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Essential GWT: Building for the Web with Google Web Toolkit 2 (Developer's Library)

Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 937
Author/s    : Federico Kereki
Publisher   : Addison-Wesley Professional
Category   : Other
Review by : Jaikiran Pai
Rating        : 6 horseshoes

I picked to "Essential GWT" book as a beginner. The book does mention that it is meant for programmers who knows the basics of GWT. Even so, I expected to find some information of GWT components and more about programming GWT applications.

I found the book to consist too much code which was a bit hard to grasp - not because it was complicated but because there was little to no background on GWT aspects of the code. Reading the code didn't really give me a clear picture of where it would fit in a real application. For most part of it, the code looked more like tips/tricks that you usually find in blog posts, where you know the background about what the piece of code is trying to solve. Overall, I did not find any details of the GWT components in this book.

I also think the book could have been better organized. For example, the chapter 4 "Working with Browsers" discusses about browser specific details, which I believe is too early to talk about in the book.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.


More info at Amazon.com
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 937
Review by : Ankit Garg
Rating        : 6 horseshoes

The book is for intermediate to advanced developers of GWT but it still has a chapter of introduction to GWT which explains you the directory structure of a GWT application. That's about all of basics in the book. As a next step beginners can read Google's docs to learn GWT basics. I feel that the 4th chapter is placed completely wrong. I had to skip it and return to it after I read almost the whole book.

The book is like a cookbook with recipes for doing different things in GWT. The writing style of the book isn't very good. The book is filled with source code which is not organized very well. The sequence in which the code is introduced makes it hard to follow. The source code download for the book is disappointing. Instead of having separate source for each of the chapter in the book, there are only two GWT projects which use codes from different chapters making it almost useless till you've read the whole book. If the author had given less code in the book with more explanation of the code and provided separate source code for each chapter, this would have been a good book to study GWT from.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 937
Review by : Rob Prime
Rating        : 6 horseshoes

I got this book to get to learn GWT. It took me less than a minute to find out I wasn't a member of the target audience - it's target at programmers with "a basis of GWT programming". Because of this I won't go into technical details too much.

The style of the author is definitely not my cup of tea. He uses many footnotes and side notes. This makes it a bit hard to read the book, with all the jumping around. It took me several weeks to finish it, simply because the book had no attraction to keep on going.

The code is very odd at times as well. A few examples:
- using ClassName.this.method() inside the constructor, where this.method() or method() would have sufficed. Perhaps this is because of how GWT works, but it is nowhere explained.
- first using "new" to instantiate a (JDBC Driver) class, then using reflection the very next line to again instantiate the very same class.
- implementing a method by making it final and calling another abstract method with the same arguments; all that was achieved this way was add a method with a different name for the same purpose.
- disabling error handling by implementing the matching method with an empty-body final method. The reason: "Should never be used...".

All I can say is, if you're looking for a book to learn GWT, skip this one. I wish I had.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 937
Review by : Christophe Verre
Rating        : 6 horseshoes

Essential GWT is a misleading title. You could suppose, as I did, that it contains at least GWT basics. It doesn't. There is an overview of GWT, but nothing which will get you started if you're a beginner. So if you're expecting a tutorial about GWT development, widgets, etc..., pass your way. You should read another book or the online tutorial first. This book should have been named something like "Practical GWT Cookbook", as it contains some recipes about common web development topics like file uploading, security and much more.

I felt that the first half of the book was not very well structured. For example, I didn't understand why there is a paragraph on Code Generation in Chapter 4, Working with Browsers. Explanations are illustrated with code samples, but there are either too few, or too much. Too much, like the methods of the JDBC examples. Only one would have been enough. Too few, like the EJB example. Someone who knows EJB will know how to call a bean. Someone who doesn't will need much more information.

There are some annoying errors, especially in the MVP explanation. The same class gets three or four different names, making it very difficult to follow. MVP is an "essential" topic in this book, so it should have been carefully polished.

Nevertheless, the book still contains some interesting tips and techniques. I particularly enjoyed the speed measurement and the testing chapter. But overall I think it is falling short at explaining the essential.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

More info at Amazon.com
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 937
Review by : David O'Meara
Rating        : 9 horseshoes

"Essential GWT" covers the intermediate to advanced level features of Google's GWT2. While a little time is spent getting the reader set up, it is certainly not aimed at beginners and rapidly dives into the topics that receive inadequate coverage in starter books. There appears to be plenty of confusion about this book, but in my opinion this is caused by assuming that the basic topics will be covered.

I liked it a lot. The prose is easy to read and often amusing and the author is experienced and well aware of the realities and limitations of GWT and doesn't try to over sell the product. Even excluding the value of the technical content this alone makes it easy to consume.

Between the covers lies a wealth of information to help design your next application or improve an existing one. While each chapter covers an important subject, the code samples and best practices are of equal value in boosting the strength of any GWT app. The range of topics covered in the chapters will help elevate your applications to enterprise level stable and mature applications and allow you to apply full testing rigor.

So while I understand the negative comments regarding this book, in my opinion it is an excellent GWT resource provided it is not your first GWT resource.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

More info at Amazon.com
 
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subject: Essential GWT: Building for the Web with Google Web Toolkit 2 (Developer's Library)