O'Reilly Book Reviewer

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review: Functional Programming for Java Developers by Dean Wampler (O'Reilly)

Functional Programming is back! After 2-3 decades of Object Oriented Programming which made languages like Lisp seem like a dinosaur, the software community has turned its focus back on FP. And with good reason! OOP has fallen short of the demands of concurrent programming leading to convoluted code that only a few experts can read and write. New FP languages today like Scala or Clojure address this issue by providing a robust language that can run on the good old reliable JVM. That way you don't need a huge change in your infrastructure - just add a few jars and you are ready to dive in. This book will teach you how.

If you have been wondering about Software Transactional Memory, The Actor Model, MapReduce, and other buzz words that have been going around lately, its time to pick this book. The author does a fine job of explaining what FP is, what it aims to solve, when to use it, and how to get started with it. The author explains very well the differences between imperative (OOP) and declarative (FP) programming.

This book is a brief introductory book that scratches the FP arena. By no means there is any depth provided. Developers looking for developing expertise in a particular FP language have to look elsewhere but might benefit from reading this book to get a good overview.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Just Spring by Madhusudan Konda (O'Reilly)

Spring has become a huge universe! In fact, it has grown so much that any book you buy would be intimidating at first. Even well-known authors have difficulty in keeping it simple. They go into details of how to do the same thing in different ways (annotation, autowiring, etc, etc) that at the end the user is flabbergasted. Enter the "Just Spring" book. This book is exactly that, just Spring! Plain and simple. No noise, no dust.

In just 5 chapters, I learned a great deal about the fundamentals of Spring. Enough to get me started on enterprise level projects where I can build on my foundation. The power of this book lies in its simplicity. Most books on Spring are around 300-400 pages. This book is 62 pages. What can one learn in 62 pages, you might ask! Here's what I learned in one weekend - Basic mechanisms of dependency injection, bean life-cycle, bean instantiation techniques, autowiring techniques, event handling, JMS, and data integration. You might complain that it didn't cover bells and whistles like Spring Security, Spring Webflow, etc, etc, but these are add-ons that you can grasp easily once you get your foundation strong. I applaud the author for keeping it simple yet useful and O'Reilly for publishing it.