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Akka Concurrency Paperback – May 3, 2013

3.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 521 pages
  • Publisher: Artima Inc (May 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981531660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981531663
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Botta on November 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a missed opportunity.

Akka is a wonderful framework that allows designing asynchronous non blocking distributed applications. The literature covering Akka and reactive programming is scarce and fragmented. The examples online are limited and often uninteresting. The "best practices" or "patterns" of Akka programming are only very briefly documented in the Akka online documentation.

This book could have filled all of those gaps by being both an introductory guide to actor programming and a reference guide for advanced patterns and concepts like actor supervision and self-healing, routing, remoting, clustering (actually not covered because not finalized at the time the book was published).

Instead, the author gets lost in his own sense of humor and horribly unpractical and contrived example (as others have noticed) that not only doesn't help understanding any pattern or best practice, but it also makes the first steps in actor programming much harder because it's too abstract and meaningless to give the reader some simple "real life" examples to work from.

Instead, the reader has to do the extra work of abstracting the concepts out of the (annoyingly "funny") text and the non-sense monolithic example (for which no complete source code is given, which makes it even harder to follow) and try to figure out how those concepts actually apply to a real system design, e.g., how to interact with a (blocking) database driver or other service, how and where to implement fault tolerance for the most critical parts of the system, how to distribute actors or actor systems across many machines for high availability, etc. None of this is covered with clarity in the book.
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Format: Paperback
I was really surprised to see so many negative comments out here. This is a solid book on Akka, certainly the best one out there today. The chapters on Actors, Contexts, Supervision, Routing, Dispatchers, Futures, Patterns, and Antipatterns are all good. (I haven't spent much time in the other chapters.) The author also spent a lot of time on the diagrams, which are also good.
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The first part of the book is on Actors. The author decided to use one giant example of a plane system to demonstrate the ins and outs of Akka's Actor implementation. This approach makes things hard to follow and concepts hard to learn. I'd have preferred detailed explanation with lots of small examples.
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This book is poorly written. It tries, but fails to be conversational, and in the process annoys the reader. many of the footnotes and citations are about the bad jokes rather than about the content. And the content is not developed. What problem motivates the feature? What theory supports the feature? How do we precisely define the feature? Then how do we use the feature (which to book does say something about), and what is a minimal example? The examples in the book tend to be bad, and that is really not subjective because the author says "this is not how you should use the feature but it gives you the gist." And the exa.poles are way too big. Give me small examples of how the thing actually should be used. Otherwise the examples are without meaning.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the few books on AKKA. The 'table of content' seem to cover a whole lot. But the way the subject matter is presented is pretty poor. It's too informal that, it may make the the readers get annoyed.
Here is one of it from the book...
"We've come to the second great axis of Akka's concurrency paradigm, the future. Futures have been around for a while now, but you've probably never seen them like this. These are futures on steroids; tiger steroids, laced with the blood of Superman, dripping with the testosterone of Batman, and infused with the power of Green Lantern's Ring. If you're not ready to have your brain set on fire, close this book, curl up in the fetal position, and sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star softly to yourself until you're good to go." - Chapter 12.
This makes it quite verbose and provide too much deviation from the subject matter.
Publisher, please review the text before you print. You have published great books like "Programming in Scala", and this is an excellent topic to have a book; but badly written book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author is knowledgeable and fairly thorough on covering Akka coding using Scala.I do wish the book talked more about synchronization on a larger scale. In my experience processing large amounts of data the common question is, "when are we done?", but this is not trivial to answer in Akka for larger software systems.
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If you're just getting started with Akka this is a great place to begin as it covers having no knowledge of actor systems up to advanced internals and patterns of usage for the library.

The tone of the book is conversational, and while occasionally wordy the text maintains readability throughout.

There are some minor inconsistencies in the examples as presented in the text - if you follow along by keying them in yourself you'll find them - but nothing that is a show stopper. The example problem domain - building an airplane in Akka - illustrates concepts that help solidify how to use actor systems in solving real world problems.
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