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Developer Reading List

, April 02, 2013 New books on Java, Erlang, Unit Testing, Windows and more.
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Also Received

Programming Windows, 6th Edition

by Charles Petzold

This update to Petzold's classic is subtitled "Writing Windows 8 apps with C# and XAML." It remains a mammoth tome, full of Petzold's remarkably lucid and approachable explanations. And like its forebears, it focuses almost exclusively on the UI elements of Windows. Because of the proliferation of other books on Windows programming, this book no longer holds the iconic place it once did. However, I can't see how one could do serious Win 8 development, especially in C# and XAML, without having this tome for reference.

Core Java, 9th Ed. (Volumes I and II)

by Cay Horstmann and Gary Cornell

There is no doubt whatsoever that these two volumes are the best books on Java, the language, currently available. At one time, there was a strong competition in this segment with titles by Bruce Eckel, the O'Reilly volume by Niemeyer and Knudsen, and the Deitel and Deitel folks. They were all good in their own ways, but ultimately, none could keep up with the vast scope, frequent updates, and, especially, the reams of well-written and brilliantly explained code that Horstmann and Cornell were able to publish. This revision, which covers Java SE 7, continues that long tradition of excellence. My only complaint is the choice of material in each volume. Volume I, entitled "Fundamentals," should be the only thing many programmers would need, but it omits coverage of File I/O, which is somehow classified as a topic for the second volume ("Advanced Features"). It seems to me the authors could easily move applets from the first volume to the second, so that new users of Java need not buy the full 2,000 pages of text to cover the basics.

The Definitive ANTLR 4 Reference

by Terence Parr

If you're creating DSLs, there's probably no easier way to get over the parsing problem than by using ANTLR. The software and the many tools that have sprung up around it greatly facilitate the writing of context-free grammars that can serve as input to the ANTLR parser generator. Recently, ANTLR released version 4, which contains some important improvements to the types of grammar that it can handle. This book is both the tutorial and reference for the new release. If you're writing DSL or full languages, it's hard to see how you could be better served than spending the time to learn ANTLR 4 — and get a robust and reliable parser in exchange.






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