Object Oriented Book Reviews

Object-Oriented Analysis, Design and Programming have changed how software is developed. This page reviews some important and/or useful OO books. I pay particular attention to books that 4D programmers can understand and benefit from.

Code Complete by Steve McConnell
Title included in top ten book list. A Top Ten Book List selection.
If you are new to OO development, get Code Complete. It isn’t about OO development, but it has lucid explanations of several practices that contribute to OOP: information hiding, modularity, and abstract data types. Master these concepts, and OO design and programming will make more sense. Most highly recommended. Review added 1998.
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler
Title included in top ten book list. A Top Ten Book List selection.
Refactoring is a systematic approach to restructuring code to improve reliability, code reuse, and simplify system modifications. Refactoring offers detailed examples and a catalog of specific refactoring patterns. The author has a Web site about refactoring. He is also the author of UML Distilled. Review June 2000.
Design Patterns : Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
This is the most useful OO book I have found. It is like an algorithms book, only better. Most highly recommended. Review added 1999.
UML Distilled by Martin Fowler
The Unified Modeling Language is the most popular contemporary modeling language. UML Distilled is an excellent concise explanation of UML’s objectives and syntax. The introductory chapters on effective software development practices are a valuable addition. Review added June 2000.
Instant UML by Pierre-Alain Muller
Do not bother with this book. If you already understand OOP, the summary will not interest you. If you don't already understand OOP, this book will not help you. Get UML Distilled instead. Review added July 2000.
Object-Oriented Software Construction by Bertrand Meyer
This my favorite OO overview. Some people complain that it spends too much time on the details of the Eiffel language, which Meyer wrote, but I find the discussion clear and easy to apply. Review added 1999.
Object-Oriented Analysis and Design by Grady Booch
The language used to discuss OOA/OOD/OOP makes them needlessly difficult to learn and apply. OO A & D is one of the books that created this problem. It explicitly connects OO to the basic questions of Occidental philosophy. This is pretentious and annoying. On the other hand, you need to be familiar with the discussions in this book to make sense of the rest of the OO literature. Reluctantly recommended. Review added 1999.

Read a great book lately? Send an email to dpadams@island-data.com.