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Jolt Awards

Fresh Faces


June, 2005: The 15th Annual Software Development Jolt & Productivity Awards

Software Development

June 2005

BOOKS: TECHNICAL


Glenn Bisignani, Product Marketing Manager


Better, Faster, Lighter Java
Bruce A. Tate and Justin Gehtland
(O'Reilly, 2004)

Right from Chapter 1, Bruce A. Tate and Justin Gehtland come out swinging a pair of matched Louisville Sluggers at iconic fixtures of the Java development world: "Development is getting so cumbersome and complex that it's threatening to collapse under its own weight. Typical applications use too many design patterns, too much XML and too many Enterprise JavaBeans. And too many beans lead to what I'll call the bloat." Whack!

Battered J2EE developers will probably cheer the book's frequent slams at the architecture—and don't even get them started on container-managed persistence. But Better, Faster, Lighter Java doesn't just complain; it offers alternatives. For example, instead of J2EE's persistence mechanisms, the authors recommend giving Hibernate a try, though they're careful to point out that framework's limitations.

Five principles drive the meat of the book: Keep It Simple; Do One Thing and Do It Well; Strive for Transparency; Allow for Extension; You Are What You Eat. The authors develop these via programming examples and also explore them in the context of the existing Hibernate and Spring frameworks.

Finally, they offer some recommendations for the Java development community's future and the challenges it faces.

If you're a Java developer with an uneasy feeling about where the language and its libraries are going, you need to read this book.

—Rick Wayne

Productivity Award Winners

C++ Coding Standards
Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu
(Addison-Wesley Professional, 2004)

You know what they say about judging a book by its cover—don't do it. This extremely readable tome is packed with useful information far beyond mere coding standards. In fact, this book even provides some valuable nuggets for Java programmers, too.

Organized into 12 groups ranging from organizing code to proper use of exceptions and the Standard Template Library, the book offers a handful of practices and guidelines for each group.

If you want to write good C++ programs—not just better C code—you need to understand the object-oriented capabilities of C++ and how to write programs that are correct, efficient and maintainable. The authors have crafted one of the best books available to help you meet these goals.

—Gary Pollice

Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook
James Elliott
(O'Reilly, 2004)

You're a Java developer, and your boss comes to you with an assignment that involves integrating with a relational database. You don't know how to map objects to a relational database, but there's a lightweight service that does just this for Java called Hibernate. James Elliott's Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook leads the way.

The combination of O'Reilly's brilliant Developer's Notebook series design and layout with Elliott's deep, useful knowledge of Hibernate is a winning one. Whether you want Hibernate to talk to multiple databases at the same time or use the Hibernate Query Language to see your mapped tables in OO form, Elliott explains everything in a simple, clear, concise fashion.

—Johanna Rothman

Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse
Jim D'Anjou, Scott Fairbrother, Dan Kehn, John Kellerman and Pat McCarthy
(Addison-Wesley Professional, 2004)

Eclipse is much more than an IDE. It's a platform that allows developers to build their own tools or even Rich Client applications; in fact, some of its most powerful features are available as third-party plug-ins. For Eclipse users, the book employs the IDE user interface to introduce key productivity features such as refactoring and team collaboration. For Eclipse tools and Rich Client application developers, the book covers details of the SWT UI package, resource management, lifecycle management, and the interaction between plug-ins and built-in IDE features. Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse is an authoritative guide that covers almost everything you need to know about the Eclipse platform.

—Michael Yuan



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