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Book Review: Implementation Patterns

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Kent Beck's new book, Implementation Patterns, is a book about writing code in Java.  The patterns in this book are based on Kent's reading of existing code as well as his own programming experience and habits.  These patterns are about developers communicating through code which is reminiscent of his earlier work on Smalltalk Patterns.  They are lower level than design patterns and about the same granularity as Larman's GRASP patterns.  The patterns in this book are meant to be a coherent view of how  to write code people can understand that serves human as well as economic needs. 

Kent provides us with his experience in an elegant and concise (the entire book, with appendices, is 156 pages) format.  He does not give rules, but gives values, principles, and rules of thumb:

There is no universal rule.  Programmers need to think, communicate, and learn.  That's part of being professional.

This is a book that is useful for both junior as well as senior developers - each will come away with something different.  Read the full book review for more detail.

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  • Waiting for it for a long time

    by Michael Hunger /

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    The values and principles discussion sound like the one from XP2. How does it differ from it and does it? What about the accountability Kent emphasises on so much and what about testing. Kent being one of the two JUnit guys and now an Agitar fellow the Implementation patterns should deal with testability as well?
    I also hope to reflect the stuff I'm doing. And become better at teaching these values, principles and patterns to my fellow developers.
    I'd really liked to have the Implementation Patterns as a Pattern Language as described by Kevlin, Frank and Doug in POSA5. There you have everything: vision, values, context, practices and pattern influencing context and each other in their application. I already wrote Kent on this. Unfortunately he thinks that covering XP and Implementation Patterns inside a pattern language distracts the reader to much from its core essence.
    Imho it would gain a lot from reevaluation as a pattern language.
    Another question ist the applicability of patterns. To decide when and how to apply a pattern and when to choos not to apply it. This ist the most difficult part for most developers.
    So I'm looking forward for my preorder to get here.
    Did you review the manuscript or the printed book?

    Michael

  • Re: Waiting for it for a long time

    by Amr Elssamadisy /

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    The values and principles discussion sound like the one from XP2. How does it differ from it and does it?

    It is the same approach - values and principles - as in XP Explained, v2. The values are a subset of the XP values, which I assume is because programming is only a subset of the XP practices. As for principles, they diverge even more.

    As for pattern languages... This book reads very well. Kent's style is - IMHO - much clearer. Part of it is personal preference, the other part is the book itself is simple.

    Finally, I reviewed an early edition from the publisher and just got my official print yesterday.

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