Programming on Purpose
by P.J. Plauger
Date Read 5/2006
This book is dated, no question about it. However, it contains several excellent essays that are as relevant today as they were decades ago.
A lot of the techniques discussed in the book are no longer used. This was a book written in the days of structured programming. Those days are over. Thus, I found several of the essays boring. I could not put my full attention into them. They seemed dry.
Several essays in this collection were priceless, though. Worth buying the book just for those. Which Tool Is Next (Ch.7) is an excellent intro to software engineering. It contains several excellent analogies and definitions of software engineering. I think the best essays in the book are the last 5: the author talks about OO Principles and Software Engineering in general. The chapter on Encapsulation (Chp 21) is the best I’ve read. The chapters Heresies of Software Design (Ch 23) and Remedial Software Engineering (Ch 24) are just so “capturing.” They explain what works and do not work in software engineering. They define the whole software engineering industry.
Like I said, this book is dated. But because of the several excellent essays, this book is a keeper. Those essays are worth re-reading. The author is a great teacher, good writer. Most of all, the author speaks from his own experience (years of it).