<pre> Author/s : Romin Irani, S. Jeelani Basha Publisher : Wrox Category :Other Review by : John Wetherbie Rating : 8 horseshoes</pre>
If you want to jump in and start learning about and creating web services this is a good book to have. As the title indicates, this book introduces you to the Apache eXtensible Interaction System (AXIS). AXIS is an implementation of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). The book walks you through an introduction to SOAP and related standards and how to install AXIS on your system. From there you deploy a simple web service and walk through the elements of AXIS in more detail. A discussion of Handlers and Chains, which allow you to add your custom functionality to AXIS, has its own chapter. The book finishes up with a case study that pulls all the topics covered together in one application. The book contains a great deal of example code and diagrams to explain what is going on. The fact that it does this in less than 300 pages is the best point about the book. This book is definitely meant to get you going with AXIS. The one complaint I have is that the book does not have an index. More info at Amazon.com More info at Amazon.co.uk
You know, the entire idea that technical books don't need indices is something that I've been trying to understand since Wrox started doing this about a year ago. IMHO this makes a technical book nearly useless. You're not going to read through 200+ pages page by page to find a particular example -- what are they thinking??!!? I personally complained to the editor of the last Wrox book I reviewed, but I think that perhaps the review team here at Javaranch should make some sort of concerted stand -- something like telling Wrox that the lack of an index is an automatic -3 horseshoes or something... Maybe as a group we could have an effect on this immensely stupid editorial policy. If they want to save money and time to market, then find some other way than by not including an index... Kyle
On the other hand -- something that we SHOULD encourage is the idea of including a non-printable, SEARCHABLE PDF of the book text with every book that has a CD... Let's face it, Google is the programmer's best friend. I don't even think about going poking through Javadocs anymore -- I use Google to find exactly the class and method I'm looking for on Sun's site. What's more, I find that searching the PDF's of my own book (and of those books that my friends have been so kind to give me in PDF form as a favor or for review -- not to mention those who have given their books away online like Bruce Eckel and Ed Roman) is immensely more useful than even looking through an index. I would gladly pay a premium for a searchable on-line version of a book -- perhaps you get a unique code when you buy a paper book and then for $5 and this code you could download or search the on-line version... Just a thought, but one the publishing industry should consider when they are looking at marketing to an ever more jaded book-buying crowd... Kyle
On the other hand -- something that we SHOULD encourage is the idea of including a non-printable, SEARCHABLE PDF of the book text with every book that has a CD... I cannot agree more! Another benefit, sometimes I want to give some particularly relevant quote when posting on JavaRanch, but thinking that I would have to type the whole paragraph... And quotes are yet another (indirect = more effective) tool in book promotion. I prefer to buy e-books whenever possible, but to have both printed and PDF versions would be great!
First of all, I would like to thank the JavaRanch Book Review Team for the high rank you have given to the Axis book. Second, I would like to thank Kyle for his comments on the inclusion of an index in our books and his suggestions about publishing in general. The decision not to include an index was indeed taken mainly to save on time to market: we anticipated that the benefits to readers of getting information early would outstrip the costs of not having an index. Now we know we were wrong, and all future Wrox books will have an index. With regards to electronic publishing, I too believe that online searching is a much more powerful way of ultimately finding what you want. We are experimenting with online content through www.Wroxbase.com. We are in the process of converting our Java related titles for inclusion there and we expect the process to last until the end of the month. I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to keep us on the straight and narrow.
Jan Kolasinski Wrox Publisher
Joined: Aug 10, 2001
Jan, This is wonderful news. I'm very glad that Wrox has decided to reverse their policy on this issue. I think that the book-buying public will respond positively to this development (not to mention us JavaRanch reviewers!) Kyle