When the book finally does get down to business (chapter 9), the examples are both good and bad. They are good in that they demonstrate the concept at hand, but bad in that there are very few practical examples. For example, a basket module (somewhat related to a shopping cart) in the abstract isn’t terribly helpful. I was really hoping to see a full, if short, web application that demonstrated the pattern in use. I know “real” applications can be difficult, but I feel like too few of the code samples actually bring the concept home for the reader. As another example, there is an entire section on jQuery Plugin design patterns. To me, that seems like such a limited audience it just adds to the ‘noise’ of the book.
I think this is the biggest fault of the book. If you’re experienced in traditional programming, you can take the book and use it well. If you’re the traditional web developer (who typically learned in bits and spurts as they had to) then it will be very difficult to take practical benefit from this book.
This is something I find in many cases throughout the web community. I feel like there’s a great deal of intro material, a great deal of very high end abstract material, and very little in terms of intermediate-level discussion. It feels painful to go from Beginner to Intermediate versus Intermediate to Advanced. I’m not sure if others feel that way, but thats how it seems to me.
I think I can recommend this book if you’ve got some experience with patterns already, but not if you’re coming from a non-CompSci (or server-side) background. I’ve got a great deal of respect for Addy and would recommend his blog and any presentation he gives.