While looking for a new book to start reading today, I reached into my bookshelf and grabbed Brett McLaughlin's Building Java Enterprise Applications, Volume I: Architecture. Yes, a Java book.

I don't really do much Java nowadays, but there's plenty going on in the Java world to learn from. And the topic of Software Architecture is one to always grab my interest, so I thought this could be an interesting read.

Now, I've only read the first two chapters, yet, but I've seen a couple of things that have really annoyed me about this book. I'm sure that from a technical standpoint, Brett probably knows his stuff, but it's suprising how some odd offhand remarks can make you very wary of the author.

The first one that struck me can be found at the bottom of page 13, which reads "...The language is certainly more web-oriented than C, C++, or Microsoft's C#". Huh? Java is a web-oriented language? Since when? Now, Java the platform might be called web-oriented (but certainly wasn't when it first came), but the language? who is this guy kidding? C# isn't a web-oriented language either. Each of those four languages is pretty much a general-purpose one (at least for all that really matters).

The second remark can be found in a footnote in page 17. which reads: "... If you are writing a Java application, and your database has no stable JDBC driver, you may have to rethink the database vendor". Now, I don't know where Brett has done his enterprise development, but at least around here, most companies already have big databases in place, and most of the time you can't just go around and ask the company to switch database engines just to suit the developer. Most sensible companies would probably reevaluate using Java rather than changing database engines.

I hope the book whole book is not full of perls like these, otherwise, I'll probably won't read half of it...


Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.