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Maven - A Developer's Notebook by Vincent Massol, Timothy M. O'Brien

 
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<pre>
Author/s : Vincent Massol, Timothy M. O'Brien
Publisher : O'Reilly
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating : 7 horseshoes
</pre>
"Maven - A Developer's Notebook" is good for covering the surface of how to do a build in Maven. There is great explanation on the installation of Maven and building Java projects. Coverage of reporting and writing plugins was also good.

Coverage of building WARs was fair. It would have been nice to see a JSP or resource files in the example, rather than just code. Noticeably absent was how to build an EJB project and an EAR. And while the book demonstrates connecting to CVS/Subversion, it could use an example on checking out code.

The book assumes some knowledge of the build process in Java, but not too much. Specifically, it is not necessary to know Ant. For those who do use Ant, common pitfalls are mentioned (without saying they are from Ant.)

In developer's notebook style, the book reads quickly and goes through a series of labs. The authors are good about explaining what things mean and going through the build output. The list of Maven plugins is very useful in finding out what exists.

The book is well thought out, clear and excellent for what it covers. However, I think they tried to cover too much in too little room and wound up having to leave out some key areas. If you were only creating jars or WARs by yourself, I would give this book a 9. But for J2EE and teams, it gets a 7 because it needs the documentation to supplement.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
 
Don Stadler
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I am a fan of this series of books although I haven't read this one yet. I thought the Hibernate title was the best book published in 2004.

The conciseness is a feature not a defect IMHO, Jeanne. If the book is executed correctly you can blow through the entire thing in 10-15 hours and bolt on a skill at journeyman (if not expert) level. For a more complete reference you need to wait for 'Maven in Action' or 'Maven Cookbook' or some such.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Originally posted by Don Stadler:
I am a fan of this series of books although I haven't read this one yet. I thought the Hibernate title was the best book published in 2004.

Me too! I gave "Java 5.0 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook" a rating of 10 horseshoes.


The conciseness is a feature not a defect IMHO, Jeanne. If the book is executed correctly you can blow through the entire thing in 10-15 hours and bolt on a skill at journeyman (if not expert) level. For a more complete reference you need to wait for 'Maven in Action' or 'Maven Cookbook' or some such.

I agree with that. The problem wasn't the conciseness. It was the feeling that I couldn't sit down with the book and do a build of a J2EE application that uses the standard EAR/WAR structure. Certainly for less common things, I would use a web resource or wait for a more detailed book. That isn't the domain of the series. Vincent did say they are thinking about adding a web only chapter on EARs, which would make the book greatly more useful.
 
Vincent Massol
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Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky:

I agree with that. The problem wasn't the conciseness. It was the feeling that I couldn't sit down with the book and do a build of a J2EE application that uses the standard EAR/WAR structure. Certainly for less common things, I would use a web resource or wait for a more detailed book. That isn't the domain of the series. Vincent did say they are thinking about adding a web only chapter on EARs, which would make the book greatly more useful.


It was a difficult decision but we did not include a full chapter on J2EE simply for lack of space. We had to juggle with including some important and vital how-to on Maven vs focusing one full chapter on J2EE. We preferred to focus on giving keys so that Maven users will then know how to use Maven on anything including J2EE.

However, I did understand Jeanne's point and I told her that I would write an article on Maven and J2EE that I would post publicly and link it from the book's website. I have finished writing the article a few weeks ago and it's now in the hands of O'Reilly. It should be published very soon on http://oreillynet.com/.

Thanks
 
Vincent Massol
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Originally posted by Vincent Massol:

We preferred to focus on giving keys so that Maven users will then know how to use Maven on anything including J2EE.


That said I should say that we did cover parts of J2EE (and IMO the most important parts!). Thus webapps are well covered for example.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I agree that webapps are covered well. What is most important is subjective, of course

Once Vincent's article is published, we can link to it from here.
 
Vincent Massol
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Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky:
Once Vincent's article is published, we can link to it from here.


As promised, here it is: http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2005/09/07/maven.html

Enjoy!

-Vincent
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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The article is really good. I give it a 10 and recommend it highly. The book supplemented with the article certainly deserves a higher rating.
 
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