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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Comments on Spring 3 in action, by Craig Walls

On the bright side, the text is very well written without spelling errors. The author has organized each sequence of paragraphs so well, as neat as a chain having rings following  one chapter after another.  There are plenty of metaphors, analogies and examples from the daily life to help the reader grasp the Spring fundamentals.
On the dark side, the book has no tutorial format; in other words the reader cannot study the material, by doing some practice. The source code available online is given completed in its final form, as a whole, without the intermediate steps required to take, as presented by each chapter. Thus, if one attempts to run some code, one needs to improvise, there is no guidance as to the libraries necessary to run, other than the exceptions and the search pages found on the internet. As of now JDeveloper only supports Spring version 2.5. If one uses Eclipse Helios and the oracle DB and weblogic packages, one is bound to see errors while installing ie sts tools, since conflicts exist between failing package dependencies:

Your original request has been modified.
  "Spring IDE Core (required)" is already installed, so an update will be performed instead.
Cannot complete the install because one or more required items could not be found.
  Software being installed: SpringSource Tool Suite (required) (
  Missing requirement: com.springsource.sts.ide.ui requires 'bundle org.eclipse.ajdt.ui 0.0.0' but it could not be found
  Cannot satisfy dependency:
    From: SpringSource Tool Suite (required) (
    To: com.springsource.sts.ide.ui []

All in all, the book seems most suitable to the experienced Spring developer who would like to get informed of the newest advances of the framework, or people who 'd rather just read text, and some code snippets, passively. The ones who learn better by doing would be better off by following first some spring tutorials, about using Eclipse in  combination with spring, such as those offered by Rose India.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Java SOA cookbook, by Eben Hewitt

On the bright side the cook book is well written, in American English, with some spelling errors.The error page of the book presents at the moment only unconfirmed errata:
The book consists of a series of  useful stand alone ...dishes; articles structured like this: specific problem, relevant solution, discussion of java code, criticism and alternatives. The reader may not study the book from the start of the menu to the end page sequentially, one might well consult the book about everyday tasks, ie finding a specific file in jarred libraries in linux, and only that. The ...chef expresses his opinion openly about purity of ingredients, ie using cookies is not ReST style programming, uses mainly open source tools to cook; such as Eclipse, Netbeans, Glassfish, .Net clients and some weblogic, but sadly for oracle fans, no flavour of JDeveloper at all! However, the author is not prejudiced against oracle products, as he praises the enterprise service bus.
On the dark side, some of the recipes are incomplete, probably due to space restrictions, meaning that  sometimes the input to a servlet is not dynamic; fed by a database but static, hard coded values in a constructor of a convenience class. Moreover, the source code for each chapter offered on line is all pasted in a single file, not separate class files, thus finding the snippet you need can be time consuming.
All in all, this is a very useful cookbook, presenting advanced java  version 1.6 code, practical solutions to real life problems, excluding design patterns. It offers plenty of food for thought, as it tries to answer  a daily question asked by the vast majority of women, developers and chefs for centuries: what shall we cook today? Bon Appetit ladies and gentlemen!