Reviews by Rob Friesel

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Java Cookbook

Java Cookbook

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Oct 9, 2014 Rob Friesel wrote: good resource for Java developers
Ian Darwin’s "Java Cookbook" is out and it’s a great resource for developers working in Java that are out there and scratching their heads asking “How would I go about…?” The thing that makes Java Cookbook stand out is its comprehensive scope. Darwin has done an excellent job of gathering a wide array of common problems faced by Java developers and presenting solutions to those problems that are decipherable using just the language’s standard library features. Full Review >

Client-Server Web Apps with JavaScript and Java

Client-Server Web Apps with JavaScript and Java

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Apr 29, 2014 Rob Friesel wrote: a thumbnail sketch of the architecture and tools needed to build modern web apps
"Client-Server Web Apps with JavaScript and Java" by Casimir Saternos serves as a good jumping-off point for developers that want to build "modern" web applications on top of the JVM. More than anything else, Saternos book is a thumbnail sketch of the architecture and tools needed to build those kind of apps, but it does not go particularly deep on any one of those items. As it says in the preface, its probably best suited for developers who primarily work in Java and want to build a scalable web application with modern technologies not that front-end developers dont stand to gain something as well, but they may have more catching up to do. Full Review >

Data Structures and Algorithms with JavaScript

Data Structures and Algorithms with JavaScript

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Mar 30, 2014 Rob Friesel wrote: like CS 101 with JS
Mike McMillans Data Structures and Algorithms with JavaScript (OReilly, 2014) uses JavaScript as a vehicle for introducing a number of fundamental computer science concepts. It reminds me a little bit of Tom Stuarts Understanding Computation[1] that is, its a book about CS topics that targets people without a CS background. One might consider both books to be a gentle introduction to computer science, or computer science for the layperson. Full Review >

High Performance Browser Networking

High Performance Browser Networking

What every web developer should know about networking and web performance

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 1, 2013 Rob Friesel wrote: required reading for folks working in the web stack
If you are working where the web is your deployment platform, then HPBN has strong coverage of the protocols, networks, and APIs that you're using every day. Grigorik asserts that latency is the true performance problem of the web, and goes on to tell a compelling end-to-end story, looking at TCP, UDP, and TLS, then then different kinds of wireless networks between you and your users, and finally going deep on HTTP, XHR, SSE, WebSockets, and WebRTC. This should be required reading for anyone deploying applications to the web. I don't know of any other books quite like this one. Full Review >

Functional JavaScript

Functional JavaScript

Introducing Functional Programming with Underscore.js

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jul 16, 2013 Rob Friesel wrote: the canonical text for applying functional programming to JS
Just like it says on the tin, Functional JavaScript is just that: a book about writing JavaScript in a functional style with Underscore.js as the foundational library to give you some of the higher-order functions you need to get started. What Fogus has written here is an outstanding introduction to functional programming as a style/paradigm, but he has also written what I consider to be the authoritative text on applying that style to JavaScript. Full Review >

Understanding Computation

Understanding Computation

From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 6, 2013 Rob Friesel wrote: the computer science book for non-computer science software engineers
The computer science book for people "doing software" but whom do not have a computer science degree. This book dives into questions like: how do you design a language? what makes a computer _compute_? are there limits to computation? Full Review >

Programming Grails

Programming Grails

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On May 13, 2013 Rob Friesel wrote: a guided tour of the "magic" parts by a seasoned expert
If you’ve been programming in Grails for a year (give or take) and are ready to go deeper than the tutorials and docs usually take you, then Burt Beckwith’s book — Programming Grails (O’Reilly, 2013) — is going to feel like just what the doctor ordered. If asked to sum it up as a pithy one-liner, I’d describe it as a guided tour of the framework’s guts by one of the field’s seasoned experts. He goes beyond the basics, and dives headlong into those dark corners for (as he puts it) “developers who want to dig deeper into the architecture and understand more about how Grails works its magic”. Full Review >

JavaScript Testing with Jasmine

JavaScript Testing with Jasmine

JavaScript Behavior-Driven Development

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On May 5, 2013 Rob Friesel wrote: a short "guided tour" of Jasmine
Evan Hahn did us a favor and slapped together this primer for us: JavaScript Testing with Jasmine: JavaScript Behavior-Driven Development (O’Reilly, 2013). It’s short (around 50 pages), so you can burn through it in an afternoon, but he hits the high notes and (most importantly) provides a clear path for how to get started using Jasmine. Think of it as a "guided tour" to Jasmine. Full Review >

JavaScript Enlightenment

JavaScript Enlightenment

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 2.0

On Jan 3, 2013 Rob Friesel wrote: for JS novices; more/less a 150 page essay on auto-boxing
Cody Lindley’s "JavaScript Enlightenment" has an awesome title, and I wanted very much to like it–but I think I’m going to have a hard time recommending it to anyone. It’s a 150 page essay on auto-boxing, full of dangerous code examples and anti-patterns and soft warnings to “not do what I just did”, and some of the wording is not-wrong-but-not-quite-right, but hey there are some decent parts. Full Review >

ClojureScript: Up and Running

ClojureScript: Up and Running

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Dec 17, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: recommended for anyone that wants to discover ClojureScript
An exploration of "the JavaScript that could have been" -- Sierra and VanderHart take us on a quickstart introduction through ClojureScript. As the title promises, it's enough to get you up and running, but not so much that you'll be overwhelmed. Lucid and concise, I would recommend this to anyone looking to get started with CLJS. Full Review >

HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps

HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Nov 25, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: for front-end devs ready to start looking at sophisticated APIs and modern architectures
I was drawn to Wesley Hales' "HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps" (O'Reilly, 2012) because it seemed right up my alley -- a book about all the latest client-side technologies for building enterprise grade "HTML5-based" web apps. Hales takes us on a whirlwind tour of these new technologies and tactics, taking a "Mobile First" approach and working "up" from there. Overall, though the style and tone is fairly colloquial, the content is pretty technical, and I would not recommend it to anyone that is not already a competent front-end developer. That being said, if you *are* that competent front-end developer, then you will find a lot of excellent material here that will introduce and orient you to these new technologies. Full Review >

Python for Data Analysis

Python for Data Analysis

Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Oct 22, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: dive into pandas and NumPy
Wes McKinney's Python for Data Analysis (O'Reilly, 2012) is a tour pandas and NumPy (mostly pandas) for folks looking to crunch big-ish data with Python. The target audience is not Pythonistas, but rather scientists, educators, statisticians, financial analysts, and the rest of the non-programmer cohort that is finding more and more these days that it needs to do a little bit-sifting to get the rest of their jobs done. Full Review >

Head First HTML and CSS

Head First HTML and CSS

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Oct 8, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: 20 year old me wishes he had this for getting started
This is a book for absolute beginners, but as far as beginner books go, this is a good one. I found myself wishing that I'd had this book for when 20 year old me was learning all of this stuff. Full Review >

Accessibility Handbook

Accessibility Handbook

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Sep 26, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: a "walking tour" of 508-compliance (for web developers)
Katie Cunningham’s The Accessibility Handbook(O’Reilly, 2012) is a concise and specific introduction to accessibility (a11y) and 508-compliance. Cunningham provides a “walking tour” of the major types of disabilities that web developers need to consider when creating a site for a11y, illustrating how people with those disabilities will use a site, and then detailing easy solutions and best practices to craft a site with the necessary accommodations. Better yet, she makes strong cases for why many of these accommodations are actually “features” and not “compromises”. Full Review >

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 2.0

On Sep 17, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: like a curated blog post round-up, with some "phoned in" editing
Addy Osmani's "Learning JavaScript Design Patterns" reads like a Greatest Hits album of blog posts--if someone made a Greatest Hits album of blog posts from JavaScript pedants. If you're already widely reading JavaScript developer blogs, then it's unlikely that you will encounter anything new in here. The book is something of a well-curated "round-up" of the best design pattern related blog posts, articles, and code demonstrations from the past couple years, and while this is probably the book's greatest strength, it's also the reason that people who are already familiar with Addy Osmani's work will wind up feeling disappointed. Full Review >

Regular Expressions Cookbook

Regular Expressions Cookbook

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 4, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: if you have regular contact with regular expressions, you need this book
Although I run the risk of fawning all over this book here, Jan Goyvaerts and Steven Levithan's "Regular Expressions Cookbook (Second Edition)" is a technical text that I will gladly describe using words like "essential" and "indispensable" and "invaluable". It should be on every working programmer's bookshelf, if not on her desk. It is exhaustive and rigorous, covering the major regex flavors across eight popular/widespread general purpose languages. If your work brings you in regular contact with regular expressions, then you need easy access to this book. Full Review >

Team Geek

Team Geek

A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jul 28, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: alternate title: An Engineer's Handbook for Social Situations
"People are basically a giant pile of intermittent bugs." With this simple humorous statement, Fitz and Ben perfectly capture the attitude that leads us to need a book like "Team Geek". It’s not the only reason we need a book like this, but it’s an important one, considering our target audience: otherwise high-functioning engineers that need a little help figuring out how to navigate the apparently volatile social landscape. Full Review >

Web Workers

Web Workers

Multithreaded Programs in JavaScript

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Jul 8, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: slim, no-fluff text gets you up and running quickly
Ido Green's "Web Workers: Multithreaded Programs in JavaScript" is a dive into the emerging API of Web Workers. It's a short book--at 46 pages, it may as well be a chapter from another technical book--but it's free of fluff, and laser focused on one topic, and one topic only. But this is just fine; we're only here to learn about Web Workers, after all. Full Review >

Developing Web Applications with Haskell and Yesod

Developing Web Applications with Haskell and Yesod

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 2.0

On Jul 1, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: for best results, know Haskell first
For developers already familiar with Haskell, this introduction to Yesod may do the trick. If you're new to Haskell, you may find yourself overwhelmed and confused. Full Review >

REST API Design Rulebook

REST API Design Rulebook

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Jun 12, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: good introduction to REST APIs (could do w/o the WRML evangelizing)
If you're new to the world of REST APIs, and if you're looking for a good set of working rules on how to design them, then Mark Massé's "REST API Design Rulebook" should live up to its title just fine. It's a short book (you could read it in an afternoon) and it tackles the subject matter in a direct and orderly fashion. For me, the highlight reel included: the first three chapters (on identifier design, interaction design, and metadata design), and some of the discussion in the final chapter ("Client Concerns") about security, and the overview (however brief) of JSONP and CORS as solutions for some otherwise challenging situations. Full Review >

Maintainable JavaScript

Maintainable JavaScript

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On May 31, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: short and sweet (but if you've been around the JS block, you've heard a lot of this already)
"Maintainable JavaScript" by Nicholas Zakas (O'Reilly 2012) is a short-and-sweet little text on (as the cover says) "writing readable code". And by "readable code", Zakas means "code that other developers not named [YOUR NAME] will be able to read and make sense of and ultimately maintain". This book is for novice and intermediate level JavaScript developers that want to get a better sense of what "readable" and "maintainable" code looks like. Full Review >

Clojure Programming

Clojure Programming

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On May 19, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: outstanding Clojure introduction for smart programmers
"Clojure Programming" is comprehensive, appreciably thorough, and makes a concerted effort to be accessible to the Clojure and JVM neophyte. It also makes no pretenses about easing you into the language: you’ll be programming a naïve REPL by the end of chapter one. And this head-first approach is one of the reasons to love this book. Full Review >

Code Simplicity

Code Simplicity

The Fundamentals of Software

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Apr 26, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: a decent weekend read for the journeyman programmer
"Code Simplicity" by Max Kanat-Alexander (published by O'Reilly, 2012) is the kind of book you might give to a junior or journeyman programmer and say: "Read this over the weekend, and then on Monday we'll talk about your design." There are many quotable passages, pithy aphorisms, and axioms that take the form of definitions, facts, rules, and laws. Kanat-Alexander uses a conversational tone that takes this already common-sense study on the subject and makes it even more approachable and straightforward. Full Review >

jQuery UI

jQuery UI

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Apr 9, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: for the jQuery UI novice (not for the hardened JS professional)
Eric Sarrion’s jQuery UI (published by O’Reilly) is a beginner-to-intermediate level overview of the jQuery UI library and its widgets. If you are a JavaScript novice, or else are new to jQuery or its UI library, then Sarrion’s book is good for getting up and running fast. Full Review >

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

UI Patterns for Mobile Applications

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Mar 29, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: good visual reference for mobile UI design patterns
Theresa Neil provides an easily digestible, visual overview of today's best mobile UI design patterns (and anti-patterns!) Find out what works (and under what circumstances) and what tanks in mobile UIs. Full Review >

Running Lean

Running Lean

Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works

Rob's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Mar 25, 2012 Rob Friesel wrote: Maurya shows how to apply the scientific method to your business model
Maurya writes lucidly about how to take your product/business idea and shape it; about how to organize your team to focus on The Problem and The Solution; about how to reach out to customers and interview them, to help them help you define the problem space; about how to pull out real information from those interviews and test releases, and learn real lessons instead of just confirming how great you think you are. The lessons of Running Lean help you to create a real solution for a real problem, and not just be a clever solution looking for the right problem. Full Review >

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