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Functional Programming for Java Developers: Tools for Better Concurrency, Abstraction, and Agility 1st Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449311032
ISBN-10: 1449311032
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Tools for Better Concurrency, Abstraction, and Agility

About the Author

Dean Wampler is a Principal Consultant at Think Big Analytics, where he specializes in "Big Data" problems and tools like Hadoop and Machine Learning. Besides Big Data, he specializes in Scala, the JVM ecosystem, JavaScript, Ruby, functional and object-oriented programming, and Agile methods. Dean is a frequent speaker at industry and academic conferences on these topics. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 90 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449311032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449311032
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,087,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Yuriy Zubarev on August 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very concise and useful introduction to functional programming for Java developers. It's going to be useful for developers coming from other object oriented languages as well.

At the beginning, the book contrasts two paradigms and outlines basic principles of functional programming. It then delves into data structures and concurrency, all while demonstrating benefits of thinking in a functional style. The author uses whatever means Java has to offer, be it interfaces and/or anonymous inner classes, to mimic functional constructs. Examples may not be beautiful (after all, we're limited to Java syntax) but they do drive home the main concepts.

The book will be invaluable to people who are curious about functional programming and spent years working with objects in Java or similar languages. You will only concentrate on the new ideas while relying on an already familiar syntax and language features. I found this approach to be very useful.

If you're already comfortable with functional style and want to dig deeper to understand how to think of writing software in a new way, then the book is not for you. In one of the final chapters the author presented a UML diagram for an "American payroll application". He reasoned how the object model wasn't ideal for the problem domain, but he only offered very general statements on what the solution would look like in a functional world. This was the most disappointing part of the book for me. I thought I would see a decomposition of a real-life example of a respectable size but instead there was almost nothing offered.

Summary. Concise and "gentle" introduction to functional programming to OO developers. Not enough real-life examples to support some big claims.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Pollock on August 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book's primary audience is the career Java programmer who's heard of functional programming, and wants to find out more about it, but doesn't feel ready to dive into the deep end with Scala or Clojure. For such a reader, this is a marvelous (and short!) book that will reward her/him far beyond the time required to read it. I was that person a few years back, and while I really wish I could have read this book back then, it has insights too for the Java programmer already familiar with functional programming. FPfJD presents functional programming concepts in the context of Java, and shows how I can further improve my Java by formalizing my application of FP concepts.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Tay on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
First bought this ebook from Orelly.com and began reading it. I have to admit i have mixed feelings about this book. But first things first, i've done Erlang and Scala development and so i'm not really a beginner in FP so i have to start from there.

The book's intention is to introduce FP concepts to Java programmers and considering the fact that FP is a big subject not to mention this book is about 70+ pages thick means you won't get everything known to FP world. To be honest, this is fine since the purpose wasn't to do that. I liked the fact that Dean introduced the concepts of lambdas, closures, lazy evaluation, combinators etc through encouraging his readers to try out every exercise (which i did quite happily) which really reinforces the ideas. That's always a good thing in any lesson/subject you're trying to learn. I also liked the fact that Dean mentioned the LSP and Functional concurrency in two (relatively short) chapters of his book but he doesn't go into detail into these subjects but he did showed examples using Akka Framework and explaining STM (Software Transactional Memory). These last two chapters sort of provided an anti-climax to the entire book cos i was expecting to work out more programming exercises w.r.t STM, Actors.

After re-assessing my emotions, i've discovered that Dean probably avoided functional concurrency because it would take another book (which i'll happily purchased) since its another realm really. FYI, go read "Java Concurrency in Practice" if you want a primer in it. I should caution you to NOT compare this book with "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" since they serve different audiences.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Witherspoon on August 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Functional Programming for Java Developers" provides an introduction to Functional Programming to Java developers that have been using Object Oriented development. The focus of this book is to provided some great examples of how to use Functional Programming and to get you excited about expanding your knowledge by looking into many of the references that are included at the end of the book. Dean did a great job providing examples throughout the book related to the topic of each chapter. In addition, he provides concise coverage of the topics and exercises at the end of each chapter to help enforce the topics that were just covered.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wanted to get an understanding of what Functional Programming is all about and the benefits that it brings to the table. Reading through this book opened up my eyes to how to improve on coding and designs that I have implemented over the years. For example, dealing with mutable objects and the issues that it cause with concurrency and/or other classes modifying them outside of the class that owns that data. I really enjoyed the sections on Persistent Data Structures and Software Transactional Memory in the way that trees are used to deal with changes throughout time. How you could use this to help present the pedigree of changes made by users of your system. Or you could even use this type of technique to roll back data to a specific state similar to version control systems (SVN, CVS, GIT, etc).

On the other hand, if you already have the basic understanding and see the benefits of functional programming, I would not recommend this book and would suggest getting his book on Scala or another book for intermediate to advanced on Functional Programming.
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