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Mr. D. S. Stadler (London, UK)
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Modular Java: Creating Flexible Applications with OSGi and Spring (Pragmatic Programmers)
Modular Java: Creating Flexible Applications with OSGi and Spring (Pragmatic Programmers)
by Craig Walls
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect but excellent, 8 Aug 2009
I have been going through this book lately, and learning quite a bit. It's not perfect, there are quite a few niggles in the examples and misleading typos in the text.

But author Walls has taken an interesting approach to teaching this topic. He does the examples in the Eclipse Equinox environment using a set of tools called the pax-suite. Shows how to set up the environment & customize pax to point to whatever osgi instance you are using. How to set up an osgi-driven project, and how to use pax to embedd or wrap non-osgi enabled jar files into a properly constructed osgi manifest so osgi can accss the classes.

He shows the bumps along the road, too. What kind of error messages, what they mean, and how to integrate osgi with the (mostly) non-osgi world out there. Which is extremely valuable, more valuable than a perfect example which runs every time but leaves you to learn the hard way when the rubber hits the road.

Therefore 5 stars. Wish I could give it an 8. ALso wish more books were written like this....


Open-Source ESBs in Action
Open-Source ESBs in Action
by Tijs Rademakers
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on Mule and ServiceMix, 3 Dec 2008
I have been working my way through this book for some days now. It is well-written & concise for everything it covers, yet I don't often find myself mystified by something not explained well enough.

Note that the technologies covered by the book aren't limited to Mule and Servicemix, but include a long list of related technologies. The book uses Spring a good deal and also covers Servicemix EIB, Apache CFX, Camel, Synapse, ActiveMQ, and ODE as well. If you put in the time and effort you should come away with a pretty thorough grounding on how two major open source integration frameworks handle every common problem encountered in modern integration work. Impressive.

The examples mostly work, although setting up the environment was somewhat difficult, not due to any defect in the book as much as there is a huge software stack all of which must be downloaded and installed properly. Tjis has provided an updated environment download which works better than the original script, I suggest you use that in lieu of the original script.

The book forum on the Manning website is worth checking out as well.

The bookj is not perfect but in my view is very well done, so I am giving it a 5.


SOA Using Java Web Services
SOA Using Java Web Services
by Mark D. Hansen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 35.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book Java Web Services for programmers & technical architects, 4 Nov 2008
I've been working through this book for a couple weeks now. It's very dense reading, not infrequently I am obliged to page back and reread a section because I missed something important. The author remarks in the foreword that it's not an easy subject; he's not joking. It isn't.

That said, I have to say it's the most useful book I've found on actually programming these things. It focuses on SOA, which is to say a particular style of SOAP Web Services, but also contains a useful chapter on RESTful Web services.

From the technical architecture POV I found Hansen's observations on the tradeoffs between REST and SOAP and upon which choices to make when wiring up SOAP Web Services.

The problem with many Web Services books is that they are too simple. The show an example of how to write a greenfield Web Services app without tackling the real problem facing most developers: Web Services are primarily an integration tool, and systems integrators rarely have the luxury of doing greenfield development; they must hook together existing classes and schemas and this can be very difficult. Hansen shows how to solve the real problems.


Unchained
Unchained
Offered by themusicmerchant
Price: 8.98

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the 'American Recordings'?, 13 Aug 2006
This review is from: Unchained (Audio CD)
This is my favorite of the first three American Recordings I have thus far. 'Rusty Cage' is among the top three songs Cash ever did (in my opinion), along with 'Folsom Prison Blues' and 'The Mercy Seat' from 'Solitary Man'. 'Sea of Heartbreak' and the title track are only a hair behind, and every song on the album is strong.

The most amazing thing about Cash's career isn't that he lasted virtually 50 years. It is that he went out on the top of his form. In earlier years Cash did some excellent work (his live albums from Folsom and San Quentin prisons were powerful works). But on these final albums Cash has something to say and limited time to say it - and he knows it. His health is going bad, he can't tour any more - so he pours it all out on these records. Like an aging and caged nightingale. Or a 'Bird on a Wire'.

The only artist I could compare to Cash for length of career and creativity would be Frank Sinatra - but unlike Cash Sinatra did not go out at his peak. Far from it.

Cash did. Buy it.


Guitar Legend - the Very Best of the Early Years
Guitar Legend - the Very Best of the Early Years

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good overview before Cream, 13 July 2006
I picked this up at the HMV July music sale and am happy I did. It's an overview of his early career before Cream circa 1963-65. 23 tracks all told with 15 Yardbirds, 6 with the 'Immediate All-Stars' and two with the Bluesbreakers. The 6 All-Stars tracks were a revelation but the two Mayall tracks aren't enough - so I suggest you buy the 'Beano' album.

Track #7 'Got To Hurry' (Yardbirds) was particularly good.


Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs
Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.88

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite rock album, 21 Jun 2006
I'd been aware of Eric Clapton on a general level for many years and obviously have heard the title track many times both in the original and 'Unplugged' versions.

But recently I sat down and listened intently to the entire thing for the first time after buying it for Layla and because of recommendations here and elsewhere. This is a phenominal album. Clapton is a great, great guitarist but for some reason (probably Duane Allman's contribution and Clapton's unrequited passion for Pattie Boyd) he kicks it up a few notches here.

It's not only 'Layla' or 'Bell Bottom Blues' or the superb version of 'Little Wing' which makes me write this. Like most truly great works of art this album works on more than one level both as individual songs and as a gesalt. It reminds me of some of the classic Sinatra LPs from the 50's or Ray Charles best work in that respect - and that is high praise indeed.

I hesitate to call it the best rock album ever - but it's in the top 4. As a work of impassioned love you cannot touch it, and as guitar work it is only rivaled by Jimi Hendrix' very best work. Buy it.


Taking The Long Way
Taking The Long Way
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: 5.20

1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bitter, 16 Jun 2006
This review is from: Taking The Long Way (Audio CD)
I'm pretty disappointed in this one I think I'll sell it on.

I'm just so not into bitter this year, and it seems like half the album is about putting down the Chicks ex-fans. It's not actually - just seems that way. There are some good songs, especially the title cut. But I'd go for another album of theirs, maybe Home.


American Recordings
American Recordings

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cash let out of artistic prison, 14 Jun 2006
This review is from: American Recordings (Audio CD)
This album finally showed what Cash could do when allowed out of the cage which the 'Cash sound' had become for him. Much of Cash's very best work over the years has been singing without the support of a band, acoustic guitar only - but this is the first album he did with that theme. There are so many superb songs on this album. My particular favorites are 'Beast In Me', 'Delia's Gone', and 'Man Who Couldn't Cry', but three others come very close and the overall level of quality is astoundingly high.

Buy it, but don't stop with this one. It gets better with the later albums 'Unchained' and 'Solitary Man'. Believe it or not!


Effective Oracle by Design (Oracle Press)
Effective Oracle by Design (Oracle Press)
by Thomas Kyte
Edition: Paperback
Price: 28.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 April 2005
I have enjoyed this book a great deal. Kyte offers strategy as well as tactics. His section about Oracle architecture may be unique and is certainly unmatched.
The only criticisms I can offer is that this book is rather long for what it offers and sometimes neglects to show the whys as well as the hows.
An example is with bind variables. Kyte certainly tells you how to do it but I had to learn the why and when (and when not to) from an O'Reilly book. Kyte makes the point that rarely is there a majic bullet within Oracle, that many techniques work well in many or most situations. But he soemtimes doesn't offer the theory which might lead to a good guess on what will work in your situation....


Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook
Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook
by James Elliott
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first book on Hibernate, 6 July 2004
I was extremely impressed with this little book on Hibernate. First, the author took the trouble to give complete download and setup instructions for the various software packages, something which is rarely done well.
This is particularly important for the HSQLDB database, which is the DB used by this book (and another which I'm reading). This is an excellent open-source DB which is indifferently documented. Not that difficult if you show it's little tricks as Author Elliot has done.
Apart from that the downloadable examples basically work without fiddling (another relative rarity) with one or two exceptions. I used the downloaded code. The code in Chapter 4 wouldn't compile in Eclipse until I deleted the QueryTest2.java file (this makes sense in terms of the chronology of the chapter). I later recopied QueryTest2.java into the Eclipse workspace after the codegen and schema were built.
The second hiccup was in chapter 5, where the mapping file for the Album file used what appears to be an undocumented Hibernate reserved word named POSITION. Once I renamed POSITION to something else the schema operation ran well.
I hope to see more of these books. Small and superbly executed books about a specific tool or closely-related group of tools with a laser-sharp editorial vision of what to include (everything necessary) and no more. The price is right as well.


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