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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language » User review

A superb job of distillation

  • Jan 18, 2000
If you start your study of the Unified Modeling Language(UML) by going to the definitive references by the three creators, it is quite likely that you will be intimidated. The three books, _The Unified Modeling Language User Guide_, _The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual_ and _The Unified Software Development Process_, all written by the designers and published by Addison-Wesley, are nearly 1500 pages of rather intense material. Like a veteran horseman, Martin Fowler charges to the rescue.
In a "mere" 174 pages, he takes each of the essential main areas of the UML and presents a brief, yet surprisingly thorough description of what it is and how it is used. While targeted at the UML novice, it is necessary to have a fairly solid background in object-oriented programming in order to understand it. Since the UML is a modeling language based heavily on diagrams, they are used throughout the book and are very effective.
This book will not teach you the UML, that task is left to weightier works. However, it will provide the proper foundation so that you can learn it, a task that is just as important. I listed the first edition as one of the best books of the year in my "On Books" column that appeared in the September, 1998 issue of _Journal of Object-Oriented Programming_ . There is nothing in the second edition that will change that opinion.

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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #78
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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About this book


The second edition of Martin Fowler's bestsellingUML Distilledprovides updates to the Unified Modeling Language (UML) without changing its basic formula for success. It is still arguably the best resource for quick, no-nonsense explanations of using UML.

The major strength of UML Distilled is its short, concise presentation of the essentials of UML and where it fits within today's software development process. The book describes all the major UML diagram types, what they're for, and the basic notation involved in creating and deciphering them. These diagrams include use cases; class and interaction diagrams; collaborations; and state, activity, and physical diagrams. The examples are always clear, and the explanations cut to the fundamental design logic.

For the second edition, the material has been reworked for use cases and activity diagrams, plus there are numerous small tweaks throughout, including the latest UML v. 1.3 standard. An appendix even traces the evolution of UML versions.

Working developers often don't have time to keep up with new innovations in software engineering. This new edition lets you get acquainted with some of the best thinking about efficient object-oriented software design using UML in a convenient format that will be essential to anyone who designs software professionally. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: UML basics, analysis and design, outline development (software development process), inception, elaboration, managing risks, construction, ...

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ISBN-10: 020165783X
ISBN-13: 978-0201657838
Author: Martin Fowler
Genre: Computers & Internet
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
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"A superb job of distillation"
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