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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:
Best of Booch
Author:
Grady Booch
ISBN:
0 13 739616 3
Publisher:
SIGS books
Pages:
236pp
Price:
$39-00
Reviewer:
Peter Wippell
Subject:
writing solid code; object oriented; modelling languages
Appeared in:
10-2
This book collects some 30 articles written by Grady Booch in the period between 1993 and 1996.

As is well known, their author is a committed evangelist for Object Oriented methods and for years, has been Chief Scientist of the Rational Corporation, with a brief, firstly to act as consultant to many internal and external Project Teams, secondly to develop the widely used Booch method and thirdly to monitor advances in the subject world-wide. In the last few years, he has joinedforces with James Rumbaugh and Ivar Jacobsen, authors of the two other most popular Object Oriented design methods, to write the Unified Modelling Language, UML, in an attempt to create a standard notation and methodology throughout the IT industry.

These articles disseminate the advice to project teams that he gathered from his experience. They are grouped in seven sections: Managing Complexity, Business, Process and Products, Projects and Teams, Models, Architecture and Implementation. The extent of the author's view of the subject is exceptionally broad and derives in great part from his determination that the UML will apply to every possible facet of OO technology and be equally good, for instance, with multi threading, distributed systems and visual programming. In each area he touches lightly on many subjects and, as I read the articles, I often found myself being distracted from the book by having to follow up some new line of enquiry. There is some detailed history on how the Booch method developed, particularly the determination of requirements through Use Cases and some newer features of the UML like class 'stereotypes' and 'properties' are explained. Be aware though that the latest changes to UML, release 1.1, post-date this book and are not covered.

Editing out obsolete comments and converting all diagrams from the earlier Booch notation to the new UML has enhanced the book's appeal to today's reader. In addition, the style is more relaxed than that of the author's famous textbook on Analysis and Design, although, personally, I still find it a bit heavy going. (I don't mind the Americanisms, if you grok me :-), but I find the use of 'rather' for 'on the contrary' and some of the invented words like 'architecture-centric' hard to take).

That aside, I am certain that anyone involved in any way in a programming project team and even more so if Booch/UML were used, would find this paperback a great help and of much general interest.