qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Grand Designs

Book Review: Design Patterns - Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides
The "Gang of Four" book is rightly regarded as a classic. I've dipped into it a few times over the years, but the first time I did find it heavy going and I'm not sure I finished reading it cover-to-cover. This time, more of it was familiar ground, and I was also curious to see whether it seemed at all dated. In fact, as the code examples use C++ and Smalltalk, neither of with which I am particularly familiar, those do look somewhat from another age, though that might be unfair. Of the patterns I only find myself questioning the iterator, as it is so ubiquitous and ready-built in most class libraries that I wonder whether it is worth the mention. It's reassuring to read the cases where different design patterns have similar structures but are distinguished by their intent, as one can often interpret a structure in many ways; and also the applicability and consequences (positive and negative) of certain patterns - for example, the Visitor isn't worth the effort if the classes to be visited change regularly. But the patterns themselves, by and large, are as valid and valuable as ever.
Tags: books, computing
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