The Decorator Design Pattern

This week I will be looking at the decorator design pattern. This post discusses the advantages of using a decorator design pattern over inheritance in Java and gives examples of its implementation. The main advantage being a significantly less number of classes are needed when adding functionality using a decorator versus using traditional inheritance. It also mentions that the decorator should be added so that it is natively supported by programming languages. I think that this is the most interesting part of the entire article. I agree that languages, and in particular Java should start natively adding support for these design patterns. By doing this, as the article says it makes it much easier for beginner programmers to implement. I agree with this and I find that this can be challenging when you are first learning about design patterns and especially if you are starting out programming. In addition, I agree that a native implementation makes this design pattern, and others much cleaner to implement. As the example of the implementation in this article shows it would require a lot less work and code if it was implemented as they have it with just having a decorates statements instead of implements when creating a new class. I find this approach would encourage me and others to use this as it would be easy to use and not require repetitive typing, which as the article states would lead to better programs. I think this point of native support should also go beyond just this particular design pattern. I think that Java and other object-oriented languages should add native support for some of the other popular design patterns as well such as strategy or singleton. This would make it easier to experiment with different patterns earlier in the stages of learning to program and would let people see the benefits without struggling on the implementation necessarily. I would have found it much more encouraging to use one of these patterns as the article suggests if it was natively supported versus creating my own implementation based on text-book examples. Overall this article and what I’ve learned in this class have taught me to prefer using a design pattern over basic inheritance in most scenarios when building programs and that adding native support for these patterns would make it even better to use.



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