Advanced Java - Books Outside the Core
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 26 February 2018
Article Index
Advanced Java - Books Outside the Core
Java Frameworks, IDEs and Plug-Ins

Modular Java: Creating Flexible Applications with OSGi and Spring

Author: Craig Walls
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pages: 260
ISBN: 978-1934356401


The good thing about this book is that it motivates the whole idea of building a modular system. As the author says, if you think Java is already modular then you haven't really thought about what modularity is or can be. The heart of the book looks at how to construct a simple modular program using the OSGi framework - Equinox and Felix - with the most commonly used application servers - Tomcat and Jetty. This is then developed into a client-server model.


If you are completely new to the idea of creating applications with OSGi then this is a good place to start - but if you are an expert or already committed to a particular approach then you will probably find more relevant information elsewhere. Rating the book at 4 stars, Harry Fairhead describes it as great for the OSGi beginner.

Mule in Action

Authors: David Dossot & John D'Emic
Publisher: Manning
Pages: 466
ISBN: 978-1933988962

Far from being a distant, hands-off, view of the architecture of the open source Enterprise Service Bus, Mule, this book gets you into the code fairly quickly, according to Harry Fairhead, who awarded this book 4.5 stars.


The book covers Mule 2 but also points out differences between it and earlier versions. The book starts by introducing the main ideas of Mule, before putting the basics in practice. finishing with advanced topics such as using the Mule API, testing, scripting and tuning.

Overall this is the book you need if you plan to use or are using Mule. If you are less sure about picking Mule in the first place then a more general book on ESBs would be a better place to start.


The Eclipse Graphical Editing Framework (GEF)

Author: Dan Rubel, Jaime Wren & Eric Clayberg
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-0321718389


This isn't a book every Java programmer will want to read. It is an introduction to the Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) in Eclipse. The GEF can be used to create drag-and-drop graphical editors that can be run in the Eclipse framework.

Harry Fairhead gave it four stars, and said that while the general concepts of how GEF works are described many of the specifics are glossed over and you are left to read the code to find out how to do things. He says that if you are looking for a book explaining GEF, this is very much better than nothing at all, and on the topic of Draw2D it is very good indeed, but it seems to run out of steam.

Murach's Beginning Java With Netbeans

Author: Joel Murach & Michael Urban 
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates
Pages: 660
ISBN: 978-1890774844

A book that teaches you Java using a specific IDE is a good idea, according to our reviewer Alex Armstrong, who liked this title enough to award it a 4. There is an version of this book that uses Eclipse if you don't like NetBeans, but Alex is a fan of Netbeans, having abandoned Eclipse some time ago to use NetBeans very happily instead for Java, C/C++, JavaScript and PHP. NetBeans is a good IDE to learn so this makes a book that teaches Java while using NetBeans a good idea.  


This is a big book that covers a lot of ground. It is very complete and if you can stick with it then it will take you from a beginner to a reasonable Java programmer.

Learn to Program with MineCraft Plugins

Author: Andy Hunt
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
ISBN: 978-1941222942

This book's original edition (978-1937785789) which is the one Mike James reviewed in August 2014 relied on the Bukkit modding server and library and had to  be taken down due to a copyright dispute the following month. Andy Hunt produced a completely revised edition that replaced Bukkit with the CanaryMod library - but otherwise the book's contents remain the same.

Minecraft is a fun "game" and it already has aspects of programming within it so what could be more logical than using it to teach programming to youngsters aged 9 and over?



Awarding the book 4.5 stars, Mike James says this is an undeniably good idea although it has some serious problems:

"This is a really well written book and if it doesn't succeed [in teaching you programming] then I doubt any book will, but it is important that you know what is expected of you before you launch into the challenge."

One important point to make is that the subtitle: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java is encouraging and exciting and, yes, if you stay the course you will be into flying creepers, flaming cows and even Java.  The problem is that it is a tough course, no matter how hard the book tries to make it easy. The reason is that working with Minecraft is technically difficult - something that perhaps experienced Minecraft users fail to recognize. 

Mike says:

"If you want to learn how to create Minecraft plugins and learn Java on the way this is the place to start. At the end you will be able to create Minecraft plugins but your journey to learn Java will only just have begun - I'd say about 20%.  

However, you need to be aware that if you are just interested in learning to program there are simpler and easier routes to follow than to dive into Minecraft and this always going to be true no matter how excellent an introductory book you find."




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<ASIN: 1933988967>

<ASIN: 0321718380>


<ASIN: 1890774847>

<ASIN: 1941222943>



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 February 2019 )