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Programming Groovy: Dynamic Productivity for the Java Developer by Venkat Subramaniam

 
Book Review Team
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<pre>Author/s : Venkat Subramaniam
Publisher : Pragmatic Bookshelf
Review : Link
Reviewed by : Ernest J. Friedman-Hill
Rating : 7 horseshoes
</pre>
We live in an increasingly informal and familiar world. Perfect strangers want to call me by my first name, and waiters pull up a chair and join me at table while I hear about today's specials. Perhaps it's inevitable, then, that technical books like "Programming Groovy" are becoming commonplace.

This is a reasonable, if informal, introduction to the Groovy language. Although I haven't had the opportunity to do much with Groovy myself, I suspect that this book wouldn't help if I painted myself into a newbie's corner; I would want a more detailed language guide to refer to.

On a personal level, I didn't like this book. The author's conspiratorial winks and constant insistence that he understands what I know, want, and need, grated on me throughout. Because in fact, he did not know that I wanted more detail, more rigor, more formality, than he was offering. He did not know that I wanted a description of the Groovy language itself, rather than repeated assurances that it's "just like Java" interspersed with multiple demonstrations of the ways in which it's more assuredly not. He did not seem to know (as all authors of scripting-language books seem not to know) that modern IDEs completely obviate the need to type Java syntax in manually.

It's not my cup of tea, but if you do a lot of texting, or have a Twitter account, I'm betting you'll love this book.

More info at Amazon.com
 
Andrew Hunt
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Ernest,

I'm sorry you didn't care for the tone of the book--most people do. In fact, one of the most common compliments we get is that people enjoy our approachable style. If you want stuffy, academic tomes, there are other publisher's products that would suit you better.

/\ndy
 
Bear Bibeault
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"/\ndy Hunt", please check your private messages for an important administrative matter.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Andy,

Most of the Pragmatic Bookshelf (especially your own books!) rank among my all-time favorite programming books, including PP itself, Ship It!, the Automation book, and the Pickaxe book -- so the formula works very well most of the time. In this case, for this reader, anyway, I think it failed; perhaps this time the formula was pushed a bit too far.
 
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