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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:
Program Development in Java
Author:
Barbara Liskov&John Guttag
ISBN:
0 201 65768 6
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
442
Price:
£37-99
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
java
Appeared in:
13-2
This book is intended for a second year programming course, a course that focuses on the object-oriented design and implementation of systems. Computing professionals who want to refresh their knowledge of modular design could also use it.

A strong point of the book is that it starts at the very (often ignored) basics, explaining two kinds of abstraction; abstraction by parameterization and by specification. These two types of abstraction are elaborated upon by explaining procedural abstraction, data abstraction, iteration abstraction, type hierarchies and polymorphic abstractions. It is explained how to write representation invariants of objects and abstraction functions. The explanations are supported by a lot of examples. The examples are written in Java, but the book is not a language tutorial.

After studying the first 200 pages of this book you have gained a refreshing understanding of basic principles to reason about the implementation of a class and its methods and how to represent the class in its source file in a consistent way that should lead to high quality code.

After a useful chapter on testing the book continues with requirements specifications, design and implementation. Those chapters are not much more than an introduction to these topics and would not scale to larger projects. They could be a good guidance to students' projects. The book finishes with a chapter on design patterns. I think it is a good idea to introduce students early to this topic, but this chapter is not more than an introduction to indicate what you have to study elsewhere. Recommended