This week's book giveaway is in the Agile and Other Processes forum. We're giving away four copies of Darcy DeClute's Scrum Master Certification Guide: The Definitive Resource for Passing the CSM and PSM Exams and have Darcy DeClute on-line! See this thread for details.
"Getting Started with Spring Framework" is an intro to Spring book. It covers less material than Manning's "Spring in Action"; however it is a shorter read and costs $15 less, so that's ok.
The explanations were fine. There were lots of code examples. My favorite part was the excellent diagrams. I liked all of the chapters except chapter 1. There were a couple of places in later chapters where multiple ways of doing something were presented, and it wasn't clear why you'd choose each way.
But what didn't I like about chapter 1 you ask? The chapter starts with a statement that rubbed me the wrong way. To paraphrase: in the old world, developers had to create well structured easily testable maintainable apps-- the implication being that Spring somehow relieves you of this duty. The truth is that you can create a pile of crud in Spring, too. This felt like "Spring is magic" salesmanship and it put me in a bad mood. The rest of the chapter was a mix of concepts critical to understand and a high level overview of things you never see in the book again.
I was also taken aback that the author tells readers to download Spring 3.2.0 RC 2. I think it's great that the author was testing with the latest and greatest. It's fine to mention that (although putting it on the back cover is pushing it.) However, someone just learning Spring should not use the release candidate version.
The book was self published and this was evident in a few ways. I saw a typo early on ("quiet" vs "quite"), some organizational issues which would have been brought up by an editor, and in general the layout looks like someone just printed a PDF and stuck it in a book with page breaks in some odd spots. The index had a great list of annotations but was missing common words like "security" and "transaction." I guess what I'm saying is that you'd be better off buying the e-book than the printed version.
Ultimately, the book was "fine". You can learn Spring from it. If you're looking to save a few bucks and don't need to learn about Spring for web apps, it's probably a good idea. $17 for the e-book and $29 for the printed copy is very inexpensive for a computer book. But I found Manning's "Spring in Action" was a better read.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.