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Better Faster Lighter Java
by Bruce A. Tate, Justin Gehtland

1 edition
May 2004
262 pages

Reviewed by Valentin Crettaz, August 2004
  (9 of 10)

Next year, Java will finally get a second digit in its age. Over the past 10 years, Java has become one of the most popular language on earth. Popularity is usually a positive sign but it often hides a double-edged sword as an ever increasing indigestible amalgam of (*cough* reusable *cough*) Java libraries/frameworks flood developers everyday. No one will argue that it becomes increasingly difficult to make the right decisions when it comes to choosing existing libraries/frameworks for developing new products and/or refactoring older ones.

Don't worry, you are not alone. Bruce Tate and Justin Gehtland have made a tremendous effort of popularizing some fundamental principles that, when applied consistently, can considerably ease your life. They introduce the following basic principles: "Keep it simple", "Do one thing and do it well", "Strive for transparency", "You are what you eat" and "Allow for extension". They also show how two famous open-source frameworks, Spring and Hibernate, elegantly apply these five principles. Finally, they take their own "better-faster-lighter-java" medication by applying it on the Simple Spider project and show how the latter can easily be integrated into the infamous jPetStore application.

I definitely enjoyed reading this book even though it is not necessarily about pure coding. However, I would like to warn entry-level programmers as they might not enjoy the occasional philosophical tone. As well, they might not have had the chance to be frustrated yet which is THE assumption the authors make.

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