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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Software Product Lines Practices and Patterns
Author:
Paul Clements&Linda Norhrop
ISBN:
0 201 70332 7
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
562pp
Price:
£37-99
Reviewer:
Huw Lloyd
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
14-4
The authors claim to have distilled universal and essential software product line practices that apply in every situation and to have categorised a reservoir of practical information. I believe they are correct.

The product line effort is described in three parts; software engineering, technical management and organisation management. They are further subdivided into practice areas (roles or activities); each practice is vital for the product line success. It is a simple and effective model for comprehending the whole product line effort across the business organisation. The distinction between the three categories is an eye opener in itself, one that has increasing import the further we diverge our thinking from developing a stand-alone product to a product line.

Students will benefit from the book's tractable narration and minimal technical demand. Yet the lessons and models presented are very much for the needy practitioner. The questions at every section's end are particularly good inducement for probing ones understanding.

The pattern section forms only a fraction of the book. I believe its principle benefit is for the analysis of practice area inter-relationships and comprehension and not for the claimed purpose of compiling a pattern language.

Numerous references are scattered throughout the text which are accompanied by recommendations for further reading. Notably absent was a reference for Czarnecki and Eisenecker'sGenerative Programming.

The text is well narrated, concise and full of rich content. I recommend it for anyone building multiple software products from a common source and for students of software engineering.

Recommended.