Feeds

Framework Design Guidelines

Conventions, Idioms and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries

The essential guide to IT transformation

Book review While Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms and Patterns for Reusable.NET Libraries hardly rolls off the tongue, it has the obvious virtue of faithfully describing the contents. And while the subject of coding and design guidelines might not get the juices running in the same way as a tome on the latest scripting language or a fancy new web technology, it’s also true that a solid grasp of the subject is likely to be of more long term value to a developer.

Framework Design Guidelines book cover By frameworks the authors mean collections of components which are designed for reuse – in other words libraries, middleware components, toolkits and the like. In contrast to standalone applications, these frameworks are defined by their APIs, the public interface through which other developers can make use of them. And the prime example the authors refer to is, of course, Microsoft’s .NET Framework; as they make clear, the guidelines in this book are those developed, tested and refined by the development of .NET.

The book covers both design principles and more mundane issues such as coding standards, naming conventions and so on. The first couple of chapters focus on design and philosophy, describing both the desirable attributes of a well-designed framework (simplicity, consistency, built with evolution in mind), and some fundamental guiding principles (layered architecture, self-documenting object models). Design principles are also revisited in a later chapter on common design patterns, such as the use of factory methods for object creation.

The nuts and bolts of coding are not neglected. Naming guidelines include capitalisation rules, names for classes, interfaces, structs, assemblies, name spaces, and much more. On first sight there appear to be endless layers of detail – how hard can it be to come up with rules on how to capitalise identifiers? However, it’s a horrible fact of life that depending on common sense and good luck just isn’t enough. And once an API has been published, all kinds of inconsistencies and exceptions become glaringly obvious to your users, who’ll take no end of pleasure in pointing them out.

Of course, this isn’t the first book to cover this sort of ground. Steve McConnell’s excellent ”Code Complete” (reviewed here), has plenty to say on coding and naming standards. And Joshua Bloch’s ”Effective Java” (reviewed here), covers design object oriented design principles. Interestingly, both books are name checked and are clear influences. While the .NET focus is evident, it has to be said that the principles and guidelines are independent of language and, to a very large extent, independent of platform. So, not only is this a book that applies to all of the .NET languages rather than just C#, most of it makes good sense for Java, Python and the rest.

Given the subject matter, the writing’s on the dry side. But the solid technical content is leavened with comments and asides from a number of experienced developers and architects.

Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries

Verdict: All in all, this is an impressive and useful book that is easy to recommend.

Author: Krzysztof Cwalina and Brad Abrams

Publisher: Addison Wesley

ISBN: 0321246756

Media: Book

List Price: £28.99

Reg price: £23.19

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.