Monday, October 10, 2005

Spring Books Roundup Updated

I am completing my Spring Books Roundup books with 2 new books:
  • Pro Spring, by Apress: a lengthy book, with some unnecessary information, but good overall. I did not like the Part 1, there is not much content in it. Fortunately, Part 2 is much better, dependency injection is very well described, almost on par, with the Fowler article of reference. Other Spring areas are well covered, in a similar manner as in Wrox book, except Java Server Faces, absent from the book, and nothing on Swing as well.
  • Spring Reference Documentation, from the website: I should have started with this one, it is of very good quality, and more up-to-date. There is notably a very good chapter on "Source Level Metadata Support" even if I don't find particularly compelling that they chose yet another abstraction behind Java 5 annotations, partly to support older JDKs. Another plus is a chapter on JMX support, this was lacking in other books.
Interestingly most other books are very similar to the reference documentation, in their presentation and content. The reference documentation is extremely well written. Each time the author carefully explains what are the advantages of the Spring solution, or what does a particular feature solve. Only dependency injection and swing are not treated properly.

To conclude, to best learn Spring I would advise:
  1. Read Fowler article about dependency injection.
  2. Read O'Reilly's A Developer Notebook. It is the most appropriate book, because the presentation is a bit different, focusing on quickly understanding Spring and using it in your project, and it is the only one mentioning Swing Spring features.
  3. Read the reference manual to find out about the details you need for a specific feature.
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