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Scala in Action Paperback – 13 Apr 2013

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 419 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (13 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935182757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182757
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 563,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Nilanjan Raychaudhuri is a skilled developer, speaker, and avid polyglot programmer who believes in selecting the right tool for the job.


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3.4 out of 5 stars
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Java is definitely a prerequisite here - not so much for the code fragments - but the discussion of the philosophy of Scala that sometimes goes into some detail.

It isn't a structured introduction by any means and Developers without core OOP/Functional background will certainly struggle a bit - I found my (rusty) Computer Science degree extremely useful to fill in missing gaps, even then this isn't an easy read.. Unlike the previous reviewer I would respectfully say novices to Programming would feel completely out of their depth very fast and even those with some programming skills would benefit from a basic theoretical computer science course.

However it thoroughly covers Scala (2.10) and made me feel a lot more confident in developing under Android.

I haven't read the Odersky book so can't contrast - but the emphasis on real world applications does make it a really useful addition to the albeit few books out there at the moment.

Highly Recommended for those who know some Java, others might not I feel get the maximum benefit this book provides.

Added to say: I have spent some time with the Odersky book which seems a far gentler introduction - in fact considerably so. I'd recommend Odersky for beginners and those with some imperative experience and this book for those with at a reasonable grasp of Java or with a classical computer science education.
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Format: Paperback
416 pages can have an impact on your life - regardless of what book you're reading. When it is to learn a new programming language, you'd be better off spending these pages in a pleasant and comfortable way. I think the book "Scala in Action" by Nilanjan Raychaudhuri (Manning), can be a vivid example thereof. I recommend reading the book, but only as the second or third book about Scala as it may be too practical or too tools-packed at times, that can lead to confusion for people new to Java tools and frameworks. I think it's not very rarely when one can drift away from the main track - to learn Scala, esp. at the end of the book.

The book is however very good at leading a reader throughout Scala by many examples to eventually become one - hence the title "Scala in Action".

The book starts with the quotation from James Gosling, the creator of Java, who once said: "If I were to pick a language to use today other than Java, it would be Scala". It sets the course for the entire book that's certainly not about Java (which should come as no surprise given the title), but Scala and aims at convincing you to use Scala as your next language (should you need one).

The cover says "Covers Scala 2.10" and I remember that was my first thought about the book - how much of Scala 2.10 can I read about in this book? Would the new features of Scala 2.10 be somehow explained in details? Scala 2.10 was covered...partially. It's not certainly a book to cover the latest and greatest of Scala 2.10, but Scala in general, regardless of the version you use. When you attempt to match "New features in the 2.
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I didn't feel that the content in this book flowed very well, and it was littered with basic spelling and grammar errors that really should be picked up by the editor prior to publishing. I get the sense that some aspects were a bit rushed, and was quite disappointed with my purchase.

Something that attracted me to this particular book was that it is quite recent and covers Scala 2.10 - but in hindsight, I'd rather buy a better (albeit slightly dated) book and fill in the gaps myself.

I usually find myself addicted to my tech books, battling to put them down... this one didn't quite live up to that standard. Can't say I'd recommend it.
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In a nutshell: This is a great book if you are looking for a rapid introduction to Scala with a very practical focus - where else would you be building a Scala-based RESTful API and MongoDB driver within the first few chapters, and have fun doing it! Although the book states that the target audience is open to all levels, I believe that programmers with some previous exposure to an OO language will get the most out of it. That's not to say novice developers won't enjoy the book, but they may find it quite fast paced.

'Scala in Action' will offer seasoned developers much to think about, as this book is very focused in teaching you pragmatic (and idiomatic) usage of Scala. The fact that Scala manages to blend both Object Oriented and Functional programming styles means that learning this language provides a great transition into the differing approaches offered by these styles, and every good programmer knows that the more tools he/she has available, the more productive (and elegant/expressive) they and their code will become.

In addition to the topics mentioned above this book also covers concurrency using the Actor model with Akka (to which I am becoming more and more of an advocate!), testing and TDD (which I believe is mandatory in any new technology book) and the interoperability between Java and Scala.

I haven't fully digested all of the book yet, and I believe I'll be reading it several times (and more imporantly, experimenting even more with the code samples). However, 'Scala in Action' has been a perfect companion in my first serious voyage into learning this language, and it comes highly recommended for anyone else attempting the same task!
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