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This is a fundamental problem, because every time a command is added, the help text needs to
be changed, and it is very easy to forget to make this change. The program compiles and runs,
and everything seems fine. A maintenance programmer may well believe that the job is finished
and release a program that now contains a bug.
This is an example of implicit coupling. When commands change, the help text must be modified
(coupling), but nothing in the program source clearly points out this dependence (thus implicit).
A well-designed class will avoid this form of coupling by following the rule of responsibility-driven
design. Because the CommandWords class is responsible for command words, it should also be respon-
sible for printing command words. Thus, we add the following method to the CommandWords class:
* Print all valid commands to System.out.
public void showAll()
for(String command : validCommands) {
System.out.print(command + " ");
The idea here is that the printHelp method in Game , instead of printing a fixed text with the
command words, invokes a method that asks the CommandWords class to print all its command
words. Doing this ensures that the correct command words will always be printed, and adding a
new command will also add it to the help text without further change.
The only remaining problem is that the Game object does not have a reference to the CommandWords
object. You can see in the class diagram (Figure 6.1) that there is no arrow from Game to
CommandWords . This indicates that the Game class does not even know of the existence of the
CommandWords class. Instead, the game just has a parser, and the parser has command words.
We could now add a method to the parser that hands the CommandWords object to the Game
object so that they could communicate. This would, however, increase the degree of coupling in
our application. Game would then depend on CommandWords , which it currently does not. Also,
we would see this effect in the class diagram: Game would then have an arrow to CommandWords .
The arrows in the diagram are, in fact, a good first indication of how tightly coupled a program
is—the more arrows, the more coupling. As an approximation of good class design, we can aim
at creating diagrams with few arrows.
Thus, the fact that Game did not have a reference to CommandWords is a good thing! We should not
change this. From Game 's viewpoint, the fact that the CommandWords class exists is an implemen-
tation detail of the parser. The parser returns commands, and whether it uses a CommandWords
object to achieve this or something else is entirely up to the parser's implementation.
It follows that a better design just lets the Game talk to the Parser , which in turn may talk
to CommandWords . We can implement this by adding the following code to the printHelp
method in Game :
System.out.println("Your command words are:");
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