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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Pro Spring
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Rob Harrop, Jan Machacek
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
some overblown rhetoric

The book makes striking claims in favour of the new Spring framework. It is presented as revolving around what the authors term Dependancy Injection (DI). Which can be used in place of a Lookup approach, which makes a class by calling a Factory or container with a key that labels that class. Hopefully, the Lookup will return an instance of the class. The book points out that this common approach is possibly more complex than DI. The Lookup registry might be unavailable, or the key for that class might have changed.

The DI can lead to shorter and simpler code, which might also be easier to test. The book goes on to show cases of how Spring can permit simpler JDBC writing, with less explicit exception handling. As you may know, standard JDBC usages often lead to ugly sections of try/catch statements littering your code. So the brevity offered by Spring might enable easier maintenance.

Likewise, Spring is said to give an easier alternative to a heavyweight EJB usage, in terms of less code to maintain.

But the authors do indulge in some overblown rhetoric. Like calling a Factory and Singleton "false patterns". Certainly, for Singletons, there are times when it is natural in your code for a class to really have only one instantiation at a time, which is the gist of a Singleton. While Factory classes can encapsulate and hide a lot of complexity from you. While it means that, yes, if a Factory call fails, the reason can be obscure. But when it works, which should be most of the time, you have a nice partitioning of your code. The authors are overreaching, and adversely impacting the strength of their arguments.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ed Tittel, Stephen J. James
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Want to learn HTML? Here's the book for you!

This book took me from screwing around on adobe pagemill to creating my church webpage even before it was finished!Thank you. Also, don't consider yourself a dummy for buying this book!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - 2nd Edition (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book and a magnificent vocational test

SICP is an excellent, perhaps the best, advanced introduction to computer science and programming. It covers topics such as functional abstraction, data abstraction, OOP, program design, constraint programming and logic programming, always from a language design point of view. You will need a decent mathematical background to follow it.
If it's such a great textbook, then why half of the reviewers hate it? Elementary: SICP is not just a textbook, it's also a Computer Science aptitude and vocational test. If you read it and like it, then Congratulations! You are a real programmer and computer scientist, with hair on your chest. If you don't like it, then you should be studying something else. Law, mortuary science, whatever, but not CS.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Richard Monson-Haefel, Bill Burke, Sacha Labourey
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best info on the EJB 2.0 specification

This is the third edition of "Enterprise JavaBeans" in three years, which shows how popular this book is and how fast EJB technology is changing. This new edition has been updated for EJB 2.0 and it gives excellent coverage to the many changes in the new specification. Some of the changes covered include message-driven beans, the new CMP model for entity beans, the EJB Query Language, and how to build complex relationships between entity beans.
The book is written for the advanced Java developer who wants to learn the complexities of Enterprise JavaBeans. This is not a simple tutorial for the beginner. The book starts with a brief introduction to EJB and then spends the next couple of chapters covering the complexities of the EJB architecture. After a brief review of the basics of EJB, the author spends the next three chapters covering the complexities of EJB 2.0 container managed persistence. Bean-Managed persistence and the entity-container contract are then covered followed by a chapter on session beans. The new message-driven beans are given a chapter. The book ends up with a chapter on design considerations for J2EE applications.
The author does an excellent job of including diagrams at just the right places to help clarify difficult topics. Anyone who will be working with EJB 2.0 should own this book. Note: Companion workbooks are available from the O'Reilly website. These include instructions and versions of the sample programs for WebLogic and WebSphere.