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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Bug Patterns in Java
Author:
Eric Allen
ISBN:
1-59059-061-9
Publisher:
Apress
Pages:
234pp
Price:
£28-50
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
java
Appeared in:
15-6
I am very disappointed in this book. The title sounded very promising, a useful and interesting topic. However, the contents do not go into sufficient details. The book is filled with very simplistic examples and advice and it repeats itself too often. For example, the advice that one should use static typing whenever this is possible is repeated in almost every other chapter. I have the impression that the author has decided to write too early on this topic and that he did not take time enough to crystallize out the useful ideas.

The cover claims that this book is of an Intermediate to Advanced level. I would agree with this, because references to design patterns are made almost without any explanations, which would mean the book is not for complete beginners. On the other hand, some of the advice is so simplistic, that I would not say this book is aimed at advanced Java users.

One useful piece of advice that I have retained from this book is the warning to be careful with the use of null. Methods which return null as a flag instead of a typed object have a chance of being improperly used. If the caller forgets to check on the return of null, this might cause a NullpointerException that is usually very difficult to trace.

The examples that are given do not inspire me, they are too simplistic and seem only to be a filling of space. A few examples extend the class List with a new class named Cons and it is still unclear to me what the meaning of Cons is.

Concluding, the topic of this book is a topic worth describing, but the contents of this book would need a bit more maturity. If you are interested in bug patterns, in my opinion, rather buy a book about refactoring and try to improve your understanding of the Java language. That will bring you more than reading this book.