- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 3 edition (September 25, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321193687
- ISBN-13: 978-0321193681
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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From the Back Cover
- Would you like to understand the most important elements of Class diagrams? (See page 35.)
- Do you want to see the new UML 2.0 interaction frame notation for adding control flow to sequence diagrams (see page 58) and the unofficial notation that many prefer? (See page 60.)
- Do you want to know what changes have been made to all versions of the UML? (See page 151.)
- Do you want a quick reference to the most useful parts of the UML notation? (See the inside covers.)
- Do you want to find out what diagram types were added to the UML 2.0 without wading through the spec? (See page 11.)
More than 300,000 developers have benefited from past editions of UML Distilled . This third edition is the best resource for quick, no-nonsense insights into understanding and using UML 2.0 and prior versions of the UML.
Some readers will want to quickly get up to speed with the UML 2.0 and learn the essentials of the UML. Others will use this book as a handy, quick reference to the most common parts of the UML. The author delivers on both of these promises in a short, concise, and focused presentation.
This book describes all the major UML diagram types, what they're used for, and the basic notation involved in creating and deciphering them. These diagrams include class, sequence, object, package, deployment, use case, state machine, activity, communication, composite structure, component, interaction overview, and timing diagrams. The examples are clear and the explanations cut to the fundamental design logic.
If you are like most developers, you don't have time to keep up with all the new innovations in software engineering. This new edition of Fowler's classic work gets you acquainted with some of the best thinking about efficient object-oriented software design using the UML--in a convenient format that will be essential to anyone who designs software professionally.
About the Author
Martin Fowler is an independent consultant who has applied objects to pressing business problems for more than a decade. He has consulted on systems in fields such as health care, financial trading, and corporate finance. His clients include Chrysler, Citibank, UK National Health Service, Andersen Consulting, and Netscape Communications. In addition, Fowler is a regular speaker on objects, the Unified Modeling Language, and patterns.
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Top Customer Reviews
With Fowler making comments such as, "Fortunately, if you get it wrong, only serious UML weenies will notice -- or care", we get the feeling that while Fowler knows his subject and appreciates the UML notation, he also realizes that there are more important things than perfect diagrams to worry about when designing and building software. Fowler skips long-winded explanations by telling you where you can get more detailed explanations of certain topics and replaces sections that would normally be filled with unnecessary justifications for the notation with alternative approaches and personal experience. Quite often, these sections result in Fowler admitting that he finds certain aspects of the notation unnecessary or cumbersome, and almost always lightens the text, making it very readable.
This book is great for anyone needing a solid introduction to UML or basic software engineering principles. It is also short, which is a relief to anyone used to trudging through most technical tomes. Most people could easily get through this book in a weekend, and confidently put "familiar with UML" on their resume.
My only complaint with this book is that some parts of the notation are discussed without providing much of a hint on exactly *where* on a diagram you would place it. This information is available elsewhere (and most likely not particularly important in Fowler's opinion), and it aids in the book's brevity and the readability of the diagrams, so I can't really fault the author for not including it. These omissions and the occasional requirement for the reader to fill in the blanks don't quite warrant the loss of a star. The book provides exactly what it claims -- "a brief guide" to UML -- and also manages to act as an excellent quick reference for basic concepts.
In short, UML Distilled is an excellent addition to any software developer's library, and a must have for anyone involved in a serious software design process. Definitely pick up the 3rd edition if you have a choice, and check out the author's recommendations for finding more specific and detailed information when you need it.
The biggest issue is that the author has too many non-standard diagrams. These are helpfully labelled "non-normative", and are an odd mix of UML 1, UML 2 and some other bits and pieces that the author likes. Now what is the point of this? These diagrams won't be supported by UML 1 tools, or by UML 2 tools, so how is one to draw them? Also, the non-normative diagrams do not have a metamodel or any well-defined semantics, so even if one were to build a tool to support their syntax, their semantics would still be open to debate.
The next issue is that many of the UML 2 diagrams are syntactically incorrect (e.g. the use of dependencies rather than connectors in composite structures). Perhaps this is because the author was writing the book while the UML 2 specification was still being developed. Personally, I would rather he had waited a bit rather than give us something only partially baked.
The discussion of UML syntax implies that UML as a visual language is much less powerful and complete than it actually is. For example the very brief discussion of sequence diagrams misses out most of their important new features. You don't learn about combined fragments, references, gates or parameters (although some of these are mentioned in passing). Yet these are the things that make UML 2 sequence diagrams so much more powerful and useable than they were in UML 1. In fact, the sequence diagrams in this book look like they have been translated directly from UML 1 sequence diagrams without applying any of the new features.
The discussion of UML semantics is generally disappointing. UML 2 has tied UML semantics down very tightly - it has had to do this because of MDA. However, in this book you get the impression that much of it is still quite vague and open to interpretation - hence the "non-normative" diagrams.
On the whole, the level of detail is, in many cases, too low to be useful even in a "distilled presentation". For example, you get 2 pages on interaction overview diagrams, and in this you lean that the author hasn't really worked out how to use them effectively and doesn't really care for them anyway. Yet these diagrams are important. They give us, for the first time, the ability to string together isolated interactions into workflows in a precise way.
On the whole, I can't recommend this book. Try "UML 2 for Dummies" instead.