Book Review
Better, Faster, Lighter Java


In 'Better, Faster, Lighter Java' the authors argue that the old heavyweight architectures are unwieldy, complicated, and contribute to slow and buggy application code. 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.
For more detailed information, view the publishers homepage: O'Reilly Media

Authors:Bruce A. Tate, Justin Gehtland
Page Count:256 pages
Publication Date:06/2004
Used Programming

Subjects:  Java, Software Development

About the Authors

Bruce A. Tate is an independent consultant in Austin, Texas. In 2001, he founded J2Life, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in Java persistence frameworks and lightweight development methods. His customers have included FedEx, Great West Life, TheServerSide, and BEA. He was recruited away from IBM to help start the client services practice in an Austin start up called Pervado Systems. He later served a brief stent as CTO of IronGrid, which built nimble Java performance tools. Bruce is the author of four books, including best-selling Bitter Java.

Justin Gehtland is a programmer, author, mentor and instructor, focusing on real-world software applications. He is a founder of Relevance, a consultancy dedicated to putting those ideas to practical use. He is the agility columnist at The Server Side.NET, and an instructor for DevelopMentor.


FocusApplying UML
Theoretical Foundation
PrerequisitesUML Modeling
Possibilities to searchGlossary
not suited at all, very little content, doesn't apply
  very well suited, right on the spot


This book is not about Java itself, but about Java technologies that assist you in building large distributed systems. While being a begginer you have tried to get more information about java; later, after you acquired all knowledge about syntax and some basic rules how to write simple programs, you start creating bigger and more complex programs using advanced J2EE technologies. One day you stop and observe the work you have done, and you see that you spent a lot of time for things that were related to technologies, but not your main tasks, like investigating differences between J2EE containers that should realize one, common J2EE specification. You may face a situation when chosen technology prevents successful and on schedule delivery of a project.

The authors propose another approach for building component based applications. Main concepts of this approach are "Keep It Simple", "Do One Thing And Do It Well" and "Allow for Extension". If you can do something in two ways choose the simpliest one. They correctly identify that the bloat - the growth of complexity of any successful infrastructure - is inevitable. Any developer who had ever dealt with mega frameworks that promise to solve the problem but become a problem itself for a developer, will find this book useful to fight the bloat and complexity problem.

The authors present their vision how to fight the bloat with suggestions, practical advices and associated tools such as JUnit, Ant, Hibernate, and Spring. This book is not a reference to these agile technologies but provides enough information on their design principles to justify how they can become the foundations for reliable, extensible enterprise systems.

Andrey Polyakov, Software Architect, Gentleware AG, 10/2004

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