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Java Power Tools [Paperback]

by John Ferguson Smart
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 29, 2008 0596527934 978-0596527938 1

All true craftsmen need the best tools to do their finest work, and programmers are no different. Java Power Tools delivers 30 open source tools designed to improve the development practices of Java developers in any size team or organization. Each chapter includes a series of short articles about one particular tool -- whether it's for build systems, version control, or other aspects of the development process -- giving you the equivalent of 30 short reference books in one package.

No matter which development method your team chooses, whether it's Agile, RUP, XP, SCRUM, or one of many others available, Java Power Tools provides practical techniques and tools to help you optimize the process. The book discusses key Java development problem areas and best practices, and focuses on open source tools that can help increase productivity in each area of the development cycle, including:

  • Build tools including Ant and Maven 2
  • Version control tools such as CVS and Subversion, the two most prominent open source tools
  • Quality metrics tools that measure different aspects of code quality, including CheckStyle, PMD, FindBugs and Jupiter
  • Technical documentation tools that can help you generate good technical documentation without spending too much effort writing and maintaining it
  • Unit Testing tools including JUnit 4, TestNG, and the open source coverage tool Cobertura
  • Integration, Load and Performance Testing to integrate performance tests into unit tests, load-test your application, and automatically test web services, Swing interfaces and web interfaces
  • Issue management tools including Bugzilla and Trac
  • Continuous Integration tools such as Continuum, Cruise Control, LuntBuild and Hudson
If you are a Java developer, these tools can help improve your development practices, and make your life easier in the process. Lead developers, software architects and people interested in the wider picture will be able to gather from these pages some useful ideas about improving your project infrastructure and best practices.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John is a freelance consultant specializing in Enterprise Java, Web Development, and Open Source technologies, currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. Well known in the Java community for his many published articles, John helps organizations optimize their Java development processes and infrastructures and provides training and mentoring in open source technologies, SDLC tools, and agile development processes. John is principal consultant at Wakaleo Consulting (, a company that provides consulting, training and mentoring services in Enterprise Java and Agile Development.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527938
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I really liked this book. It is modeled after the very useful "Unix Power Tools" that was first published 15 years ago. Since Java was first introduced it has grown from a simple web page enhancement language to one that does all kinds of useful computing work. The proliferation of tools and acronyms that have grown up around it have been quite frustrating to me. Usually you are faced with a book about a particular tool and having to decide if this entire book is worth opening your wallet. Instead, this book is organized around tasks and then goes into detail on what tools you need to do the job. There is plenty of detailed technical information on how to use the tool and why to do things a particular way. The book is organized as follows:

Build Tools - Used to coordinate, federate, and binds the other SDLC (Software Design Lifecycle) tools together into a single, coherent process. The build tool ensures that your project can be built on any machine, in any environment, if possible. Two tools dominate this area, and both are examined. The first is Ant, the traditional Java build tool, which uses a straightforward procedural approach and benefits from a very large user base and a rich set of extensions. The second is Maven 2, which uses a powerful, declarative approach to project build management and goes much further than being a simple build tool.

Version Control Tools- A version control system provides critical backups of your source code and enables developers to work together on the same project without interfering with one another. Version control systems also allow you to identify versions and coordinate releases and (if necessary) rollbacks. CVS and Subversion are the tools covered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Reference for 30 Open Source Tools May 25, 2008
The book is enjoyable, extremely well organized and covers a wide range of open source tools needed for any successful software development life cycle. I would recommend Java Power Tools to anyone writing Java. My only complaint is the size of the book; but I think in order to cover 30 tools , and the breadth of material covered for each of these tools do make up for its weightiness.

This book is written with a Java developer audience in mind. I should however say that Java is not actually the main focus of the book, and I believe this book would be of great interest to anyone concerned in writing better software.Readers should have a basic knowledge of Java and XML. You don't need to have any prior experience with any of the tools covered.

Java Power Tools can be used as an introduction to various technologies and also as a complete and easy-to-use reference work. After having read and reviewed numerous book over the past 5 years, I think it safe to say I have not read another text that so well combines the best attributes of both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the Nail on the Head January 22, 2009
Java Power Tools provides a fairly detailed introduction to a number of tools for Java programmers. It fits nicely between the O'Reilly Hacks series and having a dozen books like Ant: The Definitive Guide. Like the Hacks books, Java Power Tools provides an introduction to a bunch of tools. The Hacks books are great for answering the question "I've heard of that tool, but where does it fit?" But whereas the Hacks books provide just an appetizer, this book provides a main course, enough to get seriously started with the tool being discussed. And then, if you want all the gory details, a Definitive Guide could provide the full five-course meal.

The selection of tools presented was really good, at least for me. For example, I know about continuous integrations servers, but I haven't set one up. At one client site, they were using Hudson, which I had some exposure to, but didn't know much about the others like Cruise Control, Continuum, and Lunt Build. Similarly, I've been using JUnit 3.x for years, but I didn't really know what was different in JUnit 4 or how that compares to TestNG. This book provided me with a great overview of these and other tools. Java Power Tools provides a great way to get up to speed with a general area of tooling (e.g., continuous integration servers) or a good cross-section of the majority of the Java tools in use today.

If I had to pick something to complain about, it would be Part II - Version Control Tools. These aren't really Java tools, although every programmer (Java or otherwise) should be using them.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Automate your development process! May 16, 2008
To begin, I should note that I was a technical reviewer on this book. Ever since I reviewed it last year, I've been telling everyone who would listen that "Java Power Tools" was going to be one of the best books to be released in a while. If you are on a Java development project, you must have this book! I'm still amazed by the breadth and depth of the information in it. As it states in the back of the book, it's like having 30 reference books all in one. And, it's not like John simply gives a high-level overview of the tools. He goes into great detail such that you can take the examples and use on your own projects. The beauty is that he has weeded out all of the bad tools and given a concise set of tools to immediately help improve your team's productivity. What's more, they're all open source and you can download them immediately and try them out. He covers all of the major tool types in the development process including version control, build, CI, issue management, testing, code metrics, etc. "Java Power Tools" helps you automate your own development processes. If you'd rather be spending time creating software and not bending your process or tools to meet your needs, this is the book for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book covers some useful utilities
I found this book to be a very strong coverage of many tools, while not all may be applicable for your tasks it covers enough of them to be useful. Read more
Published on September 26, 2011 by K. Scott Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential
Its often frustrating trying to identify best of breed open-source tools, since the information on the web tends to be very fragmented, out-of-date etc. Read more
Published on August 16, 2010 by Roger Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book covering scaffolding for Java development process
The only problem of this book, that I can think of, is the title that does not give clear indication of the content. Read more
Published on May 1, 2010 by Will
5.0 out of 5 stars Java Power Tools
Brilliant, used it twice at work, within the first couple of days (Ant scripting and SchemaSpy). The information it contains is current, relevant and concise. Read more
Published on November 23, 2009 by Paul Shields
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent book, should read "Configuration Managment and Productive...
As Indikos mentions in his review, this book " not about the Java language.." but it is an excellent resource for tools that will help you set up a controlled and productive... Read more
Published on January 23, 2009 by Bernardo Gomez Palacio
5.0 out of 5 stars Offers some 30 open source tools designed to improve Java practices...
John Ferguson Smart's JAVA POWER TOOLS is a key foundation pick for any library strong in Java programming. Read more
Published on November 10, 2008 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Higly Recommended
If you want to be efficients and productive as a Java programmer I highly recommend this book to you. Read more
Published on July 7, 2008 by Indikos
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for Java Tool-smith
I was really surprized how much info is in this book, most of them is very useful for me and my team, with this book we can reach more automation in ours work ;-)
Published on June 14, 2008 by M. Marzec
5.0 out of 5 stars Hibernate and More!!
We are moving to hibernate on my project, so I bought several books to help introduce me to the subject. Read more
Published on June 11, 2008 by William R. Bullerman
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - but could definitely remove some sections
Definitely focused more towards beginner Java users (competent/advanced users will have already discovered the majority of what is covered in the text), this is a wonderful, quick... Read more
Published on May 13, 2008 by J. Brutto
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