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Discussion on: Why I can't recommend Clean Architecture by Robert C Martin

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rafalpienkowski profile image
Rafal Pienkowski

Thanks for your recension of the book.

I've bought Clean Architecture, and it is on my short list of books to read. I'm curious if I'd share your opinion after the lecture.

You wrote:

"Uncle Bob presents the SOLID principles like hard rules"

That's all Uncle Bob. You like or hate him. He is sometimes very controversial. I have some distance to his opinion, but I want to hear what he has to say.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yeah, there's a real cult of personality issues. Certain "rules" also are highly context-dependent. Like "sure, that makes a lot of sense for Java developers..."

I like the reading material, I don't really like that it's treated like gospel.

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sunnystatue profile image
Alireza

I m pretty happy he didn't provide any concrete example because everyone despite of tech stack can grab the idea and implement it.

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bosepchuk profile image
Blaine Osepchuk Author

Absolutely. Post back here when you finish reading the book and share your thoughts.

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rafalpienkowski profile image
Rafal Pienkowski

I finished the book, so finally, I can write a comment after my reading. My first thought was to defend the book at any cost. I've been even thinking about a blog post about it. Finally, I'll only leave this comment. Blaine keeps in mind that I've nothing against your opinion. I respect others beliefs and feelings. Please, don't take this personally.

So let's start.

"Clean Architecture is a poorly organized book."

I can't agree. The book as a whole is well organized. Of course, there are chapters which in my opinion are unnecessary like mentioned by you chapter about design paradigms_. I share your view that sections about SOLID principles are excellent. But I think that Uncle Bob spends too much time describing those principles at this book. In my opinion, they should be mentioned, and there should be a piece of information that knowledge and a well understanding of them are required to read further.

"Not enough examples."

Holy true. I've nothing to add. I think the same.

"The book is silent on improving the architecture of existing systems."

True again. There is only one chapter which describes the example location of components across multiple libraries, but it concerns newly created projects.

"What this book is missing"

  • Unanswered questions.

Yeap, a lot of unanswered questions. I had a feeling that I'm Neo and Uncle Bob is Morpheus from Matrix, and he gives me a choice between red and blue pill without telling details.

Morpheus's pills

  • Details that would have made Clean Architecture more valuable

Here I disagree. The message from "Clean Architecture" by Robert C. Martin in that boundaries are the most important thing. We can organize our architecture in several ways depending on a project's needs. Furthermore, our architecture will evolve, and there will be a day we will need to reorganize our components. So we need to keep in mind to set up right, firm boundaries in our system. BTW you mentioned about boundaries in the section "What this book is really about."
I also think that database or www server is only a detail in our architecture. Thinking in that manner helped me multiple times.

Appendix

I think that appendix which is a part of Uncle Bob's professional resume doesn't add anything. Yes, it's a beautiful story and a beautiful piece of history, but it's loosely coupled with the primary aim which is Clean Architecture.

To sum up, I also feel that "Clean Architecture" isn't dedicated for beginners and every reader should at least have experience and understanding of SOLID principles. At all this is not a bad book. I think that Robert C. Matin fans won't be disappointed. If you've read other Marin's book and you like his style of writing, I believe you will be satisfied. If you are an experienced software architect, it's possible that you will be bored during the reading. But again, that is only my subjective opinion. Please don't treat me like an oracle because I'm not.

Cheers.

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bosepchuk profile image
Blaine Osepchuk Author

Nice summary, Rafal.

I'm not an oracle either and I can see how you arrived at your opinions. I'm not offended; it's nice to show people see opposing points of view and let them decide for themselves.

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essiccf37 profile image
essic

I personally don't find him controversial. I remember his deal about "Monads" which were just plain wrong.

To be honest with you since his book Clean Code - which I must say is to me a book that every software developer should read - I do not really see what he brings on the table for today's real world problem or to challenge the state of art of software engineering. Therefore I do not find him controversial at all, he likes himself a lot and is convinced that he's right.

Kent Beck, Martin Fowler, Alistair Cockburn, Eric Evans and many others have a far more impact, I think than Uncle Bob and are much more humble which to me, is a quality which goes with intellectual honesty.

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t4rzsan profile image
Jakob Christensen

I remember his deal about "Monads" which were just plain wrong

What is the story on this "deal"? I have not heard about it.

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essiccf37 profile image
essic

Well a while ago he posted on Twitter a statement about what a Monad is. Which gave an epic thread and some discussion on diverse communities.

Here's the Twitter thread, some discussion on Reddit

He also made a talk about Monads (also wrong) which you can find the link on this Meetup page

There other "controversies" like his stand on the guy who got fired of Google or his "tests solves everything software related" philosophy, I took the one about Monad because its less opinionated since a formal definition of a Monad exists and it's not what he said.

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eljayadobe profile image
Eljay-Adobe

I just read Robert Martin's "WTF is a Monad?" presentation (slide deck, in PDF format), from about 10 years ago.

Hoo-boy, swing and a miss. Complete misunderstanding of monads.

Clean Code is a fabulous book. (Two thumbs up!)

I've not read The Clean Coder nor Clean Architecture.

Given Blaine's review, probably won't be putting Clean Architecture on my short list. Which is okay, I've already got too many books in my book queue as it is. I try to use my time to read high quality book with good signal-to-noise ratios.

However, I did not get off scott free... now I've added out Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler to my short list.

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essiccf37 profile image
essic

The Martin Fowler's book is a treasure ! I agree.

This "WTF is a Monad?" was quite messy I agree !