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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: An Introduction to Database Systems (Introduction to Database Systems)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman
Authors: C. J. Date
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Burn this Book

This book is the worst piece of swill I have some across in awhile. There is absolutely no editing by anyone whom has any knowledge of the english language. After trudging through the first five chapters, I am thinking of having my good teeth drilled. It would be less painfull. The only good that can come of this will be my renewed faith in the church, as I will head down there this sunday with the recomendation this book be burned and the earth salted.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A future classic; ranks alongside _Design Patterns_

It's rare that I find a technical book as immediately useful and fun to read as _Refactoring_. The cleverest thing about refactoring as a technique is that it provides a well-articulated, structured framework for doing something that every experienced developer does already (more or less unconsciously) -- constantly restructuring their code to make it easier to understand and maintain. This alone makes refactoring a useful contribution to software engineering.

However, Fowler doesn't stop there. He presents rationales for refactoring (with an eye towards making a case to management) and much detailed, practical insight that comes from experience, but is rarely expressed so concisely and elegantly. I also appreciated the importance Fowler placed on unit testing; in fact, using unit testing makes refactoring happen much more quickly, and leaves you with a lot more peace of mind besides.

I read the book cover to cover and enjoyed nearly every page. The book has added a lot to my value as a developer, and was a lot of fun in the bargain. I don't think a whole lot more needs to be said. Just buy it, you can thank everyone who told you to later.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The J2EE Architect's Handbook
Publisher: Dvt Press
Authors: Derek C. Ashmore
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent book on the role of a J2EE Architect

Please ignore the 1-star reviewer's damning comments on this book. Comparing this book with Larman is ridiculous - to begin with this book has an entirely different focus to Larman's. I can only assume that the reviewer in question didn't really understand the value of what he was reading because he was really looking for something else from this book: something it wasn't ever intended to deliver. Thus, I imagine, he was disappointed and gave a staggeringly unbalanced view as a result.

I read this book this evening and found it an outstanding piece of work. Even if you're a whizz with UML, a genius at writing use cases, a dab hand at programming and a guru on OOAD you'll find a quite contrasting chunk of knowledge in these pages.

Yes, I'm sure that if you look around on a well-stocked technical bookshelf you'll find a lot of the material covered in this book.Much if it you won't, regardless of how big your library is.

This book is a guide to fulfilling the role of a J2EE architect, from project inception through coding standards and logging strategy on to rollout and beyond. That the author considers a large number of technical issues on top of this material is a credit to him - the book is only 280 or so pages long yet delivers, for the most part, sound guidance on technical and administrative issues alike.

The moderate page count and writing style make the book a pleasurable read. I believe you can pick up much of geniune value and finish the book within a day without your eyes glazing over.

I take issue with a small number of the author's suggestions: particularly avoiding the use of checked exceptions in favour of the unchecked variety. His argument is that code becomes less cluttered (i.e. less explicit exception handling) and that programmer productivity is enhanced. His justification for this (including references to the Sun documentation) is really rather flimsy. Although a dogmatic checked exception programmer in the past he now takes the opposite approach. To his credit the author acknowledges that his views are controversial.

My view on this subject is that life ain't so simple and there are horses for courses. Checked and unchecked exceptions each have their own merit and are each more suitable in certain circumstances. I think the author needs to re-examine his convictions: he must surely realise why checked exceptions are such a strong selling point for Java in the first place.

In many other languages unchecked exceptions are the norm, often leading to exceptionally poor exception handling practices: recoverable exceptions tend to get treated as unrecoverable at higher levels in the call stack. The semantics of an exception are often completely lost in the stack trace and understanding why an exception was thrown becomes harder...particularly as personnel changes during the project. We know where the exception happened but finding out why and its ramifications becomes much harder - human laziness shouldn't be underestimated as a source of future problems.

Nevertheless, I found the book is an excellent handbook for the practioner, apart from my major disagreement with the author over exception handling. If possible I'd take a half a star away from the five I've given because of this. However, since the book is short, useful and great value (because of it's usefulness) I'm giving it 5 stars. If it helps to offset the 1-star review a little bit then I can live with that!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise J2ME: Developing Mobile Java Applications
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Michael Juntao Yuan
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Don't waste your time and money

Don't waste your time (and money) in this book. It's only presents several products that you can use with J2ME, but you can get the same result looking at google or forums.

For example: the chapter about Databases. In this chapter the book presents an introduction to JDBC and later namely several products that you can use: HSQL, IBM, Oracle, iAnywhere ... and that's all!!!.

Don't buy this book!!!!