I’m a bit behind schedule with regard to my book reviewing commitment but I’ve at least been able to finish off a couple of the volumes I committed to and now I am ready to share some views on Practical API Design by Jaroslav Tulach.
This book is a rather personal presentation by Tulach – the author is constantly relating to his personal experiences as developer/architect of the Netbeans platform (on which the famous IDE is built). Tulach doesn’t refrain from lengthy, and sometimes rather esoteric, argumentations and analogies even going so far as to comparing API design with astronomical observations.
There are some golden nuggets here and there, some techniques and observations that were new to me, but in general I think there is too little meat and too much padding. The book is perhaps of most interest to designers of very long living API:s with a large number of disparate users, for lowly general Java devs like me there are far more rewarding reads among the books that have recently been published in the field of software engineering. A suggestion would be the extremely “meaty” Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin (a.k.a Uncle Bob).
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