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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Comments on Oracle JDeveloper 10g for Forms and PL/SQL Developers, by D.Mills, P.Koletzke.



On the bright side the text is well written without many misspellings. It has a tutorial format which is easy to follow, starting from chapter 9. The source code available from www.tuhra.com is compatible with all 10g versions of JDeveloper starting from 10.1.3, so that you can build the application presented, from scratch. Moreover, some use cases mentioned in chapter 15 are very useful and can be reusable in many similar user requirements.
On the dark side, the chapters up to 9 are a bore, purely theoretical. The 8th chapter, about bindings is tedious to read and not easy at all to understand. In addition,  some jsp pages are missing from the whole application, such as the jobs.jsp and the help page. Apart from that,  in page 329, there is a screen shot of an application page called reference.jsp, presenting a dynamic menu tree layout, which is very difficult to create on your own, via plain ADF. This highlight page is actually missing from the code too, as mentioned in the following link:
http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=2022769&#2022769
Apparently, the application page screen shot was created using JHeadstart, and not purely ADF. JHeadstart is an extension for JDeveloper which must be paid for. Furthermore, the whole chapter, 16, which is devoted to demonstrating, or rather promoting, JHeadstart is totally useless for the individual, open source developer. It could have been replaced by a more useful deployment guide to the Oracle Application Server (OAS) instead.
All in all, the book is not recommended unless you are forced to implement for an older J2EE environment. Besides, at the time of this writing the OAS, and JDeveloper 10g is being deprecated, its end of life is approaching and there is always a free online tutorial, if you still need to get started.

Further critical references concerning ADF:

Tales from the trenches by Dr. Dorsey. Coauthor of the JDeveloper 10g hanbook.

Comments on EJB 3 in action, by Debu Panda, Reza Rahman, Derek Lane

On the bright side, the text is most of the times crystal clear, easy to understand and follow the code creation from scratch. The helpful appendix of the book guides the reader to setup the Sun Glassfish application server in minutes, without any trouble. Such easiness really tempts to switch your java integrated development environment (IDE ) to Sun Netbeans. The database scripts given are for Oracle though, not for Derby. The source code of the book runs correctly out of the box with only an exception as mentioned here:
http://www.manning-sandbox.com/thread.jspa?threadID=37203&tstart=0
Apart from Glassfish, there are also many code versions, suitable for the older Oracle Application Server (oc4j),JBoss and weblogic 10.
On the dark side, the text is IDE neutral, the deployment is done using ant scripts. Many spelling errors also appeared in the text and the huge errata page at Manning site.
All in all, the book is highly recommended, I am looking forward to reading its newer, updated edition!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Comments on Heads first Servlets&Jsp 2nd Edition


On the bright side, the book is written in an unusual way, full of graphics and photos of an oriental martial arts movie, in an attempt to make reading the text, seem like fun. The book is full of exercises and questions to help the reader to memorize whatever is important for passing the exams. The text is clear, easy to understand most of the times, with the exceptions of the chapter about patterns and custom tag development. There also many typographical errors in the text and the questions as well. One should consult the huge error page at O'Reilly.
On the dark side, there is no hands on coding practice, the examples mentioned are deliberately simple, about cats and dogs, or outdated (struts) so that you can not easily reuse any source code from the book. This is no reference book either, as stated by its authors.
All in all, the book prepares you well for the Sun J2EE 1.4 exams, servlet v2.4, jsp v2.0, in a straightforward and funny way, but it certainly needed a greater update on older themes and addition of newer, such as jsf.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Comments on Getting Started With Oracle SOA Suite11g, Heidi Buelow Manas Deb Jayaram Kasi Demed L'Her Prasen Palvankar


On the bright side, the text is very well written with so few spelling errors. Its tutorial form guides the reader smoothly, one step at a time. The majority of the chapters are short and concrete, the text is easy to understand and to follow, most of the times. It surely serves the reader well, as a hands on introduction, without getting deep into details. Its source code works!
On the dark side, the installation chapter, 4, needs some additions, clarifications and updates, since the newer versions always need patching and so on. The download links from o.t.n. also need an update. An inexperienced reader might spend a considerable amount of time and effort to get the SOA suite servers up and running. These two links could offer some significant help: http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=4210625&#4210625 and http://www.packtpub.com/article/installation-configuration-oracle-soa-suite-11g-1
All in all, the book offers a clear introduction in SOA and is recommended as a primer for newcomers to the SOA 11g world. An experienced soa 11g user might consider the book superficial, as no mention is made of advanced subjects, such as creating XML schema and reusing it.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Comments on Oracle JDeveloper 11g Handbook, by D.Mills, P.Koletzke, A, R. Faderman



On the bright side, the text is well written with few spelling errors and a whole new chapter about deployment to the new standalone Weblogic server. Such a chapter did not exist in the older book for JDeveloper 10g. In addition, there is more information about using version control in JDev11g.
Its tutorial form beginning at chapter 16, is easy to follow, in order to create a complete application for your practice. Its structure resembles the step by step, successful training methodology providing end of chapter source code solutions, as used in Oracle University classes. Such hands on practice is not present in the newer "Fusion Developer's guide" by F.Nimphius et al. Furthermore, the full source code was available for download, as well as a dedicated forum for discussions of issues.
On the dark side, the source code and application were developed with an older version of JDeveloper 11g, some text about tags, labels etc, especially in chapter 21 about security, were not present in the newer versions. Thus, if you attempt to build yourself the application from scratch in the newer JDeveloper version 11.1.1.2.0, as I tried, you shall need a great deal of patience, since there were incompatibilities and bugs found, as mentioned further in the link: http://www.tuhra.com/ where you are to sign in with OTN, and publicly at http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=1030502 .
Moreover, the text of chapters before 16 is tedious to read, as several chapters are rather theoretical. Taskflows surely deserved a more practical approach and a do it your self add on, such as the hands on work by S.Muench, provided with his articles in Oracle magazine. There is no mention for alternative model technologies, such as JPA, EJB or POJOS throughout the book.
All in all, the book was well written and the source code given complete, as of the date of the release of JDeveloper version 11.1.1.1.0. Since then, a lot seems to have changed, older code has gone stale and a book published in December 2009 has been deprecated in only a number of months! Nonetheless, it  certainly remains still the best option for the beginners, for the time being. I am actually looking forward to a new edition, or even a reprint of the book, correcting all known errata and issues. 

Further critical references concerning ADF:

Tales from the trenches by Dr. Dorsey. Coauthor of JDeveloper 10g handbook.

Performance and scalability criticism  by several authors

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A brief introduction

I was initially a ForTran and pascal programmer, as a typical physics undergraduate student. During the 2 years of study for the postgraduate degree in Environmental physics and Meteorology, of the University of Athens, I switched to applying arithmetic analysis schemes in modeling of physical,  phenomena using parallel computing technologies, such as the C libraries of MPI and Sun Solaris.
I started using Oracle and Java, in 2003.
Since then, some more exams have been passed: Certified Oracle 9i DB Associate, Sun Certified Java Programmer for the 1.4 platform, CompTIA Project+ certified professional.
As far as previous experience is concerned, I have participated in large Greek and German public sector projects, having stakeholders such as the Deutsche Bahn, Bundesagentur für Arbeit, the Ministry of marine navigation, Ministry of economics and finance, Ministry of transport, national telecommunication organization (OTE group), the Greek Army and lastly the National Radio Television Council (ESR).
As far as the site content is concerned, every possible effort has been made to provide exact, accurate information. However, to err is human, hence  you are encouraged to report any errors or misspelling etc. Any source code is given without any warranty of any kind, and mostly refers to free code source of books, available online. If an author reports that his/her copyright has been hurt, I shall immediately  delete the code in question. Finally, the readers may reuse any code presented here, as long as they explicitly mention the origin of it, that is the blog URL.