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June 28, 2019

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An overdue review

June 28, 2019




A few months ago, I was approached by a couple of authors to review their book, Java by Comparison.  Once I had gotten over being flattered that they would want my opinion, I then swore I would be diligent and not let this go by the wayside.  Well, I did.  And for that, I apologize to the authors. 


Ok, so now lets get to the review.   First off, I enjoyed the book immensely. As a craftsman, I appreciate the fact that the authors approach programming as more than just slapping some code together.  The feeling I get is that we are all here because of a shared love of our craft.  The language is very natural. I feel more like we are sharing a conversation about good ideas around java programming rather than I'm being lectured at.  


The code suggestions, sort of a "write this, not that" approach, are very very good. One of the things I really like about this approach is that, as a visual learner, I can get a sense for how the recommended approaches improve the code, beyond just intellectually knowing that this is so.  I do very much suggest reading this in the paper version or on a device that honors the formatting of the book.  I read it on my Kindle Oasis, and the comparison was much harder to see. 


Java by Comparison is a book I will definitely use with apprentices, and I imagine by the time they reach journeyman it will be well dogeared and much loved.  For those who are already journeymen, I still recommend it as a good reminder of some of those principles we tend to take for granted.  Needless to say, a master craftsman would choose to have a book like this available both as a reminder, and as a tool to help mentor others.


Java by Comparison is available on the Pragmatic Bookshelf: https://pragprog.com/book/javacomp/java-by-comparison 





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