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Beyond Java Paperback – October 2, 2005

29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596100940 ISBN-10: 0596100949 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Tate is a kayaker, mountain biker, father, author, and Java programmer inAustin, Texas. His five books include Better, Faster, Lighter Java and the bestselling Bitter Java (Manning). His 17 years of experience include stints at IBM, two failed startups, and his own independent consulting practice called J2Life, LLC.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596100949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596100940
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,494,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I started in this industry back in 1985, as a co-op with IBM in Austin. I joined IBM full time in 1987, and spent 13 years with them. I later left to join a startup, and ultimately started my own business where I focus on helping customers build software with lightweight technologies.

I've been writing technical books for more than 10 years now, with the last 7 coming since 2000. I write for the love of the craft.

Others have told me that my fundamental strength as an author is the ability to quickly recognize emerging trends. I do tend to find emerging frameworks just as they become popular, and that skill is a mixed blessing that--combined with my complete lack of political tact--gets me in trouble sometimes, as it did with Bitter Java (Java is too hard), Beyond Java (Java is not going to last forever), and most recently, From Java to Ruby: Things Every Manager should Know (there's a better language for some problems, but our managers don't know it yet.)

My promise to you is this: I will always seek to find better ways to do things, and will work hard to tell you the truth, without regard for any notion of political correctness. Thanks for reading.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Michael Vanier on March 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
There is a lot to like in this book, and a lot not to like. I'll talk about the negatives first and then discuss the positives.

The style of the book is extremely annoying. The author is a kayaker and a mountain biker, and he introduces each chapter with a kayaking/mountain biking story meant to serve as some kind of analogy to the programming topics he'll cover in the chapter. I found this unnecessary and distracting (I don't need sugar coating on my technical reading), and it felt like the real purpose of the stories was for the author to demonstrate how cool he is. In addition, the author uses the phrase "a perfect storm" over and over and over to describe the factors that led to Java's position of dominance in the programming world. I hated that expression even before I read the book; it has to be the most abused expression of the last few years.

Despite the fact that the book is ostensibly about programming languages, the author is by no means an expert on the subject. To his credit, he admits this freely, but he also makes numerous small and not-so-small mistakes when describing programming language features which may lead more knowledgeable readers to wonder if he's really qualified to write this book. For instance, in several places he describes the advantages of static typing as being mainly for early error detection, without also pointing out another big advantage of static typing: faster code (there are other advantages as well). In another place he makes the blatantly false statement that "Smalltalk is where all the continuation research is happening", ignoring the fact that Scheme (a Lisp dialect) has had continuations since 1986, and that there has been and continues to be active research on continuations in Scheme ever since.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wuehler on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
While probably not the best analogy (on my part), the author's message seems to be similar to the book, The Innovator's Dilemma, that is on the required reading list for MBA students. The "Java Developer's" dilemma: How do you take time away from your comfort zone and what is paying the bills to focus on what isn't ready to pay the bills (the "disruptive" technology/language). I.e., there are more employers looking for Java experience than for, say, Ruby experience. So, when do you make that jump, what language should you jump to, or better yet, how do you prepare yourself to get ready to make that jump without getting left behind.

This last statement is what I took away from the first half of the book. The author gives his opinions and suggestions as to how to prepare yourself for that jump. For that, I think this book should probably be required reading for software developers in general, not just Java developers. I know a handful of ex-mainframe developers that wish they had taken time to learn something other than COBOL. :)

As noted in the other reviews, the book also discusses things such as Java's pros and cons, as well as what the characteristics of the "next big language" are likely to be. While interesting, this aspect of the book was ancillary to the underlying message I took away from the book. What I took away from the book was; when Java is replaced as the programming language of choice, are you going to be ready?

Overall a persuasive argument. If you believe Java is on the way out, this book contains your talking points. If you believe Java is king and your job is safe, this book contains the arguments you will most likely have to fend off.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Schulman on January 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Bruce Tate's Beyond Java is not up to O'Reilly standards. It's poorly organized, repetitive, and error-ridden. As of the present writing (Jan. 2, 2006), the online example code promised in the front of the book is not available on the O'Reilly web site. A long list of errata is available there, however, but it's incomplete.

Expect much frustration in trying to type in the main Ruby on Rails example and getting it to run successfully. And expect much hair-tearing at all the repetition and the author's attempt to be artsy by beginning each chapter by comparing white-water kayaking to the perils of picking a new programming language.

This would have made a good book or special journal issue at one-quarter it's present size, with better editing, and with better testing of the example code -- and deep-sixing the tedious kayak stories.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Shahzad Bhatti on October 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hoping that Bruce will have more insightful comparison of upcoming languages and will compare Java's shortcomings against them. Instead, he covered only major shortcomings of Java that most people already know such as not purely object oriented, edit-compile-test cycle or how massive it has become. Though, he talks about Python, Ruby, Smalltalk, Lisp, but it is very clear from beginning that the only language that he likes is Ruby and does not provide enough details on other languages. I myself have been learning Ruby over a year and have been trying Ruby on Rails lately and I like it a lot and I agree that productivity on Ruby is much higher than Java. It's just that I was hoping to learn a bit about other new languages and how they tackle different issues especially that make domain driven modeling a bit easier similar to "Naked objects" features. I for one doing Java programming since '96 and having gone through all Java->CORBA-Servlets->EJB-Spring cycle am looking for alternatives. Certainly, Ruby comes to mind and it is going to have support for VM and AOP support in 2.0, but I am still not convinced that it is the answer. Overall, I wished the author had researched a bit more about other interesting ways people are solving these problems.
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