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About your book

 
mister krabs
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Could you tell us a little about your book and (if you know) how it compares to any of the other similar books on the market?
I read the book, "The Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse" and it seemed heavily geared towards those writing Eclipse plugins (at least two-thirds of the book was about plugins). Is your book aimed towards the Eclipse user or the plugin writer? Do you discuss/compare any of the existing plugins and where we can locate them (a topic missing from the above mentioned book)?
 
Author
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Eclipse in Action is primarily geared to developers who want to develop *with* Eclipse, and not *for* Eclipse.
Chapters 2--7 essentially walk you through the development process and introduce you to the tools you need to get the job done. (Testing with JUnit; coding, debugging and refactoring; Ant, CVS...). The intention being to show developers how to get up to speed quickly and use Eclipse effectively, using (more or less) real-world examples.
Having said that, we also wanted to provide a least a good introduction to the other two aspects of Eclipse that people would find of benefit: developing plugins and SWT/JFace. Both of these topics clearly deserve books on their own, but I think the chapters on plugins are more than enough to get started.
I've only skimmed through the Shavor book, so I can't comment definitively, but it seems to me complementary to ours. I'd think a potential Eclipse user would want to read ours cover-to-cover to learn Eclipse, but might consider purchasing "The Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse" as a reference, (esp. since the Eclipse online doc is a little bit too terse at times), or to delve more deeply into the details of particular features.
(Not to sell our book short, however; for example, Appendix A, Java perspective menu reference, provides explanations and examples for all the refactorings that Eclipse can perform.)
You asked about plugins. We mention and use a few in the course of the book such as XML Buddy and the Sysdeo Tomcat plugin. (We also discuss how to install and use other third-party software (Tomcat, log4j, CVS server). We don't provide a survey of plugins that are available, but we do mention that by going to the community page on the Eclipse website you can find many more. The plugin scene is pretty volatile and active and some plugins that weren't ready for primetime at the time of writing may be ready now. (And some that were free betas may now be commercial products.)
Hope that contributes to a better understanding of the book!
@D
 
Ranch Hand
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Thanks David,
That was in my opinion an excellent summary from the man himself as an author of the book.
Could you please kindly go little more into the kind of example discussed, I know you have said they are real life examples.
I am a web applications developer and the fact that you guys have discussed Tomcat etc is a good sign for me. Are there any example which effectively provide a model of how to make optimum usage for web applications using Eclipse.
I'm done now, over to you.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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That was one of my complaints about the other book in that they didn't cover using Eclipse with any application server.
 
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I'm about halfway through the AW book now. One of the co-authors of that book (Dan Kehn) lives 3 doors down from me so we traded copies when we got them from the publisher. I basically agree with David's comments but note that Eclipse in Action covers Eclipse 2.1 while the AW book covers 2.0 which came out about a year ago.
I haven't looked at Pluta's Step By Step book.
The Gamma/Beck book should be interesting given the authors. I've been reading the drafts as they come out.
 
David Gallardo
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The original example I had in mind for the book was a web application using servlets/JSP that lets a user store and manage information of some sort. But this required a persistence mechanism of some sort, and I didn't want to go off on a tangent about databases.
At the time I was planning this book, (end of last year), I was working on a web application for a client and was thinking of using JDO for persistence, but there was no free implementation then, so I was toying with the idea of rolling my own. After playing around a bit with Java's reflection API and creating objects from data dynamically, I decided that while it wasn't a good idea to develop my own implementation of JDO on my client's dime, it would be fun and interesting nonetheless to develop a persistence component, loosely based on JDO, and using files (instead of a database), to use for the book's examples. I know object-relational mapping has been done to death, but I thought if I found it fun and interesting, others might, too.
The resulting persistence component, developed throughout chapters 3-6, turned out to be (in my judgement at least) a good-sized example--not trivial and not overwhelming. It presented some interesting object-oriented design problems and it let us exercise Eclipse features realistically. Throughout, I mostly stayed true to agile development techniques; occasionally I found I had to refactor as I took more considerations into account and expanded the design.
The payoff, of course, is that it provides the persistence for the small web application that is finally developed in Chapter 7.
@D
 
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