The Object-Oriented Thought Process

On my way to better understand object-oriented programming ( ) and thereby check “Learn enough Objective-C to be dangerous” off my ThingsToDo list, I picked up The Object-Oriented Thought Process by Matt Weisfeld.

Not having formal training in software engineering, I found the book’s focus on the language-agnostic basics of OO extremely helpful.

Here’s what I learned from the book:

  • Classes are almost always nouns
  • A Class’s ‘Responsibilities’ are almost always verbs
  • In the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern;
    • Model = the application object, the data-model
    • View = the screen presentation
    • Controller = the user interface’s response to user input
    • (this wasn’t as helpful as I’d like, it may just need to sink in)
  • ‘is-a’ relationship = one object is a specific version of a more general object (e.g. Hamlin is a turtle)
  • ‘has-a’ relationship = one object has another object contained within it (e.g. a bicycle has a seat)
  • Patterns are general principles for solving programming problems
  • AntiPatterns are specific examples of programming problems solved poorly or solutions to redeem poorly-solved problems

Weisfeld was mostly language-agnostic, he uses Java ( ) for his examples. At times, the example code gets in the way of the illustrating the point. With the little I know about Ruby ( ) (100% object-oriented, simpler syntax than Java), I may have chosen that language to illustrate OO principles to novices.

If you’re looking for a non-programming book to wrap your head around OO, I haven’t found an alternative to The Object-Oriented Thought Process.

One Reply to “The Object-Oriented Thought Process”

  1. One alternative would be Taylor’s _Object Technology_ [amazon]. Not saying it’s better or worse, just an alternative.

    Also, in your example, while Hamlin is indeed a turtle, Hamlin is also an *instance* of turtle, which isn’t necessarily what OO design means when it talks of an ‘is-a’ relationship. A better example might be that Hamlin is some sort of special ClimbingTurtle and that a ClimbingTurtle ‘is a’ Turtle because ClimbingTurtle extends Turtle.

    Also of note: ClimbingTurtles rule.

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