Syntropy book now freely available!

10 May 2010

If you’re a software developer and you’ve never heard of the Syntropy method for software modelling and design then shame on you.  Mind you if you have heard of it, you’re probably in the minority, but this is a sad state of affairs.

Syntropy was a “second generation” OO method created by John Daniels and Steve Cook when they worked together at Object Designers in the 1990s.  It explains how to achieve precise models of software based systems, clearly separating Essential, Specification and Implementation models and showing how to combine OO modelling techniques with a small number of accessible formal (mathematical) ideas for defining the semantics of the models clearly (something that many OO methods – UML included – have often been rather poor at).

Their book Designing Object Systems was published in 1994 and was very influential, with many of its ideas ending up in other more widely used approaches including UML and OCL.  When I read the book in the mid-1990s I found it terrifically useful at helping me to understand what software modelling was really all about and how to make it useful (and precise!)  I’ve used the principles I learned from the book ever since when designing software.

Sadly the book went out of print quite a while ago and so I’ve been unable to get people to read it since except by lending them my copy (and hoping that it comes back).  However, I’ve just seen on John’s blog that the book is now available online as a PDF here:

So now there’s no excuse!  If you design software, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

published under Software Design