Saturation

by Brett McLaughlin

As an O'Reilly editor, I'm always trying to look for information related to what readers think about our book offerings. Generally, I try to point readers at existing books, illustrate how their questions are often already answered in print, and in general expand awareness of existing O'Reilly titles.


As an O'Reilly author, though, I have a bit of a different approach. I look for holes in our offerings, and try to find interesting topics that are yet to be covered, and then write on those topics, or (back to editing mode) find someone else to.


One of the big topics these days, and one I'm pretty active in, is the J2EE space. It's interesting to note that there are literally hundreds of books available, in production, in process, or in some other form of "in" right now. What I'm curious about is that with all that "coverage", there still seems to be very little going on in the way of true saturation of that space. In other words, there still aren't books that answer even simple questions.


Perusing the O'Reilly catalog, I see the various J2EE API books (Java Servlet Programming, JavaServer Pages, Java and XML, etc.), and lately some more practical books (the Building Java Enterprise Applications series, for example). I also know that people are desparately clamoring for patterns books (what is the Visitor pattern, et. al.), and even some server-specific books (jBoss, for example). So while there are all these books, there seem to be very few answers. I'm curious as to what others think... what voids are still out there?


Let me know... your comments are welcome, and hey, they go straight to the source for good content :-)


13 Comments

kbedell
2002-05-28 15:07:49
Entry Level stuff seems thin
It looks to me that the greatest need in this area is at the entry level.


For example, the beginning Java user who wants to use tomcat/struts and/or JBoss for a "vacation tracking" (or some other basic) application for their company.


The titles seem too fragmented and specialized. They'd need a book on jsp, one on Struts and on JBoss to do this right now.


And this seems like a very broad, general topic that would have a wide audience as well.

pacanukeha
2002-05-28 22:14:50
End-to-End, also side-to-side
I agree with the previous poster that there is a lack of hands-on info.


I am eagerly awaiting Volume 2: Web Applications in your Building Enterprise Java Applications series (any word on an estimated release date would be much appreciated).


Another interesting book (and hard to write given the speed of releases and changing technologies) would be an examination of the various technologies at each level, giving equal time to the top 3 or four contenders giving strengths/weaknesses and choosing a winner at various levels:


JSP vs Velocity vs XMLC vs Cocoon (Presentation)
EJB vs JDO vs something else (Persistence)
Struts vs Turbine vs Barracuda (Framework)
Tomcat/JBoss vs WebLogic vs WebSphere vs Resin (Server)

ianfairman
2002-05-29 06:30:24
Good Book on Persistence Needed
One topic that never seems to be covered in enough detail is persistence - it's the one topic where there always seem to be so many approaches but we never have enough information to make the right decision. You could write a couple of decent chapters on CMP patterns, talk a bit about O/R mapping tools, give practical advice on the handling of BLOBS and discuss how database features like stored procedures, user-defined types and views fit into the picture.


I recently did a project using CMP and I really had to learn an awful lot the hard way. I few words of advice early on (such as to use ejbgen) and an explanation of some basic ideas (such as how EJB deletes can go wrong when there are constraints in the database) would have gone a long way.


Ian.

bernfarr
2002-05-29 19:34:07
Good Book on Persistence Needed
Don't forget issues related to persistence with transactions. Anything to do with distributed transaction implementation (especially when legacy systems are involved) would also be good.
tomdavies
2002-05-29 22:37:40
JAAS and EJB
Maybe this is too app server specific, and maybe it isn't enough for a whole book, but it isn't covered well by Monson-Haefel's book, or Oaks's.


Tom

dshastri
2002-05-30 11:20:52
JNDI
A book on JNDI is missing from Orielly Publications. This book should have authentication examples not just based on popular LDAP directories but Active Directory also as it is becoming the most popular of all.


Thanks
Dev Shastri

tpherndon
2002-05-31 12:53:22
JDO, and J2EE framework alternatives
Particularly in light of the recent lovefest between Charles Jordan and Donald Bales, over on onjava.com, it might be worthwhile to cover the intricacies of Java Data Objects.


On a related note, it might be worthwhile to have a book or two on the "alternatives" to J2EE -- frameworks like Turbine and Avalon that give the developer everything s/he needs for creating enterprise-level apps, but without using EJBs. Perhaps a book that compares a J2EE implementation to the alternative implementations of a reasonable project.

ryuuguu
2002-10-13 18:33:29
End-to-End, also side-to-side
I also would like an something on this subject. I don't need winners as I think a lot depends on personel prefernce and site requiremnents. It is difficult to find anything on the pssible downside of products.
anonymous2
2002-11-23 01:43:04
convicts who get into a band and vh1 makes money
bill i agree 100% with you about the convicts who play in a music band in prison, and even though vh1 is a money making low life company, why dont you go after the the higher ups, like who allows vh1 in the prison, who allows the convicts to form a band, it it the state or is it the warden, or is it the feds, bill go after them, because they are the ones that are fully responsable, because if they did not allow it then vh1 would have not even reached the news, even though we know vh1 is the lowest piece of shit including the mother company of vh1. bill go after the head of the prison, this is why prison is not so bad and when convicts get out, they will do another crime because again prison is a nice place to live , i think these convicts love it there, free food free cable, free pool table, free ping pong, free education, all of which we have to pay for and i could not even afford any of those things for myself except cable tv so which is how i watch you bill, i agree with 99% of what you say, the only thing you do wrong is when you are loosing a conversation with someone you cut them off, which is ok sometimes, but there are times where they are a making a good point, and you cut them off. otherwise im all for everything you say, when your right your right when your wrong you admit it rob from las vegas, previous from the bronx slots215@aol.com
anonymous2
2002-12-21 07:52:11
Design Patterns
We need more books on Design Patterns. An Oreilly series on Design Patterns would be Nice.
anonymous2
2002-12-21 07:52:52
JBoss
An oreilly book on JBoss would be cool. Especially if it dealt with contributing to JBoss
anonymous2
2003-04-07 09:56:33
End-to-End, also side-to-side
1) I would also include "Maverick" under Framework.
2) For persistence, I'd also compare EJB and POJO (Plain Old JavaBean Objects)
3) I'd include Jetti/JBoss for servers since Jetti ships with JBoss.
bsdstud
2003-10-29 10:16:10
JNDI
YES! You're absolutely right. I need a good reference to the entire JNDI api and can't seem to find one from a company that I feel is reputable. I certainly hope that O'Reilly will take up the slack on this one!