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Object-Oriented Design Heuristics

Arthur J. Riel

Arthur Reil’s book is excellent value. It’s excellent value because not only will you read it more than once, to try to get the heuristics into your head, you’ll probably find yourself dipping in and out of it as you work on projects.

The list of heuristics, or “rules of thumb” as he puts it, are designed to point you in the right direction when carrying out OO design. Each is explained simply and with enough context to make it easy to pick up the reasoning behind it. Some will be immediately obvious to those with even a minor grasp of OO design - and this is a strength of the book - it is easily accessible.

All data should be hidden within its class - Heuristic 2.1

I find it much easier to relate to this book than other OO design books I have read. This is primarily because the concise examples focus on practical design considerations.

The book includes a section highlighting the relationship between heristics and patterns and also includes a real life application (up to a point), using the ubiquitous “ATM Problem” as a worked example.

A very valuable addition to any programmer’s bookshelf.


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