Command Pattern


The Command pattern creates distance between the client that requests an operation and the object that can perform it. This pattern is particularly versatile. It can support:

  • Sending requests to different receivers

  • Queuing, logging, and rejecting requests

  • Composing higher-level transactions from primitive operations

  • Redo and Undo functionality


The Command pattern is used in the menu systems of many well-known applications. An example of such an interface is shown in Figure 8-5 (which happens to be the program editor I usually use). Note that there are different insert and copy operations.

Command pattern illustration—menus

Figure 8-5. Command pattern illustration—menus

The figure shows two ways in which commands can be activated: select them from a drop-down textual menu, or click on the icons that represent each of the operations. In the top menu, there could be a receiver that handles word processing cut-and-paste-type operations, and another for brace matching and changing case. For most of these commands, Undo and Redo functions will also be appropriate; however, some operations are indicated in gray, which means they cannot be undone or repeated. Furthermore, in systems such as this one, there is usually a way of stringing together some commands so that they can be executed in a batch later. These so-called macro commands are common in graphics and photo-editing programs.


The ...

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