Object-Oriented Software Construction

Object-Oriented Software Construction is a book by Bertrand Meyer, widely considered a foundational text of object-oriented programming[citation needed]. The first edition was published in 1988; the second, extensively revised and expanded edition (more than 1300 pages), in 1997. Numerous translations are available including Dutch (first edition only), French (1+2), German (1), Italian (1), Japanese (1+2), Persian (1), Polish (2), Romanian (1), Russian (2), Serbian (2), and Spanish (2).[1] The book has been cited thousands of times[2] in computer science literature. The book won a Jolt award in 1994.[3]

Object-Oriented Software Construction
AuthorBertrand Meyer
Subjectsoftware object-oriented programming
PublisherPrentice Hall
Publication date
1988, 1997
Pages1254 + xxviii
ISBN0-13-629155-4 (1997 ed.)
005.1/17 21
LC ClassQA76.64 .M493 1997

Unless otherwise indicated, descriptions below apply to the second edition.


The book, often known as "OOSC", presents object technology as an answer to major issues of software engineering, with a special emphasis on addressing the software quality factors of correctness, robustness, extendibility and reusability. It starts with an examination of the issues of software quality, then introduces abstract data types as the theoretical basis for object technology and proceeds with the main object-oriented techniques: classes, objects, genericity, inheritance, Design by Contract, concurrency, and persistence. It includes extensive discussions of methodological issues.

Table of contentsEdit

Preface etc.
Part A: The issues

1 Software quality
2 Criteria of object orientation

Part B: The road to object orientation

3 Modularity
4 Approaches to reusability
5 Towards object technology
6 Abstract data types

Part C: Object-oriented techniques

7 The static structure: classes
8 The run-time structure: objects
9 Memory management
10 Genericity
11 Design by Contract: building
reliable software
12 When the contract is broken:
exception handling
13 Supporting mechanisms
14 Introduction to inheritance
15 Multiple inheritance
16 Inheritance techniques
17 Typing
18 Global objects and constants

Part D: Object-oriented methodology:
applying the method well

19 On methodology
20 Design pattern: multi-panel
interactive systems
21 Inheritance case study: “undo”
in an interactive system
22 How to find the classes
23 Principles of class design
24 Using inheritance well
25 Useful techniques
26 A sense of style
27 Object-oriented analysis
28 The software construction process
29 Teaching the method

Part E: Advanced topics

30 Concurrency, distribution, client-server
and the Internet
31 Object persistence and databases
32 Some O-O techniques for graphical
interactive applications

Part F: Applying the method in various
languages and environments

33 O-O programming and Ada
34 Emulating object technology in non-O-O environments
35 Simula to Java and beyond: major O-O
languages and environments

Part G: Doing it right

36 An object-oriented environment
Epilogue, In Full Frankness Exposing the Language

Part H: Appendices

A Extracts from the Base library
B Genericity versus inheritance
C Principles, rules, precepts and definitions
D A glossary of object technology
E Bibliography



The first edition of the book used Eiffel for the examples and served as a justification of the language design choices for Eiffel. The second edition also uses Eiffel as its notation, but in an effort to separate the notation from the concepts it does not name the language until the Epilogue, on page 1162, where "Eiffel" appears as the last word. A few months after publication of the second edition, a reader posted on Usenet[citation needed] his discovery that the book's 36 chapters alternatively start with the letters "E", "I", "F", "F", "E", "L", a pattern being repeated 6 times. In addition, in the Appendix, titled "Epilogue, In Full Frankness Exposing the Language" (note the initials), the first letters of each paragraph spell out the same pattern.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Web search, August 2006
  2. ^ The ACM's Guide to Computing Literature counts 2,233 citations as of December, 15, 2011 for the second edition alone in computer science journals and technical books; Google Scholar (December 15, 2011) lists 7,305 citations; the book appears as number 35 in the Citeseer list of all-time most cited works (books, articles etc.) in computer science, with 1260 citations (September 2006).
  3. ^ Jolt winners 1997 Archived 2009-05-25 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit