Book Reviews written by members of the Denver JUG. If you wish to review a book, please e-mail us at denverjug at yahoo dot com to let us know which book you’re interested in reviewing. Although book reviews in 2004 or before have been excluded, a review from 2005 and from 2006 have been included here, as well as recent book reviews.
|2009 Book Reviews|
Authors: Ray Harris
REVIEW by Edward Young
Authors: Andrea Steelman, Joel Murach Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates
Review Date: October 15, 2009
Publisher’s Book Description
REVIEW by David Madouros
I’m torn after reading Murach’s Java Servlets & JSP book, 2nd Ed. I read the first version when I was making the transition from mainframe programming to Java programming and found the information to be extremely helpful for getting up and running very quickly. With the authors’ assistance I had a database server, a servlet container, and a ‘hello world’ web app running within a couple of hours. On the other hand, reading the second edition as an experienced Java developer made me cringe. Ultimately, I have to side with the my experienced side. Especially when I consider how well the format of Murach books tends to make them canonical references and how easy it would have been for the authors to teach better practices. The cover of the book makes at least three claims:
Get Off to a Quick Start
Build Professional Web Sites
Handle Databases Like a Pro
REVIEW by Johnny Wey
“Modular Java: Creating Flexible Applications with OSGi and Spring” provides a great introduction to those either curious about OSGi or wanting to get more out of their existing OSGi workflow using the Spring Framework. Craig Walls, author of “Spring in Action, 2nd Edition”, opens the book explaining why OSGi matters and how it can be used to enhance the modularity and maintainability of those application stacks containing multiple and complex moving parts. He not only serves up a great introduction to the technology, but also directs the reader to several tools that make OSGi development significantly easier.
In the second portion of the book, Craig throws Spring into the mix and demonstrates how the power of Spring Dependency Injection, autowiring, and the Spring MVC web framework can not only run seamlessly in an OSGi container, but also remove a large portion of the burden that OSGi’s API can put on application development.
Finally, Craig spends some time describing how an actual deployment might look in a production environment using both Tomcat and Jetty and provides optimization tips that make the process as painless as possible.
The book itself is logically organized and Craig’s writing style is approachable and easy to follow. All the example source code is available online, and Craig demonstrates how to install OSGi packages using both Eclipse Equinox and Apache Felix, leaving the final OSGi container decision up to the preference and requirements of the project. The sample application Craig uses to demonstrate the concepts in the book is surprisingly fun and useful, and the book contains some wonderful appendices that function as a great reference for current and future development projects. The book is a relatively quick read but surprisingly complete.
For someone looking to get the most out of OSGi or wanting to find out what all the “buzz” is about, Craig Walls’ book is an outstanding choice.
|2006 Book Reviews|
Authors: Scott Davis
Publisher: The Pragmatic Programmers Publish
Date: May, 2006
Review Date: February 2005 Publisher’s Book Description
REVIEW by Greg Ostravich
This book is a part of The Pragmatic Programmer’s recently announced new line of books called the Pragmatic Bookshelf! Fridays. The Pragmatic Bookshelf describes these books as “short, focused, PDF-only books, written by experts for developers who need information fast.” Scott Davis’ new Google Maps API book is the second book in the series. In just 66 pages the book does a good job explaining and demonstrating how to use Google’s Mapping API to easily add location to your existing application if you have address data or longitude/latitude points. This book includes links to what you need and code samples.
This book didn’t take a lot of time to read and was a great introduction to the topic. I read it cover to cover in about two and a half hours. It would have been a little longer if I had access to a computer so I could play with the code snippets.
The book has five sections: Core Objects, Map Controls, User Data, Events, and Ajax. The author gives you sample code to create your GMap, and any points on the map called a GPoint. Next the book explains various map controls (Large Map, Small Map) that you can easily turn on and off with a function call. You can then add user data that includes markers (push-pins), polylines (line segments you might find on a driving route), and user windows that pop-up when you mouse over a push-pin. The author even shows you how to customize your marker with a different icon than the standard Google marker. The Events section was interesting, but I got a little lost on the code sample when the author was registering an event. I think if I could have played with the code on a computer I might not have had that problem. The author covers AJAX at the end of the book, but it’s only covered by a couple of pages. I would have liked to see more examples, but the author refers the reader to the Pragmatic AJAX book instead. Pragmatic AJAX is available in Beta form as a PDF on the Pragmatic Website and I haven’t read it yet. A couple of the authors have an blog on Ajax called Ajaxian that I subscribe to.
I need to provide a caveat. I’m friends with Scott Davis; we are both involved with my local Java User’s Group and I did the technical editing of Scott and Tom Marr’s JBoss at Work.
I would rate this book an 8 out of 10.
Greg Ostravich is a board member of the Denver Java User’s Group. Greg is a dedicated worker for CDOT. For DJUG, Greg helps to coordinate Sponsorships and Marketing of the DJUG.
|2005 Book Reviews|
Authors: Stephen Stelting
REVIEW by Linda Meserve
I have designed business systems in several languages. I began hands-on Java development last year as a neophyte developer on an 8-month development project. I was pleased to find Robust Java: Exception Handling, Testing, and Debugging by Stephen Stelting on the Denver JUG’s book review list.
Robust Java is a great resource for beginning to intermediate level Java professionals with a working knowledge of object-oriented concepts. If you have been introduced to the wide world of Jav and used one or two aspects of the language, you will find Robust Java combines a high-level (macro) view of Java architecture with the close up (micro) view of coding and testing Java classes. Reviewing Robust Java helped me integrate the wide range of topics I encountered during my recent development experience.
Robust Java will appeal to all types of learning styles. The table of contents shows a ‘soup to nuts’ list of Java topics Ð primitives, object types, collections, I/O, threading, RMI, JNDI, JDBC, J2EE, patterns, and others. Each chapter presented a focus on handling exceptions and logging and testing issues specific to the topic at hand. Any effective testing strategy requires the tester to understand how a tested feature works and the potential weaknesses to test for. So each topic was covered three ways Ð first as an abstract concept, then as a practical mechanism, and finally from a best practices point of view.
Normally I don’t consider software testing an interesting topic. But Robust Java provides technical information flavored with humorous footnotes and remarks. Stephen Stelting writes from a developerÕs point of view and incorporates a sense of humor which makes it worthwhile to forage through the footnotes. For example:
To get an idea of how vital it [testing software] is, compare it to testing something like an automobileÉIf you have no testing capabilities, you would have to replace the whole car each time something went wrong! [footnote] I have owned a few cars like this…
Linda R. Meserve specializes in applying technology to the changing needs of business. She is actively studying for Java developer certification. When Linda is not gathering and implementing software requirements, she enjoys fly-fishing, sightseeing, and live theatre. Contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.