June 23, 2004
"Better, Faster, Lighter Java": Sometimes the Simplest Answer is the Best
Sebastopol, CA--Coffee lovers--at least those who drink coffee for its
caffeine jolt--know that the lighter roasts deliver more of a wallop than
the dark roasted varieties. Many people equate strong flavor with strong
caffeine, not realizing that in fact the reverse is true. If it's the
caffeine buzz you're after, then lighter is better.
Like its namesake beverage, Java (the programming language) is afflicted
with a similar misconception. According to Bruce Tate and Justin Gehtland,
authors of Better, Faster, Lighter Java (O'Reilly, US $34.95),
enterprise Java developers--accustomed to dealing with Java's spiraling
complexity--have fallen into the habit of choosing overly complicated
solutions to problems when simpler options are available. Building server
applications with "heavyweight" Java-based architectures, such as
WebLogic, JBoss, and WebSphere, can be costly, cumbersome, and
unnecessary. When developers reach the point where they spend more time
writing code to support their chosen framework than to solve their actual
problems, it's time for them to think in terms of simplicity. Once again,
lighter is better.
In Better, Faster, Lighter Java, authors Tate and Gehtland argue that
the old heavyweight architectures are unwieldy, complicated, and
contribute to slow and buggy application code. "Java developers live with
a painful reality," Tate and Gehtland explain. "Huge enterprise frameworks
are en vogue. That might be good news to you if you're among the ten
percent of Java developers who are working on the hardest problems, and
your applications happen to fit those enterprise frameworks perfectly. The
rest of us are stuck with excruciating complexity for little or no benefit."
As an alternative means for building better applications, the authors
present two "lightweight" open source architectures: Hibernate--a
persistence framework that does its job with a minimal API and gets out of
the way, and Spring--a container that's not invasive, heavy or
complicated. Hibernate and Spring are designed to be fairly simple to
learn and use, and place reasonable demands on system resources. Better,
Faster, Lighter Java shows how they can be used to create enterprise
applications that are easier to maintain, write, and debug, and are
ultimately much faster.
Written for intermediate to advanced Java developers, the book offers
fresh ideas--often unorthodox--to help developers rethink the way they
work, presenting techniques and principles they'll use to build simpler
applications. Tate and Justin present their ideas from the ground up.
First, they lay out five core principles. They demonstrate techniques to
build simple, decoupled code, and show readers the methods to use to
choose their technologies. Next, the authors show how Hibernate and Spring
embrace the concepts they've covered, and then they put the core
principles into practice, building a simple but remarkably rich
application that solves complex real-world problems.
If you've ever felt that your tools and frameworks were getting the better
of you, then its time to get back to business and break away from the
"bloatware" that's holding you back. Better, Faster, Lighter Java will
show you how to accomplish your tasks simply and elegantly. You'll learn
to spend more time on what's important. When you're finished with this
book, you'll find that your Java is better, faster, and lighter than ever before.
Better, Faster, Lighter Java
Bruce A. Tate, Justin Gehtland
ISBN 0-596-00676-4, 243 pages, $34.95 US, $50.95 CA
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