Tech Report CS-91-01

Perspectives on Object-Oriented Design

Peter Wegner

January 1991


In reviewing concepts and literature of object-oriented design, we focus on two new texts and consider their impact on broader issues of software engineering.

\begin{enumerate} \item {\em Object-Oriented Design with Applications} (OODA), by Grady Booch, uses objects and classes as a structuring mechanism, develops concepts and notations for design, and devotes half its 500 pages to five extensive case studies in the areas of process control, scientific tools, information management, heuristic search, and command and control. \item {\em Object-Oriented Modeling and Design} (OOMD), by five authors from General Electric Research Labs, focuses on the modeling process rather than one case studies. Its three-pronged object modeling technique (OMT), which includes object, dynamic, and functional models that capture complementary views of software, offers a visual notation and methodology for object-oriented design. \end{enumerate}

As object-oriented technology matures, attention is shifting from languages to software development. Our review of OODA and OOMD explores object-oriented design and its role in software development. Design promotes a language-independent view of underlying principles of software technology that deepens our understanding of the object-oriented paradigm. To motivate our discussion, we examine the nature of design as a human activity and compare OODA and OOMD to other software engineering texts.

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