Capturing a wealth of experience about the design of object-oriented software, four top-notch designers present a catalog of simple and succinct solutions to commonly occurring design problems. Previously undocumented, these 23 patterns allow designers to create more flexible, elegant, and ultimately reusable designs without having to rediscover the design solutions themselves.
The authors begin by describing what patterns are and how they can help you design object-oriented software. They then go on to systematically name, explain, evaluate, and catalog recurring designs in object-oriented systems. With Design Patterns as your guide, you will learn how these important patterns fit into the software development process, and how you can leverage them to solve your own design problems most efficiently.
Each pattern describes the circumstances in which it is applicable, when it can be applied in view of other design constraints, and the consequences and trade-offs of using the pattern within a larger design. All patterns are compiled from real systems and are based on real-world examples. Each pattern also includes code that demonstrates how it may be implemented in object-oriented programming languages like C++ or Smalltalk.
This book isn't an introduction to object-oriented technology or design. Many books already do a good job of that. This book assumes you are reasonably proficient in at least one object-oriented programming language, and you should have some experience in object-oriented design as well. You definitely shouldn't have to rush to the nearest dictionary the moment we mention "types" and"polymorphism," or "interface" as opposed to "implementation" inheritance.
On the other hand, this isn't an advanced technical treatise either. It's a book of design patterns that describes simple and elegant solutions to specific problems in object-oriented software design. Design patterns capture solutions that have developed and evolved over time. Hence they aren't the designs people They reflect untold redesign and recoding as developers have struggled for greater reuse and flexibility in their software.Design patterns capture these solutions in a succinct and easily applied form.
The design patterns require neither unusual language features nor amazing programming tricks with which to astound your friends and managers. All can be implemented in standard object-oriented languages, though they might take a little more work than ad hoc solutions. But the extra effort invariably pays dividends in increased flexibility and reusability.
This book has had a long gestation. It has seen four countries, three of its authors' marriages, and the birth of two (unrelated) offspring.Many people have had a part in its development. Special thanks are due Bruce Andersen, Kent Beck, and Andre Weinand for their inspiration and advice. We also thank those who reviewed drafts of the manuscript: Roger Bielefeld, Grady Booch, Tom Cargill, Marshall Cline, Ralph Hyre, Brian Kernighan, Thomas Laliberty, Mark Lorenz, Arthur Riel, Doug Schmidt, Clovis Tondo, Steve Vinoski, and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock. We are also grateful to the team at Addison-Wesley for their help and patience: Kate Habib, Tiffany Moore, Lisa Raffaele, Pradeepa Siva, and John Wait. Special thanks to Carl Kessler, Danny Sabbah, and Mark Wegman at IBM Research for their unflagging support of this work.
About the Author
Dr. Erich Gamma is technical director at the Software Technology Center of Object Technology International in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Richard Helm is a member of the Object Technology Practice Group in the IBM Consulting Group in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Ralph Johnson is a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Computer Science Department.
John Vlissides is a member of the research staff at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, New York. He has practiced object-oriented technology for more than a decade as a designer, implementer, researcher, lecturer, and consultant. In addition to co-authoring Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, he is co-editor of the book Pattern Languages of Program Design 2 (both from Addison-Wesley). He and the other co-authors of Design Patterns are recipients of the 1998 Dr. Dobb's Journal Excellence in Programming Award.