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Extreme Programming with Ant by Glenn Niemeyer, Jeremy Poteet  RSS feed

Book Review Team
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<pre>Author/s : Glenn Niemeyer, Jeremy Poteet
Publisher : Sams
Category : Project management, Process and Best Practices
Review by : Ilja Preuss
Rating : 4 horseshoes
As the subtitle "Building and Deploying Java Applications with JSP, EJB, XSLT, XDoclet and JUnit" indicates, this is a tools book. Consequently, the Extreme Programming practices are merely used as a motivation to introduce new Ant features into the build process - and sometimes this feels rather far stretched. In many cases, a good XP team should try a more team- and less tool-oriented solution than presented in this book. Also, the repeatedly mentioned "lead developer" coming to important decisions by himself feels quite contrary to XPs "Whole Team" practice.
So the book concentrates on covering Ant, and starts quite promising in this regard. Using a case study to show how a build script can evolve with the needs of a project is a nice idea, and the introduction to Ant is concise and to the point. Unfortunately, the book later starts to rush through the topics, much of it covering how to integrate different tools into the build process. There are also some much-less-than-optimal examples, which makes you wonder about the depth of knowledge of the authors; they even show a hand-made solution to implementing boolean attributes for custom tasks, even though Ant comes with a much more elegant inbuild mechanism.
This book still taught me interesting new things about Ant. I'd guess most beginners would be better off with a book more concentrating on its core concepts. If you want a good book on Extreme Programming, you will definitively have to look elsewhere.

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