Object Thinking

The book. Author: David West.

Remember Alan Kay's quotes that 'Object revolution is yet to come' & 'C++ wasn't what I had in mind when I coined the term object-oriented'? Now I'm no fanboy so I set about objectively looking at the matter presented in this book if there's any meat behind the argument 'You're all not getting it'. I read this book twice.. the second time trying to distill ideas that are innovative or new or unknown to me before I read this one.

There are n solutions to a single problem. All of them right in solving the problem however only a few extend the existing system at a 'natural joint' i.e. where it is consistent with the original structure/intent or theory of the developer. Such changes lead to systems that are easy to take-down and reassemble when you hit a dead end.. (along the lines of the Lego Brick metaphor, if you find that a brick doesn't give you the shape you want, you just chuck the brick and plug in a different shape.) This in fact is the bulb moment behind the XP practice of 'Metaphor'. Identifying the right set of objects and the distribution of responsibilities among them to suimulate a real world scenario is the sign of a master object designer. This book will not make you an artist but will give you some good pointers nonetheless.
  • The first few chapters help the reader understand between the culture difference between 2 camps of 'scientific logical method-driven designers' and 'heuristics-driven artistic social designers'.
  • Chapter 3 outlines the 4 fundamental tenets of object oriented thinking.
  • Chapters 4 n 5 throw some light on the terminology and subtle thinking differences.
  • Chapter 6,7,8,9 are the 'How-to'/actionable chapters.
  • Chapter 10 is just bizarre... disjointed
The book as a whole doesn't exhibit 'flow'... something feels off.
The book definitely could have been shorter to make a better impact- I liked a bunch of ideas like Object Cubes (an extension to the CRC Card) as a thinking tool (I don't think I'll be building any physical cubes), the 4 presuppositions of object thinking, 'All inheritance must be based on behavior extensions', the little 'Behind The Quotes' sidebars , 'Object as a person' metaphor. Self-evaluating rules, Event Dispatchers and the DataItem type (as opposed to passive data) are interesting. That said it is a refreshing change to read about the craft behind OOP. 4 out of 5 stars

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