-Practitioner: the lessons here can be applied to many different scenarios.
Take this chance to observe the beauty of PURE OO - concise code with the semantic richness and clarity reminiscent of poetry... ...alas, if only code at work were so well crafted!
This is a handbook of OO Programming. Patterns are broken into the following categories: Behavior, State, Collections, Classes, and Formatting. Each pattern is given a question/problem that the pattern answers/solves and references to other patterns are shown with page numbers.
It's definitely one of those rare books that I return to over and over again... ...a classic.
The "Execute Around Method" pattern is good idea, applicable far beyond this Smalltalk context. The Beta language has "inner" inheritance, which makes the idea easy, but most other languages lack a good mechanism for undefined logic between matched operation pairs (open/close, setup/cleanup, etc.) "Enumeration" is another good one, enshrined as "Visitor" in the Gang of Four book.
Most of what's left is either trivial or Smalltalk-specific and face it, Smalltalk is mostly a cult language with nearly no commercial significance. The Smalltalk pretty-printing and variable-naming rules, fatuous at best, are just not applicable to most langages. Some of Beck's "practices" are language features (like 'super'). Other "practices", like the long chapter on Collections, seem to describe standard library classes and messages. Yet others (e.g. Type Suggesting Parameter Name) correct language defects - Smalltalk chose to give up the error detection capability offered by variable typing. Beck tries to sneak it back in with variable naming conventions sort of like Microsoft's old Hungarian naming. Some of his suggestions are just dangerous, like that one that says a constructor should "half-way construct an object in one place, then pass it off to another to finish construction. (p.23)" This distributes an object's setup responsibility across its client classes, leaves unusable and incomplete objects floating around, and causes subtle exposures in multithreaded systems - I'd rip out any code I saw built this way.
The good news is that no new trees died to make my copy of this book - I got it used, and it's returning to the used market. At least my conscience is clean on that account, no matter what I'm doing to the poor guy who buys this book next.
Most recent customer reviews
SBPP shed a new light on my previous knowledge of "patterns" in computer programming. I was deep in the DP tar pit.Read more