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Poorly covered topics ?

Bert Bates
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    5
So, what's a topic that you'd like to know more about, that has been, in your opinion, poorly covered so far?
The first one that leaps to mind for me is 'Patterns'. I've yet to find a Patterns book that is clearly written. Oh, I can slog through them, but it is ALWAYS a chore, and never any fun.


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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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How about reflection. There has yet to be a book on reflection in Java. It's funny but Wrox did publish a book on that subject for C# but not on Java.


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Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
"Architecture for Dummies", or "What Applications Programmers need to know about NetWorking, Hardware and Architecture".
Somehow everyone is supposed to be born understanding the difference between a Web Server, App Server, Database Server, LDAP Server etc. When can / should they share Real Estate, and when not. Why do I need to understand clustering to create a Web App?
And exactly WHY is it that those Cisco folks are so popular? Why is it that my choice is either to upgrade and configure a Cisco router, or add application code to beef up my security against snoopers?
It seems like I have to discover this stuff in fragments scattered about in various technologies, usually while looking under rocks :roll: .


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Mark Herschberg
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Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Application frameworks. Most of my products have been frameworks or platforms. I've only seen one book on it (Wiley), although Joshua Bloch claims his book covers API development, which is often part of a framework.
How about a book on "technology for non-geeks." Not a dummies book, but rather a crash course in tech terms for non-tech people (e.g. sales, marketing, accounting, CEOs, etc) who work in technology intensive companies.
A book on writing and communication techniques for programmers could be very useful.
Integrating Java and .NET seems like something which will be useful soon.
Running remote development teams strikes me as a book many people would want soon. In fact, any book on any software development aspect geared towards using a remote project team will likely be well read in the near future.
--Mark
Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
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Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
I've yet to find a Patterns book that is clearly written. Oh, I can slog through them, but it is ALWAYS a chore, and never any fun.
Yep I never enjoy reading them either.
I like Cindy's idea.
Jack Conway
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Joined: Aug 10, 2003
Posts: 30
I'm so pleased to see someone admit they find the patterns books to be completely opaque and difficult to read.
Almost everything in the Gang of Four book is quite simple; but it is written in such appalling detail that any clarity is completely lost...
I've considered writing a readable Patterns book for a long while now (too much other stuff to do :roll: ). If you feel like collaborating, Bert...
[ August 10, 2003: Message edited by: Jack Conway ]

Co-author, <a href="http://www.ariadnetraining.co.uk/books.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Java Programming and Enterprise Java</a> (free download)
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
well.. I found core J2EE patterns an excellent book. Is this too specific?


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Posts: 10065
I've yet to find a Patterns book that is clearly written. Oh, I can slog through them, but it is ALWAYS a chore, and never any fun.
Try "Design Patterns Explained" by Alan Shalloway, James R. Trott, it's excellent!


Uncontrolled vocabularies
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Karthik Guru
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 1209
"EJB 2.0 performance tuning".
It w'd be great if there is a book that covers this ofcourse with examples. I understand that this is not going to be easy since there w'd be lots of app-server specific tips. I w'd'nt want to see "use JDBC instead of Entity beans" kind of tips.
It c'd be more along the lines of :
"Why BMP for this scenario and not CMP?" kind of things.
"S'd we use a CMR to describe this relationship / not"
Actually if somebody c'd take us thro' a case study (that has picked EJB/ Entity beans as the underlying technology) and take us through various design decisions, that w'd be great. Since i use weblogic , i w'd obviously expect weblogic specific tuning tips which w'dnt be fair. Anyways, I w'd leave that to the author to decide.
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

When to use *entity* beans? :roll:


Groovy
Sue Spielman
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Joined: Apr 21, 2003
Posts: 56
Regarding the EJB topic requests...check out 'Bitter EJB'. I just finished reviewing it and it is well worth the read. It is focused on anti-patterns, but covers all of the topics I just saw posted in this thread...


Sue


President/Consulting Engineer<br />Switchback Software LLC<br /><a href="http://www.switchbacksoftware.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.switchbacksoftware.com</a>
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
So, what's a topic that you'd like to know more about, that has been, in your opinion, poorly covered so far?
The first one that leaps to mind for me is 'Patterns'. I've yet to find a Patterns book that is clearly written. Oh, I can slog through them, but it is ALWAYS a chore, and never any fun.

Yes, Bert. That is my experience as well. The GOF book most particularly.
'Antipatterns' was kind of fun.
Another problem with the patterns books is that they're often written by achitects rather than from the POV of the implementor. There can be a certain gap in perception there.


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
How about reflection. There has yet to be a book on reflection in Java. It's funny but Wrox did publish a book on that subject for C# but not on Java.

Yes, good one Tom. Reflection is one of those cool solutions in search for a problem to solve. A little like AspectJ/AOP. What I'd like (for both technologies) is a book showing some great things which ahve been done. In some detail.
[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Pauline McNamara
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Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
"Architecture for Dummies", or "What Applications Programmers need to know about NetWorking, Hardware and Architecture".
Somehow everyone is supposed to be born understanding the difference between a Web Server, App Server, Database Server, LDAP Server etc. When can / should they share Real Estate, and when not. Why do I need to understand clustering to create a Web App?

Hear, hear.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

I'd write that book...
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I'd write that book...

And I'd BUY that if you wrote it
Don't forget to add:
Load Balancing
Multiple processes across multiple servers
Failover architectures - onsite vs remote / delayed vs realtime
Disaster Recovery Strategies from an Architecture point of view
[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: Cindy Glass ]
Mark Herschberg
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Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
That would be a good book.
Hmm.... that could almost be a a fun JavaRanch type book. So imagine if we wrote that book and discussed everything with respect to Java.* You can imagine at least a few dozen topics. The topics could be fairly independent. Now imagine it we had about dozen or two writers--say experts in different areas of Java and other technologies (where ever could we find such people!). This would make a very cool JavaRanch book!
If a dozen moderators each wrote about 15 pages on a topic or, it's n ot too much work for any one person. One or two lead authors would add in some overview, inclduing a "putting it all together section" maybe with a sample application description. It could be sold under the JavaRanch banner, and a portion of the revenues could go to JavaRanch.
--Mark

*Note that this would be a different auidance then the book in general. A egenral book could appeal to any programmer or person in a technology field. It would probably be a very generic reference. On the other hand something with a Java focus would go directly to an engineer and talk not only about the technology, but explain how Java would work with this (e.g. the LDAP section would make reference to the Java LDAP API).
Svetlana Koshkina
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
I've found that classloading is covered very poorly everywhere. Scattered javaworld articles are not enough!
Bootstrapping what the hell is this?
Security is one solid security hole.
I found that i'd better off printing some articles and put them in binders so i always have everything i need (i have at least two binders on reflection, two binders on jtable alone, two binders on memory management and garbage collection and one binder for exceptions that is about to crack up).
Shortly, i have a lot of binders.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Or I could write the book, make millions, and buy you poor suckers up in one fell swoop! Then, world domination, bwahahahahaha....all I need is the right publisher and a good editor!
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Design Patterns Java Workbook has had mixed reviews.
Personally, I'd go with the thumbs-up crowd as I found ,on it's own,the GoF code undecipherable most times and the examples not very interesting.
It's unthinkable now to talk about Design Patterns and not include UML diagrams. The bad reviews might give a hint of the vacuum still needed to be filled.
regards
[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Michael Ernest
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

A workmate of mine and I just revised Sun's public course covering J2EE Design Patterns, which includes a review of GoF. On the whole, I think we did much better job of summarizing and describing the use of these patterns. We even got some nice pats on the back from Patricia Parkhill, who edits Sun Press books on the subject, and some very nice acknowledgements from Alur, Crupi and Malks, whose work we were also based on.
But that's as encouraging as it ever got. In the DP community you have a lot of assholes who want you to know how much more than you they know and how inadequate your descriptions are, etc., etc. Who wants to jump into that audience? For every 10 people who would just like a better book but say nothing, there's 1 person who just wants to blow steam out his piehole about how bad every DP book ever was.
And I thought things were bad with RHE when we published our errata parade. The OO community's got way too many dinks in it.
Pauline McNamara
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Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
Now imagine it we had about dozen or two writers
Eww. I've just had a bad experience with a multi-authored book, and generally think that there isn't an editor alive who can really make these kinds of collections readable. They just don't flow. Just my 2 cents.
Mark Herschberg
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Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Pauline McNamara:
Eww. I've just had a bad experience with a multi-authored book, and generally think that there isn't an editor alive who can really make these kinds of collections readable. They just don't flow. Just my 2 cents.

I agree that it's tricky. You'd have to define formats for sectiosn ahead of time for consistency. Of course, this book doesn't have to flow. It's not a read cover-to-cover book, but instead is a "grab a topic of interest and read for 10 pages" book.
--Mark
Lasse Koskela
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Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
As Mark suggested in another thread, I am now posting this comment on this thread as well.
There should be more books on practical configuration management with to specific tools and processes. A prime example of what I would buy before you can say "checkout" would be Agile Configuration Management Using CVS...
It has been pointed out that there are plenty of books on configuration management but the ones I know of (or what the back cover indicates) are way too generic. I want a Cookbook.


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Bert Bates
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
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I haven't done a lot of research, so maybe there's a good book out there, but how about Apache and Tomcat ?? For those of us who really don't want to be system administrators? (Sys. admin stuff is WAY too hard)
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:

Don't forget to add:
Load Balancing
Multiple processes across multiple servers
Failover architectures - onsite vs remote / delayed vs realtime
Disaster Recovery Strategies from an Architecture point of view

Ok, so I'm humming on the idea for this book, Cinders. Any other thoughts?
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
OOOOH!
I had a conversation today with a person, where I had to explain that the app server and the LDAP server existed on the same server . The world NEEDS this book!
-You might want to mention middleware.
-The Ascii vs Ebcidic wars especially in the context of Mainframes co-existing in a distributed environment.
-Portals and when to use them
-Intranets and Internets
-Don't forget to define the "thin client", "fat client", "no client" stuff and it's ramifications on distributing maintenance updates.
-Replication stratgies for remote clones.
-Subnets and Routers and why IP addresses care about them.
-IP Addresses vs URLs and when to use which in configuring apps
I'm sure that the list goes on and on . . .
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
So this book is for whom exactly? Typical engineers, junior engineers, senior engineers, architects, tehcnical managers (without development background).
Other topics/ideas:
- mobile issues
- HTML, WML, HTTP, XML etc
- Security! some basic crypto stuff, like certificates and keys
- ERP, CRM, etc
- app servers vs web servers- backup systems
- code repositories and configuration systems
- different sys admin strategies
- desktop, workstations, mainframes, mini
- wirless
It's a bit scattered, just because I'm not sure about the audiance yet.

--Mark
Kenneth A. Kousen
gunslinger & author
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Joined: Sep 18, 2002
Posts: 89
    
    5
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
So, what's a topic that you'd like to know more about, that has been, in your opinion, poorly covered so far?
The first one that leaps to mind for me is 'Patterns'. I've yet to find a Patterns book that is clearly written. Oh, I can slog through them, but it is ALWAYS a chore, and never any fun.

I think the book by Stelting and Maasen, Applied Java Patterns is very readable. In my Design Patterns training courses we use that book and go through it chapter by chapter.
Maybe it's just me, but I find it very well written. I especially like the complete code examples at the end, too (their sense of humor is great).
OTOH, maybe we should write a _Head First Design Patterns_ book.


Kenneth A. Kousen, Ph.D. (assorted certs), President, Kousen IT, Inc.
Author of Making Java Groovy - http://www.kousenit.com
Pauline McNamara
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Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
Originally posted by Kenneth Kousen:

OTOH, maybe we should write a _Head First Design Patterns_ book.

Here's a customer.
Just starting to get into patterns, and been considering Fowler's Refactoring instead of a full blown patterns book like GOF or Design Patterns Explained. I don't really *need* a patterns book (do more scripting than programming), but it does interest me. "Design Patterns for Hedonists", that's the ticket, leave GOF to the masochists.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Kenneth Kousen:
OTOH, maybe we should write a _Head First Design Patterns_ book.

I think that is a fantastic idea!
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Well, well, well, as it happens, a Head First Patterns book is very high on the list right now, but we get conflicting comments on exactly *what* should be in a Head First Patterns book, how much OO, UML, Java, etc. all of that... (so if you have any thoughts about that, please share them!)
We're still VERY interested in talking to *anyone* who might want to co-author this or any other book in the Head First format.
cheers,
Kathy


Co-Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007124/ref=jranch-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">"Head First Design Patterns"</a><br /> <br />Just a Jini girl living in a J2EE world.
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

No books tell why do we need a Handle when stubs are serializable. I tried posting at several forums but no answer?
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Well, I am sure that there ARE books out there that discuss that. However, since I can not tell from your question what exactly it is that you are talking about, I expect that no one else could either.
Perhaps you should go to the correct forum (Distributed Java?) and try a fuller explanation.
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Here is the link to the thread
http://www.coderanch.com/t/312197/EJB-JEE/java/Stub-serialization
Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
Well, I am sure that there ARE books out there that discuss that. However, since I can not tell from your question what exactly it is that you are talking about, I expect that no one else could either.
Perhaps you should go to the correct forum (Distributed Java?) and try a fuller explanation.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I think Cindy's point was that your topic was a bit off topic for this thread. Your question No books tell why do we need a Handle when stubs are serializable really isn't a book topic, but rather a particular issue you have, and so is beyond the scope of a thread on whole book topics.
--Mark
HS Thomas
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Posts: 3404
OTOH, maybe we should write a _Head First Design Patterns_ book.

Can't wait! Don't take too long with this one.
regards
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

I am sorry!
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
I think Cindy's point was that your topic was a bit off topic for this thread. Your question No books tell why do we need a Handle when stubs are serializable really isn't a book topic, but rather a particular issue you have, and so is beyond the scope of a thread on whole book topics.
--Mark
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:
Well, well, well, as it happens, a Head First Patterns book is very high on the list right now, but we get conflicting comments on exactly *what* should be in a Head First Patterns book, how much OO, UML, Java, etc. all of that... (so if you have any thoughts about that, please share them!)
We're still VERY interested in talking to *anyone* who might want to co-author this or any other book in the Head First format.
cheers,
Kathy

Kathy, I think I might handle UML in a chapter or two, and just the parts of UML you need for the patterns. I'd abstract OO out into another Head First title. Head First OO?
For the Head First Design Patterns book I'd bore in on topic. What are they and how are they useful, from the code-cutters POV. I'm a buyer!
BTW, is the Head First SCBCD out yet? It's supposed to be out yesterday, but amazon.co.uk still has it listed as not yet published.....
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

I'd help write a Head First Patterns book.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Poorly covered topics ?