Commanding Attention — The Design Pattern

Hey All! This week we will be looking into a behavioral design pattern, Command. If you can recall from my first post, a behavioral design pattern focuses on how classes and objects communicate with each other. The main focus of the command pattern is to inculcate a higher degree of loose coupling between involved parties (read: classes).

Uhhhh… What’s that?

Coupling is the way that two (or more) classes that interact with each other, well, interact. The ideal scenario when these classes interact is that they do not depend heavily on each other. That’s Loose coupling. So, a better definition for loose coupling would be, classes that are interconnected, making the least use of each other.

The need for this pattern arose when requests need to be sent without consciously knowing what you are asking for or who the receiver is.

In this pattern, the invoking class is decoupled from the class that actually performs an action. The invoker class only has the callable method execute, which runs the necessary command, when the client requests it.

Let’s take a basic real-world example, ordering a meal at a fancy restaurant. As the flow goes, you give your order (command) to the waiter (invoker), who then hands it over to the chef(receiver), so you can get food. Might sound simple… but a bit meh to code.

The idea is pretty simple, but the coding goes around the nose.

The flow of operation on the technical side is, you make a concrete command, which implements the Command interface, asking the receiver to complete an action, and send the command to the invoker. The invoker is the person that knows when to give this command. The chef is the only one who knows what to do when given the specific command/order. So, when the execute method of the invoker is run, it, in turn, causes the command objects’ execute method to run on the receiver, thus completing necessary actions.

What we need to implement is;

  1. An interface Command
  2. A class Order that implements Command interface
  3. A class Waiter (invoker)
  4. A class Chef (receiver)

So, the coding goes as;

Chef, the receiver;

Command, the interface;

Order, the concrete command;

Waiter, the invoker;

You, the client;

As you can see above, the Client makes an Order and sets the Receiver as the Chef. The Order is sent to the Waiter, who will know when to execute the Order (i.e. when to give the chef the order to cook). When the invoker is executed, the Orders’ execute method is run on the receiver (i.e. the chef is given the command to either cook pasta 🍝 or bake cake🎂).

Find the commit for the post, here.

Check out my other Design Pattern posts;

Front End Developer at Switchd Ltd. | MSc in Computer Science @ QMUL (2022)

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