Framework Design Guidelines, Addison-Wesley
C# Online.NET Book Review
When developing class libraries, components, and frameworks, it is necessary to evolve consistent, coherent, and intelligible standards. In this book, Microsoft is sharing with us the best practices developed for internal use in the .NET Framework project.
The book is a codification of the set of guidelines worked out by the Microsoft .NET Framework development team to govern the project. It has been refined over six years. It's like the Constitution of .NET. But, the guidelines are so well crafted that the principles embodied in them apply equally well, not only, to all .NET languages, but also, to Java or any object-oriented language.
This is not a literary masterpiece; but, it is a masterpiece nonetheless. For the most part, the book is not designed to be read straight through like one would a novel. It is written as a set of annotated DOs, CONSIDERs, DO NOTs, and AVOIDs. The annotations are comments inserted where needed by some of the best .NET minds at Microsoft including Anders Hejlsberg].
The book is divided into the following major sections: Framework Design Fundamentals, Naming Guidelines, Type Design Guidelines, Member Design, Designing for Extensibility, Exceptions, Usage Guidelines, and Common Design Patterns, plus the C# Coding Style Conventions appendix. Taken together, they cover virtually every facet of class, component, and library design. (The guidelines can be enforced by FxCop.)
All source code examples are in the C# language.
The book will enable you to understand how the .NET Frameworks were designed and how they are meant to be used. Furthermore, their insights will allow you to specify and create frameworks of the same caliber.
And, as if that were not enough, the book contains a DVD with—among other things—several hours of video presentations covering topics from the book.
So, don't read it: incorporate it into your DNA.
Framework Design Guidelines is invaluable to developers of class libraries, components, and frameworks—whether .NET or not.
Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries teaches developers the best practices for designing system frameworks and reusable libraries for use with the Microsoft .NET Framework and WinFX. This book focuses on the design issues that directly affect the programmability of a framework, specifically its publicly accessible APIs.
This book can improve the work of any .NET developer producing code that other developers will use. An added benefit is a collection of annotations to the guidelines by various members of the Microsoft .NET Framework and WinFX teams, which provide a lively discussion of the motives behind the guidelines, along with examples of good reasons for breaking the guidelines.
Microsoft architects Krzysztof Cwalina and Brad Abrams offer guidelines for framework design from the top down. From their long experience and deep insight, you will learn
- The general philosophy of framework design
- Principles and guidelines that are fundamental to overall framework design
- Naming guidelines for the various parts of a framework, such as namespaces, types, and members
- Guidelines for the design of types and members of types
- Issues and guidelines that are important to ensure appropriate extensibilityin your framework
- Guidelines for working with exceptions, the preferred error reporting mechanism in the .NET Framework and WinFX
- Guidelines for extending and using types that commonly appear in frameworks
- Guidelines for and examples of common framework design patterns
- Guidelines in this book come in four major forms: Do, Consider, Avoid, and Do not. In general, a Do guideline should almost always be followed, a Consider guideline should generally be followed, an Avoid guideline indicates that something is generally not a good idea, and a Do not guideline indicates something you should almost never do. Every guideline includes a discussion of its applicability, and most guidelines include a code example.
A companion DVD includes the Designing .NET Class Libraries video series, instructional presentations by the authors on design guidelines for developing classes and components that extend the .NET Framework. A sample API specification and other useful resources are also included.
From the back cover
"This book is an absolute must-read for all .NET developers. It gives clear do and don't guidance on how to design class libraries for .NET. It also offers insight into the design and creation of .NET that really helps developers understand the reasons why things are the way they are. This information will aid developers designing their own class libraries and will also allow them to take advantage of the .NET class library more effectively."
--Jeffrey Richter, author/trainer/consultant, Wintellect
"Framework Design Guidelines will help you in two important ways. First, any .NET developer will benefit from a greater understanding of the design principles that govern the .NET Base Class Library. Second, a deeper understanding of these principles will help you to create software that integrates well with the .NET environment. Quite frankly, this book should be on every .NET developer's bookshelf."
--Bill Wagner, founder and consultant, SRT Solutions, author of Effective C#
"Not since Brooks' The Mythical Man Month has the major software maker of its time produced a book so full of relevant advice for the modern software developer. This book has a permanent place on my bookshelf and I consult it frequently."
--George Byrkit, senior software engineer, Genomic Solutions
"This book is a must-read for all architects and software developers thinking about frameworks. The book offers insight into some driving factors behind the design of the .NET Framework. It should be considered mandatory reading for anybody tasked with creating application frameworks."
--Peter Winkler, senior software engineer, Balance Technology Inc.
"Frameworks are valuable but notoriously difficult to construct: Your every decision must be geared towards making them easy to be used correctly and difficult to be used incorrectly. This book takes you through a progression of recommendations that will eliminate many of those downstream 'I wish I'd known that earlier' moments. I wish I'd read it earlier."
--Paul Besly, principal technologist, QA
"Filled with information useful to developers and architects of all levels, this book provides practical guidelines and expert background information to get behind the rules. Framework Design Guidelines takes the already published guidelines to a higher level, and it is needed to write applications that integrate well in the .NET area."
--Cristof Falk, software engineer
About the author(s)
Brad Abrams is a Program Manager on the .NET Framework team at Microsoft, where he has been designing the Framework Class Libraries for the past five years. He is the primary author of the .NET Framework Design Guidelines, the Common Language Specification, and the class libraries for the ECMA CLI specification.
Krzysztof Cwalina is a Program Manager on the Common Language Runtime team at Microsoft Corporation. He began his career at Microsoft designing APIs for the first release of the .NET Framework. He has been responsible for several namespaces in the Framework, including System.Collections, System.Diagnostics, System.Messaging, and others. He was also one of the original members of the FxCop team. Currently, he is leading a companywide effort to develop, promote, and apply the design guidelines to the .NET Framework and WinFX. Krzysztof graduated with a B.S. and an M.S. in computer science from the University of Iowa.
Table of Contents (abbreviated)
2. Framework Design Fundamentals.
3. Naming Guidelines.
4. Type Design Guidelines.
5. Member Design.
6. Designing for Extensibility.
8. Usage Guidelines.
9. Common Design Patterns.
Appendix A: C# Coding Style Conventions.
Appendix B: Using FxCop to Enforce the Design Guidelines.
Appendix C: Sample API Specification.
Books in this series
Microsoft .NET Development Series (Addison-Wesley):
- .NET Developer's Guide to Directory Services Programming, Addison-Wesley
- .NET Developer's Guide to Windows Security, Addison-Wesley
- .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, v.1, Addison-Wesley
- .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, v.2, Addison-Wesley
- .NET Internationalization, Addison-Wesley
- .NET Web Services, Addison-Wesley
- ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated, Addison-Wesley
- C# Programming Language, The, 2nd Ed., Addison-Wesley
- Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard, Addison-Wesley
- Data Binding with Windows Forms 2.0, Addison-Wesley
- Enterprise Services with the .NET Framework, Addison-Wesley
- eXtreme .NET, Addison-Wesley
- Framework Design Guidelines, Addison-Wesley
- Visual Studio Tools for Office, Addison-Wesley
- Windows Forms 2.0 Programming, Addison-Wesley