The SOLID Principles (and Chris Klug's take on it)

May 01 · 4 mins read


  • S – Single Responsibility Principle (SRP)
  • O – Open/Closed Principle (OCP)
  • L – Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP)
  • I – Interface Segregation Principle (ISP)
  • D – Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP)

Only last year did I become aware of the importance of the SOLID (or SDOLI) Principles. I heard about these principles many years ago when I was just beginning my career as a software developer but I did not give much time understanding them. I concentrated instead on learning about frameworks and technologies which Uncle Bob calls “the details” instead of the center of our application.

The SOLID Principles came from Uncle Bob Martin’s series of articles that were written during the mid 90s.

The original order, if we follow the dates the papers were written, was OLDIS. But Micheal Feathers pointed out to Uncle Bob that if he rearranged the letters they can become SOLID. Then SOLID was born!

Uncle Bob Martin’s talk on SOLID

The youtube video below is one of Uncle Bob Martin’s talks on SOLID that I watched about a month ago: “S.O.L.I.D principles by Robert C. Martin, popularly known as Uncle Bob at REV3 in Naperville IL”

I learned so much from that video. I believe that you will learn so much too! :blush:

Chris Klug’s talk on SOLID

Another video that I watched recently is Applying SOLID Principles in .NET/C# by Chris Klug - TechEd North America 2014

I took some notes on the parts about OCP and LSP because I think they are very interesting!

(at about 18:00 mins through the video)

Open/Closed Principle

Once a class is done, it is done.

(at about 19:00)

He said something about the relationship of TDD and OCP.

… [about] not modifying existing unit tests because we are not going to modify existing classes when we add functionality to the application; we are going to create a new class then create new unit tests for that new class.

(Wow! That is one of the answers to the “TDD is dead” hype!)

Meyer vs. Polymorphic

Once a class is done it should not be changed unless there is a bug in it.


Liskov Substitution Principle

A subclass should behave in such a way that it will not cause problems when used instead of the superclass.

Rules in LSP

  1. Contravariance of arguments…
  2. Covariance of return types…
  3. No new exception types are allowed to be thrown unless they are subclasses of previously used ones.
    • Because the classes that uses your base class might crash if you substitute a subtype of that base class.
  4. Preconditions cannot be strengthened in a subtype.
    • You should not be expecting things that was not expected in the bass class
  5. Postconditions cannot be weakened in a subtype.
    • You cannot make changes to the subclass that makes it not do the things it could do before.
    • You should not be throwing not implemented exceptions
  6. The history constraint
    • You cannot make an immutable class mutable.
    • You cannot make an immutable property in a base class mutable in the derived class.


LSP General guideline/rule

You are not allowed to change a class in a way that you can break any existing applications.