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5.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one: Reference and Case Study
There are always a few books that you know are in the works... but aren't due for completion for a long time. Sometimes you are really looking forward to getting them in your hands, and this book was one of these. "Java Open Source Programming" is an interesting title as it could mean so many things. I think this book is two things:
- A look at many great...
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by Dion G Almaer

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3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity
What a good book this might have been. It isn't an awful book but it could have been so much better. The premise of the book is to take the "Pet Store" and improve it by using several open source tools. The first part of the book discusses each of the tools with brief explanations and sample code. The second part takes us through the development process...
Published on March 15 2004 by Thomas Paul


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3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity, March 15 2004
By 
Thomas Paul (Plainview, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Java Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate (Paperback)
What a good book this might have been. It isn't an awful book but it could have been so much better. The premise of the book is to take the "Pet Store" and improve it by using several open source tools. The first part of the book discusses each of the tools with brief explanations and sample code. The second part takes us through the development process showing how to use the tools that were discussed earlier.
The good parts of the book are mostly in the second half. The authors apply each of the tools, explain test-driven development, demonstrate how and when to refactor code, etc. The integration of the different tools is made naturally so that it doesn't seem that the authors are trying to squeeze a tool in just to demonstrate it. The bad parts: this book desperately needs editing, both technical and for grammar. It is very distracting to see so much improper English usage including run on sentences, sentence fragments, and noun-verb disagreement. On the technical side, there are so many errors in the code that I doubt very much will actually compile, let alone run. Typical errors include methods declaring to return a value and not returning anything, closing files before they are used, and using variables that are not declared.
If you are interested in the technologies discussed and can debug the code in the book, there is a good amount of value. But it could have been so much better.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good content, poor writing, Nov. 30 2003
This review is from: Java Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate (Paperback)
While I'm sure given there will be a real 5 star love-fest here, on serverside.com, javablogs, et al, this book lacks the "quality without a name" I'd expect from the authors.
Example: the grammer in the first sentence of the first chapter is off. Surely a few people read the sentence? Second example, the code on page 24 (the jUnit chapter no less!!) obviously would not compile. There are many other examples of outright errors, and it's too bad some newcomers to Java and/or these tools will be left scratching their heads. Blame this on the editors all you like, but at the end of the day I found it incredibly annoying.
Add to this a Hibernate chapter that is littered with either awkward or poor grammer (was the primary author not an English speaker?), and a sort of smug undertone throughout the book (at one point in the jUnit chapter, they say of the api "Be thankful there's not a lot to learn." Guess what guys? There are plenty of people who are just as smart as you are).
More often than once, this book reminded me of the opensymphony project, some components of which are used in the book: some good ideas, some great, but a lack of attention to detail and unnecessary condescension.
The other problem with the book is the content, although it's a much less significant problem than the poor writing. While the content is pretty good, there's nothing here that's not in the docs for each project already, and Kent Beck's Test Driven Development is a much more lucid explanation of that topic.
As far as petsoar, the app they develop at the end of the book, goes...*yawn*.
I expected more...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one: Reference and Case Study, Nov. 30 2003
This review is from: Java Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate (Paperback)
There are always a few books that you know are in the works... but aren't due for completion for a long time. Sometimes you are really looking forward to getting them in your hands, and this book was one of these. "Java Open Source Programming" is an interesting title as it could mean so many things. I think this book is two things:
- A look at many great open source technologies that developers should have in their toolboxes such as:
. JUnit
. Mock Objects
. Hibernate
. WebWork
. SiteMesh
. Lucene
. XDoclet
- A chance to watch some good programmers walk through a project with these tools, and see how they all come together.
So you end up getting different things out of the book. It is nice to look at the technology in isolation when you really want to learn that one technology. It is also very helpful to see how these technologies integrate, and how you go about actually building something real (which is after all what we all want to do).
Since so many technologies are covered in the book, the authors have to really think about what they want to get across. If they documented every XML tag, for every possible configuration, you would end up with a tomb of information, and it would be pretty dry reading too. :) I think the authors do a good job of giving you the information that you really want. However, if you are an expert in one of the technologies then you may have wished for more... but for that you will have to wait for a book just on that technology.
I am a big fan (and user) of most of the technologies that are used in this book. Some of them have good documentation via their website, and some of them have NOT so good documentation. It is definitely worth having some high quality docs in one book that I can reference, instead of having to curse at the website.
I have to admit to one moment where I let out a groan. That was when I saw that the sample project would be another PetStore. I think a lot of people are probably tired of the PetStore, but here at TheServerSide that is probably doubly so! :) To be fair to the authors, they do have a section called "Looking at Yet Another PetStore" where they explain their reasons for it, and there are some valid reasons; but I still had to cry a little.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Test Driven Development in action, Feb. 7 2004
This review is from: Java Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate (Paperback)
For me the best thing about this book is that it shows you how experienced developers produce a well crafted, easy to test, web application. It walks you through using interfaces to separate the database from the code. It provides oooodles of examples of using mock objects to make testing easier. It shows how experts use Test Driven Development (TDD) on a real world (web) application.
Oh, and it uses some nice open source libraries along the way. One of the best ways to learn something new is to pair with an expert. The next best thing is to read a book like this!
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Java Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate
Java Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate by Patrick A. Lightbody (Paperback - Nov. 28 2003)
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