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on 4 April 2002
... I think it's hard to practice all 12 practices of the xp methodology but there are some, the more practical, that are very useful and necessary even if you don't want to make xp: the incremental test first programming, using JUnit, Cactus, HttpUnit and continuous integration, using Ant. The book is about these and more open source tools, which means that we can just download them, use them and if we can, improve them. And this is great. But open source tools often lacks in printed documetation and if you are not involved in their development it could be difficult to start using them. In this case this book is just what you need.
The first part of the book is simply great, well written (I'm italian, as you can read), there's a lot of code (you can download it from the book site). The author divided the example in a simple example (just to start to use the tools) and in a case study, to apply the practice in a real world project. In about 240 pages you will use Ant, JUnit, HttpUnit, Cactus, JMeter, JUnitPerf, and if you are not an expert there is an intro about the j2ee deployment architecture too.
The second part isn't so useful: it's the reference for Ant tag and the api reference (about 150 pages). You would pay the same for the book wothout the reference, so consider it as a gift.
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on 14 July 2004
Page xxvii of the book, reads:
'All the configuration scripts, build scripts, applications, and other source code in this book are available online at [...]
This is only partially true, as the download available at the website relates to an early chapter 3, while the sample code for chapters 4-11 is not available. I've been chasing Wiley tech support for 3 months to obtain the missing resources, but so far have got nowhere.
But if you only plan to read the first 3 chapters, this is a great book.
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I bought this book to gain an overview of the tools available in open source community, but whose documentation was lacking.

This book takes you step by step through the tools to build and automate all the processes that you don't want to have to deal with on a daily basis. It has a trivial and a more complex example that it builds on through out the book.
It emphasized the use of Ant to automate everything, from unit tests (Junit, Cactus) to building and deploying J2EE applications. I have found it extremely usefull. I didn't know much about using Ant to start with and was confused by the documentation available on the Cactus website. This book cleared it up for me.
The only complaint is that the book is fraught with errors. Especially the code. I haven't downloaded the code off the website yet, but I don't believe any code in the book would compile. On page 154, I found 9 errors in the code.
Good book if you are setting up an automated development environment. You will probably want more than a little experience with Java and be willing to go to the online documentation for Ant to clear up some issues.
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on 25 February 2012
This book is very dissapointing, it covers far too many different things in far too little detail. One of the bigger sections of the book is just API references to things like Ant, JUnit, HTTPUnit and others which is all freely available online. The chapter on Maven is woefully inadequate, shorter and harder to read than the free quick start guide on the Maven website.
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on 1 May 2002
A very practical book which gets to the nitty gritty of coding and testing without insisting on pair programming (which is difficult for the many one person bands out there!). The book actually helps you quickly get the best out of Ant , Junit, JMeter etc , without re-inventing the wheel.
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on 28 September 2005
This book is usefull to understand a set of java tool for XP, but it can be only a starting point to learn and to use them.
Ant and Xdoclet are the most interesting parts.
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