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Shipman's software books: Design patterns

Gamma, Erich, et al. Design patterns. Addison-Wesley, October 1995, ISBN 0201633612.

This is not a work for beginners, and not an easy one. I would recommend it, however, to anyone who has done some fair-sized software projects (say, over 5,000 lines of code), and especially those who have mastered the basics of object-oriented programming.

The writers provide an excellent new high-level look at proper organization of large programs. Basing their work on Christopher Alexander's seminal work in the architecture of buildings, they have identified some higher forms of organization that can be useful in your higher-order design work.

For example, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of what they call the Singleton pattern. Sometimes you build a class that really should only be instantiated once. Here are some examples from my work:

I've used several of the other patterns too, such as Factory.

Like a lot of the best software books, this is not light reading, but it's worth the effort.

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See also: Shipman's reading list: software design
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 1999/05/09 18:48:07