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

I've recently read Framework Design Guidelines: Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries by two lead architects on the .NET Framework. A mixed experience, I have to say. The book does offer good advice, but somehow, hardly anything seemed truly new. Maybe that is because I've already read Josh Bloch's Effective Java, but, I suspect, mostly because I have accumulated a fair bit of framework design experience myself (and, like them, learned from many mistakes). It was quite eerie at times, as it felt like they'd written down my own thoughts. So, it has still been a rewarding read, seeing as this eminent source confirmed a lot of my design creeds.

A lot in the book is quite .NET specific, though I can hardly blame the book for that. And while it is tedious reading to someone looking for higher-level insights, I still wholeheartedly agree with the authors that consistency down to detailed naming conventions matters a lot in framework design.

The most gratifying part was Krzysztof Cwalina's assertion that the most important advice in the book, if he had to make the choice, would be to focus on the key usage scenarios, and to design the API starting with example code for those tasks. Exactly.


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