Top critical review
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Nearly a great book
on 17 November 2007
The whole premise of this book is to help the reader understand and improve the development choices they make on a second by second basis. This is not a book about guidelines but rather explaining why a variable name is better named one way or the other. All of this is for the very valuable goal of making the code easier to read for a future maintainer.
While the idea itself is brilliant the book itself feels very disjointed. The choices are presented entirely in text format and the density of the information is very high. This makes for a potentially very valuable reference book, but it is equally hard to read. Its not that the book is terse but rather that the level of explanation is not good enough and the sections either waffle or are so rich in things unsaid its hard to understand the reasoning.
If you are new to programming Java then this book may well introduce the low level patterns a lot of the old hands are used to, all be it you'll need to read this one a few times for any of it to sink in. For the old hands it feels like an abstract view of everything you have been doing for a decade and while there may be new things in there, its going to be hard to spot them.