Beyond Java Paperback – 2 Oct 2005
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From the Publisher
In Beyond Java, Bruce Tate, author of the Jolt Award-winning Better, Faster, Lighter Java, chronicles the rise of the most successful language of all time, and then lays out, in painstaking detail, the compromises the founders had to make to establish success. If you are agree with the book's premise--that Java's reign is coming to an end--then this book will help you start to build your skills accordingly. Beyond Java will teach you what a new language needs to succeed, so when things do change, you'll be more prepared. And even if you think Java is here to stay, you can use the best techniques from frameworks introduced in this book to improve what you're doing in Java today.
About the Author
Bruce Tate is a kayaker, mountain biker, father, author, and Java programmer inAustin, Texas. His five books include Better, Faster, Lighter Java and the bestselling Bitter Java (Manning). His 17 years of experience include stints at IBM, two failed startups, and his own independent consulting practice called J2Life, LLC.
Top Customer Reviews
Rightly critiqued Generics as a kludgy bolt-on.
Highlighted the closure issue (but not nearly enough)
Had a go at critiquing the JVM (or at least how Sun viewed it)!
Emphasised the Syntactic Sugary nature of Java (a pet hate).
Expressed disdain at the API expansion (which never seems to end).
No mention of Scala (which was on the JVM early '04).
Too much Ruby love.. yuk.
As has been mentioned the Artsy intro's were a distraction.
However, as a long time Java programmer I read the book with mixed feelings. Much of the 'pain' we Java programmers were supposed to be feeling had already been alleviated by the incredible 'eclipse IDE'. Bruce Tate has many valid criticisms of Java, and certainly when you compare the metaprogramming capabilities of Ruby to Java, it does look quite archaic. The question of static versus dynamic types is much less certain, as the wonderful command-completion and refactoring capabilities of eclipse seem to be largely as a result of Java's static typing. As a result I felt that while the book was making completely valid points, they were perhaps exaggerated a little more than necessary.
Now two months later, and a few rails applications under my belt, I should say that the dynamism of ruby (and some other niceties like duck-typing and method blocks) has won a convert in me. And of course the conveniences of the Rails platform are undisputed. And most recently with the advent of JRuby 1.0, I think we will start so see a much faster adoption of Ruby by the Java community. JPython went far, but not far enough. Bruce seems to think Ruby will fare a lot better, and I agree with him. The next few years are going to be very interesting indeed.
It's necessarily speculative, but basically highlights Java's strengths and weaknesses and how a future language may supersede Java. Essentially his argument is that Java frameworks are moving into heavyweight applications and leaving behind the bread and butter work of putting a front end on a relational database. Ultimately, he believes that Java's static typing (early binding) causes huge productivity problems without the advertised benefits and he concludes that Ruby is the way to go.
As a web developer, I agree that Java's never been particularly good for web front-end stuff and personally I never really got on with it. Ruby looks really interesting from this - flexible and powerful and it fixes some of Java's dafter features (primitives etc.). Furthermore Bruce writes well and I read this book over a weekend. I'm really intrigued by Ruby now and may well give it a try.
The only criticisms I have are that the book ignores security (one of static typing's big gains) apart from a throwaway sentence and also it does turn into a bit of a `Ruby on rails' fan letter later on in the book. The kayaking episodes at the start of the chapters start to grate after a while too, however these are mostly quibbles apart from security. Recommended for Java and web developers to think on.
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