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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended for any Server-Side Java Developer, 16 April 2002
Satish Srinivasan (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bitter Java (Paperback)
Worthy addition to a Server-Side Java Developer's library
This is a pretty different title compared to most of the other Server-Side Java books out there. Instead of focussing on the APIs that make up the J2EE beast, this book instead concentrates on common design problems and their solutions in your server side applications. And it does a pretty good job of it as well, with something for everybody, except perhaps the experienced J2EE architect.
For the rest of us, this is near-compulsory reading and not just because of the cool extreme sports analogies ;-) The approach of showing how and why something stinks and then demonstrating the solution is arguably the best way to teach, and Bruce leverages this approach very effectively indeed.
I strongly recommend this to any junior to intermediate server-side Java developer who is interested in honing his craft.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More palitable format for old content, 5 July 2002
This review is from: Bitter Java (Paperback)
This is a very well written book which approaches the topic of software patterns from what originally seems like a different approach (anti patterns) but is essentially just another java patterns book.
If you are not yet into software patterns then this is probably the best book to start with of those currently available but for a 2002 and two book it is not the most up to date (No EJB 2.0 ). I think everyone who has the option to move on from EJB 1.1 is doing so, so this is an important issue.
If you already own a book like "Core J2EE patterns" and have understood it then I doubt you will get much out of the book apart from advice on how to kayak Americas most dangerous water.
Probably the books strongest point is that it makes patterns easier for people to accept by using the authors actual experience with real examples of java pitfalls. Often pattern books try to be so generic and abstract that they struggle to get their message across as quickly as they should...
If you are looking for a book to tackle EJB2.0 issues I recommmend "EJB Design Patterns ~Floyd Marinescu" although you will not find it as easy to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had this book a few years ago, 28 Aug. 2008
Ionel Condor (Cluj Napoca, ROMANIA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bitter Java (Paperback)
Bitter Java - by Bruce Tate / Manning

A few years ago when I first read "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" by Martin Fowler & Kent Beck I realized how many mistakes I have made in my projects.
Now reading "Bitter Java" by Bruce Tate I am somehow in the same situation:
I wish I had this book a few years ago.

The book is really full of antipatterns and ways to avoid them. Understanding antipatterns will help software developers prevent and recover from situations like spaghetti codes or ineffective algorithms to name only some of them.

The focus of this book is Java antipatterns and how to eliminate or reduce them.
The book has 3 parts and 11 chapters, a detailed table of contents, also a detailed index and, as a plus, a bibliography for additional resources. The book contains also examples of Java code that address specific issues in corresponding contents.

In my opinion the book is addressed to intermediate Java programmers or advanced programmers which know Java very well but they develop without a clear set of patterns in mind so they might identify here a lot of common mistakes (antipatterns).

As I said, it has 3 parts.
The first one is about design patterns, antipatterns, and about the Internet standards /technologies used in server-side Java. Part 2 covers the most largely chapters of the book and provides detailed antipatterns in Java programming: about servlet antipatterns , MVC antipatterns, JSP antipatterns , cache management (why use cache, how to use a cache, problems/solutions, synchronizing the cache),
memories issues (memory leaks, lapsed listener leaks, problems/solutions)
and also a very interesting example of an antipattern for String manipulation and for Collections .

A nice chapter and very useful for me was the chapter that talks about antipatterns related to connections and coupling, pool of connections, how to reuse a connection, how to clean-up a connection , why and how to use XML in order to decouple, even when to use XML and when the XML tends to become rigid.

The second part concludes with a chapter dedicated to Java Beans: old EJB technology (not 3.0). My opinion is that this chapter should not be "refactored", but completely rewritten in the next edition of the book. Without this chapter, the book even if it is written in 2002 has the same actuality in 2008.

Part 3 talks about coding standards guidelines and performance: the author explains why study the programming hygiene, why should always addict to a coding standard (for naming conventions, braces, indentations, comments, structure of a method and of a class), why adopt convention for testing and why build a good style guide.

The last two chapters address scalability & performance issues: topologies for performance, workload management, session management, tuning.
As it starts, the book ends also with a chapter dedicated to patterns/antipatterns.
I think that the main reason to read this book is written by the author here in the last chapter:
"Good programmers learn from their mistakes, but that costs time. Great programmers learn from the mistakes of others"

If your Java project isn't going well or think that your team took a wrong direction I highly recommend reading this book.
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Bitter Java
Bitter Java by Tate (Paperback - 5 April 2002)
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