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Bitter Java Paperback – April, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


"!!!! Exceptional" -- Today's Books

"A superbly presented essential, core addition to the Java user's reference shelf collection." -- Wisconsin Bookwatch

"At last we have a book that tackles the problems rather than pretending there are none." -- CVu, the Journal of the ACCU

"Does a great job of articulating a philosophical foundation on which good architects and programmers can build." -- JavaPro Magazine

"It is the rare computer science book that truly captivates me....I just couldn't put Bitter Java down." -- Skip McCormick, co-author of Anti-patterns

"Packed with useful design tips and techniques for the serious Java server-side developer. . . . read it many times." -- VisualBuilder

"Save big bucks by reading this book instead of hiring a consultant." -- CompuNotes

"Will leave you with an instinctive sense for the antipatterns . . . so you can keep your Java brewing smooth and sweet." -- SitePoint Tech Times

About the Author

Bruce Tate is an Internet architect who developed the bitter Java concept after seeing a set of customer problems repeated, collecting their stories, and publishing the solutions. He is the author of ""Bitter Java,"" He lives in Austin, Texas. Mike Clark is president of Clarkware Consulting, Inc. He first encountered EJB pitfalls in 1998 while developing a custom EJB container, prior to the emergence of commercial J2EE servers. He has significantly contributed to the successful delivery of a popular J2EE performance management product and has also created several open source tools including JUnitPerf for automated performance testing. He lives in Parker, Colorado. Bob Lee is an OCI consultant with expertise in AOP, Jini, and web security. He developed an open source AOP framework that utilizes runtime bytecode engineering to intercept method invocations on POJOs and forms the foundation of JBoss AOP. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Patrick Linskey is the vice president of engineering for SolarMetric, a company that offers Java persistence alternatives to the Java community. His experience spans EJB application development and product development, and he is a teacher and speaker on the Java conference circuit. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193011043X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930110434
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,362,344 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

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By on April 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is all about learning lessons from common Java server-side development failures. It is aimed at intermediate java developers that have a basic understanding of design patterns.
Bitter Java is all about applications and examples of antipatterns and refactoring. It is about finding a problem and then going through the various solutions (continuous improvement).
We found the relationship between the first two examples ("Magic Pushbutton" and "Magic Servlet") very interesting. The author has a good method of explaining the problems to new Java developers. The first solution included the command and MVC design pattern.
It is refreshing to read a book that comments on techniques included from Jakarta Struts.
Problems addressed in this book include:
· Monolithic Servlets and JSPs
· Caching dynamic content
· Memory leaks
· Database connection overuse
· XML misuse
· EJB Round-tripping
· Entity bean misuse
· Lack of coding standard
· Performance tuning
This is one of those books that you will want to read from beginning to end. We found the many personal stories before each key topic very enjoyable to read. Web page references are used throughout the text (mostly from IBM's web site). This book is packed with useful design tips and techniques for the serious Java server-side developer. Go and buy this book because you will want to read it many times.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Juntao Yuan on April 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
"I like learning from my mistakes ..., but I would much rather learn from your mistakes." -- Bruce Tate, "Bitter Java", page 313.
If design patterns are success stories, anti-patterns are lessons you can learn from other people's failures. Consultants like Bruce Tate make money to support his Kayak hobby by identifying anti-patterns in customer projects and offering valuable advices to refactor them. Now, he has offered his advices for all of us for [$] in Manning's new book "Bitter Java" (ISBN 193011043X).
So, what exactly are anti-patterns? Are they only relevant to software architects? Now, consider the following questions:
Do you know that Java applications might have memory leaks too? Have you written 500 line servlets or JSP pages? Do you notice that your container managed EJBs cannot scale when the load is high? If any of the answers is "yes", Java anti-patterns might be more relevant to you than you think.
This book avoids discussing anti-pattern in academic terms. Instead, it gives a real world server side Java application that an inexperienced developer is likely to write and then refactors it all the way through various anti-patterns to a scalable, maintainable solution. Tate not only teaches you the anti-patterns you encounter, he also gives a valuable example on the software development process to refactor an poorly written existing application.
The author uses extensive real world code examples throughout the book to explain the problems and why we should avoid them. Like all other Manning books, the code examples are well commented and annotated in the main text.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for this book based on an endorsement from a friend of mine. What I found was this book, while presenting some minimally useful information was peppered with errors and generally poor.
The good points: the author is a fairly good writer, presenting technical information in a semi-interesting fashion. If you don't know what MVC is, or the Command pattern, there is some useful information here (read the caveats below).
The bad points: what good information is here is better presented in many other design patterns books. The book's information is really for junior level people and yet is so full of errors (and uncompilable code!) that it is likely to be frustrating to just such a beginner. Be prepared for coding errors such as:
public Integer i = 0;
If you don't know why this is wrong, get a well edited book. What's more, the author borrows liberally from freely available code out on the web (good) but can't even reformat the code to be consistent with his own (bad, bad, bad!). So you are treated to at least a half dozen different code formatting peculiarities during the code examples. As well, he is inconsistent about how he presents code, in some cases presenting a whole class, in other cases just a snippet without any context of how it might be employed in a class (again, a problem for the target audience).
Frankly don't get this book unless you've already tried some of the better books out there like:
Design Patterns
by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
one of the many Java design patterns books (I won't recommend one in particular, since I've only skimmed them, not read any straight through).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Todd Vaules on May 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of the few programming books on the market that is almost impossible to put down. Bruce Tate's ability to combine his passion for extreme sports with real life programming experience makes for a very interesting read. But don't think that means he puffed up this work with superfluous prose. This book is the real deal and packs more learning into it's 399 pages than most of the 800+ page technical tomes on the market.
The basic premise of the book is to define and describe anitpatterns. The author uses antipatterns as a force for good as wells as pointing out their inherent evil. Through the recognition and understanding of antipatterns the developer can learn the hows and whys of sound development process and program architecture.
Whether you are a seasoned developer or relatively new to programming, this book has something for you. The experienced developer will recognize many of the anitpatterns discussed in this book (though may not have known they had been named and categorized). The new developer will learn some very important concepts and situations to avoid.
Bruce's step-by-step refactoring of code will be a real eye-opener for a lot of folks in the Java community. This is some of the most straight forward architectural and procedure based instruction ever put to page. Yes, at times it may seem overly simplistic, but guess what?, that's what it's all about. The essence of good design lies in its simplicity. If you read through all of the examples, in the end you come out well on your way to becoming an architectural master (ok maybe overstated, but you will feel that way).
The book covers all the major components in an enterprise level application. You will get some for valuable tips on such things as MVC, cache management, connection pooling, and scalibility. Whether you are a web developer or a senior level enterprise programmer, there is something for you. This book should be required reading in every development shop and CS department!
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