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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not for everyone, 8 April 2003
By 
Jakub Vosahlo (Praha 6 Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Java Extreme Programming Cookbook (Paperback)
I have to say that I like the book, much more than some other titles from the O'Reilly Cookbook series. The format of the 'cookbooks' is very special and the target audience is thus specific, I believe.
The book starts with a chapter introducing the basic XP principles, mentioning a number of tools widely used by XP practitioners. No breaking news, useful only for someone with no knowledge about XP - and hey, is there anybody like that at all these days? ;-)
The rest of the book is the core you are looking for - every chapter contains a short (sometimes too short) introduction to the tool which is the topic of the given chapter. After that there is a number of 'recipes' describing actual use scenarios of the tool in question. Some of these are trivial, other ones contain quite detailed description of tasks with medium complexity.
I have to mention I liked the fact there is a number of internal cross-references in the book, linking the corresponding recipes and tools. This improves the usefulness of the book a lot.
Originally I was going to award the book with 4 stars only, but as I like it pretty much it's worth 5 stars to me. But be warned - study the table of contents before you decide to buy the book. It serves as a detailed list of topics you can learn about...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very useful book, but only if you remember to use it, 23 Oct 2003
By 
Frank Carver - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Java Extreme Programming Cookbook (Paperback)
This book covers a very similar selection of tools and techniques to "Java Tools for Extreme Programming" by Hightower and Lesiecki, and in a broadly similar way. Both use the currently fashionable idea of Extreme Programming (XP) to attract readers to a collection of short pieces about a bunch of useful tools for Java programming.
The XP stuff is covered quickly at the start, the meat of the book is in the "recipes", which walk you through configuring and using tools such as Ant, JUnit, Cactus etc. to build, unit-test and manage the development of a Java project.
The tools and tips the authors have chosen to include are a good representation of current practice, but I have a few reservations about the organization and structure of the book. My biggest worry is whether the target reader is actually likely to find many solutions. The authors seem to assume that everyone will pore over the several pages of "contents" at the front of the book every time they hit an obstacle, but in my experience they are just as likely to flip randomly through pages or head for the index at the back, neither of which works particularly well with this book. Worse than that, they may never think to look in the book in the first place - the "Extreme Programming" in the title may help it sell, but it's not something that jumps to mind when you are struggling to get Ant to deploy a web application to Tomcat.
That said, I'm glad I've got it, and some of the recipes now have little sticky notes to try and remind me that it's often an unexpectedly good place to look for Java development tips.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book, but who is the target audiance?, 8 April 2003
By 
Jakub Vosahlo (Praha 6 Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Java Extreme Programming Cookbook (Paperback)
I have to say that I like the book, much more than some other titles from the O'Reilly Cookbook series. The format of the 'cookbooks' is very special and the target audience is thus specific, I believe.
The book starts with a chapter introducing the basic XP principles, mentioning a number of tools widely used by XP practitioners. No breaking news, useful only for someone with no knowledge about XP - and hey, is there anybody like that at all these days? ;-)
The rest of the book is the core you are looking for - every chapter contains a short (sometimes too short) introduction to the tool which is the topic of the given chapter. After that there is a number of 'recipes' describing actual use scenarios of the tool in question. Some of these are trivial, other ones contain quite detailed description of tasks with medium complexity.
I have to mention I liked the fact there is a number of internal cross-references in the book, linking the corresponding recipes and tools. This improves the usefulness of the book a lot.
Originally I was going to award the book with 4 stars only, but as I like it pretty much it's worth 5 stars to me. But be warned - study the table of contents before you decide to buy the book. It serves as a detailed list of topics you can learn about...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Trove of Useful Information and Handy Tips, 28 July 2004
By 
Daniel Woods (East Kilbride, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Java Extreme Programming Cookbook (Paperback)
This is a fairly lightweight book, but don't think for a second that it's because there isn't much to learn from it. From start to finish, it is essentially just a breakdown of common problems and "I'd like to"s, each accompanied by a succinct and often insightful solutions; sometimes a couple of pages, sometimes less than half a page. The coverage of Ant and JUnit is excellent, as is the advice on creating short, sharp unit tests that run with every compilation cycle.
This is, however, a cookbook, and only to be approached if you already have a working knowledge of the topics covered. It will not teach you about Ant build files, but it will teach you how to write better ones. Also, the recipes are only useful if you know they're actually _there_, so read through the book first and have it on your desk for when you get that spark of insight!
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