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Book Review Team
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<pre>Author/s : Bruce Tate
Publisher : Manning Publications Inc.
Category : Advanced
Review by : Madhav Lakkapragada
Rating : 8 horseshoes
"Bitter Java" is a "sweet book". While the previous statement sums-up my opinion of the content of the book, it wouldn't be fair not to say why. If you have the basic knowledge of J2EE components and would like to know "where to use a component" or more precisely "where NOT to use a component" this is the book you want.
The books walks you through the most common mistakes a programmer with academic knowledge would do. Okay, you did a couple of tutorials on the web, you now "feel" you have knowledge of J2EE, so what next? I would say, read this book - it will teach you how to identify anti-patterns in your code and their ill-effects. Once you identify these anti-patterns and sense the "bitterness" the authors teach you how to redo your applications using some well-known design patterns. Anti-patterns in the areas of Servlets, JSPs, Security, Caching, Server-Side Memory leaks, Connections, amd briefly XML are covered.
You don't really need a whole lot of design pattern knowledge, though a basic knowledge wouldn't hurt. Design patterns and anti-patterns are explained with example code. The original and refactered code is very well documented with appropriate remarks followed by detailed explanations.
As the moderator of the JSP forum, I have seen many questions posted on topics that were addresed in this book. Although, while taking the first steps in J2EE, you don't give much importance to anti-patterns, when you get into a production environment you must have this knowledge. While the examples in this book "may" appear basic, I think they are sufficient and clearly make the point. Glad that I was able to review this book.
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