Book Review: Murach’s HTML5 and CSS3, 3rd Edition

Murach’s HTML5 and CSS3, 3rd Edition is a one stop solution to solve all your learning requirements for developing the front end of your applications.

The books starts with introduction to HTML and CSS and quickly covers some advanced topics in it like Responsive web design, adding audio and video, using CSS3 features to name a few. The chapter on responsive web design is very useful as it covers concepts really relevant in today’s multi screen world.

The book also covers concepts on Javascript and the famous jQuery library including jQuery Mobile. The chapters on designing and deploying websites are very useful for those who have done development but never got it live to the outside world. If the book could include some suggestions for good hosting providers and good domain name service provider then it would have been very useful.

As is the norm with Murach’s books, this book is also a highly practical oriented book with all the concepts explained via examples. Ideally I would use this book as a reference and read those parts of the book as and when necessary. The chapter on Responsive web design is highly recommended as I am not aware of such an elaborate coverage of the topic else where.

Book Review: Murach’s Java Servlets And JSP 3rd Edition

Murach’s Java Servlets and JSP is the ONLY book you need to learn Web App Development in Java using JSP and Servlets. The book covers all the concepts required you to build a complete Web application in Java. You will find topics covering:
– UI Development using HTML, Javascript
– Building Servlets for handling requests.
– Using JSP to create UI templates
– Building Data access layer to communicate with DB.

Its a completely hands on guide and just mere reading will be of no help. The book also covers concepts and techniques related to secure programming and also some advanced concepts in servlets.

Few among numerous salient features:
Completely hands on guide
Highly suitable for people who are familiar with Java language
Focuses on best practices where ever relevant. For example in the chapters which explains about JSP there is a guideline not to mix java code with JSP and instead make use of JSP Template Library.
Lot of reusable code snippets – useful if someone is looking to implement a subset of the feature explained.

I would highly recommend this book to –
“Any developer familiar with Java programming language looking to learn Web application development using Servlets and JSP”.

One can purchase the latest edition here [though currently only imported edition is available].

PS: I got a copy of the book in return for the review.

Book Review: RESTful Web Services with Dropwizard by Alexandros Dallas

RESTful Web Services with Dropwizard` by Alexandros Dallas is a good guide to get started with dropwizard. Dropwizard

The author covers most of the features of dropwizard which includes creating RESTful End points, Database access, Authentication, Creating views by means of developing a sample Phonebook application.

The book is not an exhaustive guide to dropwizard and may not match the documentation provided on the Dropwizard official site. But the approach of developing a sample application adding features in each chapter might appeal to some readers.

If you are kind of person who likes learning a framework by developing a sample application, then you can pick this book. Otherwise I would suggest the documentation would suffice.

Book Review: RabbitMQ Essentials by David Dossot

I have been working on integrating with RabbitMQ to implement the messaging architecture. All the time I made use of the basic tutorials available on RabbitMQ site to wade through understanding different concepts around AMQP and RabbitMQ.RabbitMQ Essentials

Yesterday I got to read the RabbitMQ Essentials by David Dossot. Its a pretty short and totally hands on book. The good things about the book:

  • It picks a fictitious company and its requirements to develop a messaging feature. The author builds up the features very elegantly.
  • Author explicitly focuses on good practices, performance in the examples presented in the book
  • Also touches upon how messaging architecture can integrate heterogenous software systems with software pieces written in Ruby, Python, Java.
  • Liberal use of diagrams to explain the architecture and flow of messages

I already had familiarity with communication constructs of RabbitMQ and didn’t find it difficult to understand the content and intent of the author. It also helped me to understand few intricate aspects like Dead letter queue and how to handle them, handling mandatory messages, setting ttl on the messages, different exchange types like direct, topic and fanout.

I feel the book is good read for anyone who has started using RabbitMQ and has worked on integrating with the client API. This book will help you correct your implementation and also understand few gotchas which one would encounter in real life projects.

Book Review: Java Performance by Charlie Hunt and Binu John

If you want to:
– learn about commands used for OS monitoring
– understand about different components of JVM
– monitor and tune JVM to improve its performance.

then, Java Performance is the book you should be picking. This book covers :
– command line tools for OS monitoring.
– JVM overview.
– tools used for monitoring Java applications.
– tuning JVM where majority of it related to GC tuning.
– tuning Java EE applications.

The book has 12 Chapters and not all chapters are required to be read in one go. Its recommended to read all the chapters until chapter 7 as they cover some really interesting and important topics relevant to OS monitoring, JVM basics, JVM monitoring, JVM tuning.

The chapters covering Web Services performance rely on SOAP based services and might not be really relevant to few readers. Also Glassfish is used as the app server for examples in Java EE related monitoring chapters. These few chapters (chapters 8-12) can be read as and when the need arises.

Though the book has been published in 2011, it covers the latest GC algorithm – G1 Algorithm and also calls out any changes/optimisations that can be done in Java 7. So one cannot rule out this book as outdated.

I really benefitted from this book- the chapters related to OS monitoring, JVM overview, JVM monitoring, JVM tuning are the best, resourceful and highly informative. Also the step-by-step approach to JVM tuning described in the book helps a lot in tuning your Java applications.

Anyone reading this book should have good understanding of Java programming and also have at his disposal a Java application which they can tune as they read through the chapters. Mere reading will not be helpful.

Buy the print book from Flipkart.

Book Review: Peopleware

Peopleware is a must read for Managers who want to explore and learn about different managerial responsibilities and learn about what not to be done while executing those responsibilities. The content is presented with a touch of humour so you need not be surprised if you are found laughing while you are reading. The authors have penned in their experience and what the have seen and learnt about managing people over the years. The book deals identifying right metrics to enable efficient management of IT projects citing the major factor deciding the fate of IT Projects is the people involved in it and not much due to the technological factors.

If you are not a manager yet- you will find some of the chapters/sections of the book interesting and helps you to know how things work at a managerial level. But there are other chapters which make you feel bored like the section on arranging office furniture.

There are lot of one liners through out the book which are really catchy. Few of which I have noted in the first few chapters of the book are:

The main reason we tend to focus on the technical rather than the human side of the work is not because it’s more crucial, but because it’s easier to do.

People under time pressure don’t work better- they just work faster.

Quality is free, but only to those who are willing to pay heavily for it.

To conclude Peopleware is a MUST read for IT Project Managers and I will recommend this along with another great book: “The Mythical Man month“.

[Promo]Explore something new this Columbus Day with Packt’s biggest ever sale

Packt Publishing is giving everyone the chance to explore its full range of over 1600 DRM-free eBooks this Columbus Day at a massive 50% off at, for 4 whole days. Customers simply use the code COL50 in their cart – as many times as they like until Monday October 21st. The offer even extends to Packt’s bestselling pre-order of 2013, the highly acclaimed Mastering Web Application Development with AngularJS.

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The exclusive 50% discount code COL50 will be active on all eBooks and Videos until Monday October 21st.