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Java Frameworks and Components by Michael Nash

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<pre>Author/s : Michael Nash
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Ernest J. Friedman-Hill
Rating : 4 horseshoes
</pre>
Inside this 470-page book is a collection of decent short essays struggling to get out. Unfortunately, in its present state, it contains a wealth of redundant material. Nash begins by spending 55 pages defining frameworks and touting their benefits, and then moves on to another 50 page chapter entitled "Application Frameworks: What do they provide and what are the benefits?" Similarly, two 30-page chapters on the process of choosing between frameworks are separated by an 80 page catalog of synopses of more or less randomly chosen frameworks, libraries, and development tools. This book is badly in need of editing.
Curiously, the chapters in the middle of the book are entirely unrelated to choosing application frameworks. There are long treatises about open source (including over thirty pages of annotated software licenses,) about development methodologies, about design patterns, and even about IDEs. Why all this material appears in this book is a mystery to me; again, an editor could have helped.
The last two chapters of the book, which concern best practices and case studies, are a bit better and certainly more on topic. Readers interested in the Struts, Cocoon, Expresso, or Turbine application frameworks will benefit from the comparative study in the final chapter.
"This book is a practical tool for Java programmers," Nash claims in the frontispiece. I find it hard to imagine a typical Java programmer having much use for this dreary, heavy-handed tome. A manager new to software development might find it of more value.
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