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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:
Domain-Specific Application Frameworks
Author:
Mohamed Fayad&Ralph Johnson
ISBN:
0 471 33280 1
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
677pp+CD
Price:
£38-95
Reviewer:
Nigel Armstrong
Subject:
object oriented
Appeared in:
OL38
This is one of a set of three books published by Wiley about Application Frameworks with the same editors (the other two also with Douglas Schmidt). The purpose of this volume is to bring together reports of the use of frameworks in various application domains, in other words it is a collection of papers by many different authors.

The domains covered are 'Computer-Integrated Manufacturing', 'Other Manufacturing', 'Distributed Systems', 'Networks and Telecomms' and 'System Development Environments'. This rather confusing taxonomy reflects the fact that frameworks are more widely used in certain areas than others and that some of them cross application domain boundarieswhile others are highly specialised.

Books of this kind are notoriously variable in quality, with the editors seemingly having done little more than round up the contributors; sometimes there is not even a common use of typeface from one paper to the next. However, in this case they have done a good job, with a generally high standard of presentation and content, even if there is still a certain amount of repetitive material explaining what frameworks are and describing the background to the application.

The main purpose of a book such as this is surely to help avoid unnecessary reinvention and on that count I think it is valuable. Indeed I found it useful in my own quest to find a suitable framework for a new application; although none of the frameworks mentioned here were an exact match, the coverage of previous work in the same field helped put me on track.

There is a CD with sample material, but its content is hardly compelling, mainly consisting of supplementary text and demoware. The Internet allows one to access material that's a lot more useful.

The effort involved in selecting the right framework for an application can be substantial and any time saved can be worth a great deal of money, so for that reason this book will be valuable to those of us embarking on new significant developments in specialist areas. For a more general audience it is not likely to have much appeal, though there is certainly a lot of interesting material here.