REVIEW - Essential Java Style - Patterns for Implementation


Essential Java Style

Patterns for Implementation


Jeff Langr



Prentice Hall (2000)




J Crickett


August 2000



I asked to review this book shortly after having volunteered to edit the Java section of C Vu. My motivation in volunteering for both was to learn more about Java, having only written a few simple applets before.

Every programming language has its own idioms and knowing them can make reading more experienced programmers' code simpler. I had hoped that this book would provide me with that knowledge, as it is described on the rear as a 'Java style guide'. I put the patterns part of the title down to the publisher cramming in buzzwords.

It was not what I expected, the book is more of a catalogue of 'patterns', each described on a page, or at most two. Each pattern is described in terms of:

  • Answers the question? - what problem does it solve?
  • Solution - what is the solution to the problem
  • Category - the category of the pattern
  • Related Patterns - a list of related patterns described elsewhere in the book
There are then a couple of paragraphs of description, followed by a short, clear code example. Many of the patterns are relevant to other OOP languages, about 20% being Java only. I am happy to say that I gleaned some new ideas from it and wish more programmers would read such books.

For all the good things, I simply did not like this book, the author's insistence on airing his opinions relating to what is wrong with Java and how he would have done it better, simply irritated me.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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