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Bitter Java Paperback – April, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

"A superbly presented guide...an 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: #2,296,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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
or
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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Format: Paperback
While reading this book, I kept referring colleages past and present to information within as questions about "how should I..." popped up. It's an excellent set of reminders about lessons learned, and old lessons applied to current technology.
The content is very accessible to the intermediate programmer and budding architect, and the examples of implementations with problems followed by refactored improvements highly valuable. It's much better to learn learn from mistakes without making them all yourself, as the book points out.
The chapter on memory management under Java was a refreshing treat. Coming from a C++ background where resources are a major concern, I've heard many Java programmers use garbage collection in Java as a reason not to worry about resources. The book addressed how garbage collection worked in the past as well as current algorithms, and pointed out ways resources can be leaked quite easily. Awareness of a potential problem is one of the best tools a developer has, and the antipatterns addressed in this book will be ones I revisit when starting new projects. It's essentially defensive driving for developers, but fun to read!
Some sections concered areas I've only read about thus far, and it was interesting to see some problems in implementations based largely on following available "how to" guides. The list of suggested follow up reading will keep me busy for quite a while.
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