Packt's Publishing Buy One–Get One Free Offer is in Full Swing Till Mar 26, 2014

Take advantage of the great Packt's Publishing offer: buy one ebook - get one free

author: Compudicted | Posted On Friday, March 21, 2014 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

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author: Compudicted | Posted On Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Started with Eclipse Juno by Rodrigo Fraxino Araujo, et al, Packt Publishing Book Review

Getting Started with Eclipse Juno

What a versatile platform Eclipse is, I never knew I must admit, before I read this awesome book!

Did you know that almost everything at Google was written in Eclipse before they crossed the ford to using JetBrains`products?

Despite the book targets a junior developer it sure may very well benefit a mature IT pro because it is so easy overlook a feature or two working hard on your deliverables.

The book does not have indeed a steep ramp up toward mastering all the intricacies of such a complex IDE (Integrated Development Environment), did I say complex? I did, but really, it only looks on the surface. In reality an IDE makes you organized and disciplined as oppose to a relative freedom of using a loose, free-form and an all-purpose editor (I am afraid to name them because each has many devoted folks who may want to initiate a DDoS attack on me Smile). But seriously, an IDE has much to offer, it is worth spending time getting known your IDE much better, especially Eclipse. It will pay back, often soon.

Not bolding to the eye, but be aware that this book looks at Eclipse from the prospective of a Java developer, but do you know that Eclipse has a huge ecosystem of plugins? Almost all the popular languages are covered, well, but this is not the reason for my post.

Most importantly, a vast number of topics a developer would (sure will) face in her/his IT career (not life) are covered in the book as say Web/Desktop apps, Unit testing, coding assistance (automation), refactoring, plug-in development to name a few, are all in there.

Lastly, knowing Eclipse (Juno or not) will help you master many other software as for example Talend (ETL Open Studio), Sybase, SAP NetWeaver, Oracle OEPE, IBM Rational products or even the Dart editor (both are Eclipse based).

Besides, I can now see a parallel between Eclipse and the Microsoft’s Visual Studio products. Where Eclipse shines is in

a) Ease and speed of creating add-ons;

b) Security;

c) Integration with a broad array of source control systems, and

d) RCP.

On the weird side, the book looked at the beginning as it would be running Eclipse on a Mac, but toward the end the screenshots were from an Ubuntu desktop.

Also I expected to see how the integration with the build tools works (e.g. Ant), but I may be over-demanding.

I tried to to build and follow the examples. Alas, just dumping the binary distribution of Eclipse Juno onto my Ubuntu 13.10 did not let me work with it, none of the menu items would not drop down. I followed a few online forum post and they unfortunately were not helpful. But tonight I saw a blog post “Installing Eclipse Juno on Ubuntu 13.10” and the line of code to apply to eclipse.desktop file: ‘Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 /opt/eclipse/eclipse’ hopefully should do the trick. I will update the post if it works or not.

If you want to continue the journey I would suggest getting Java EE Development with Eclipse ISBN: 978-1-782160-96-0 from Packt Publishing (disclaimer: I did not read it, but was recommended).

My closing remark: 5 out of 5 easy.

author: Compudicted | Posted On Monday, February 10, 2014 9:52 PM | Comments (0)

Linked Data - Structured data on the Web by David Wood, Manning Publications Book Review

Linked Data or Semantic Web was one of the gray areas to me before I read what seems to be the only popularized publication of this kind in the Universe. But it is such a pity that not enough effort was devoted to propelling the Semantic Web capabilities further. I can tell now why after I read this book: it supercharges the web! For example it opens new capabilities to ‘machine to human’ or vice versa interactions. Also it allows a web developer to tightly integrate disperse data sources, or simply promote one’s webpages which easily translates into higher revenue.

Just stop reading my review, go get this book, it is worth every penny. OK, if you are still with me, here is what else I want to share:

  • The book is VERY well structured, let me repeat, so well, it takes you off to swimming in very shallow waters of building a simplistic webpage and into the deep waters of a robust web application loaded with a specialized database without even you realizing how comfortable it feels to build such a Semantic Web powered app with a number of tools;
  • The person reading this book should be proficient in the following: Python, XML, HTML and JavaScript;
  • A Mac or Linux machine is preferable (no surprise here as it happens more and more often with all the modern publications), and
  • An advice: read through the both appendixes – you will find useful information there. Find/use a good XML supporting text editor. I used Syntext.

I started reading it in PDF on my Android tablet using MoonReader Pro, but oddly the formatting was broken, continuing reading on my desktop with a large monitor was more pleasurable.

Strangely, some phrases were repeated exactly twice (or may be three times one or the other) thorough ought this book which at first caused me some dejavu feelings.

In terms of my closing remarks: support the W3C – buy the 5-Star Linked Data mug!

I am giving this book a 5 out of 5 rating with heartsease.

A big thank you to Manning who made a very cautions decision to conceive such a worthy book!

author: Compudicted | Posted On Friday, February 7, 2014 10:25 PM | Comments (2)

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition By David Flanagan, O'Reilly Media Book Review

Activate Your Web Pages

A better name for this book would be JavaScript Bible, alas seems that this trademark name already belongs to another publisher: Wiley. Reading this book, well, made me feel exactly as reading the Bible: advance a little, go back, read slower, resume. Thing is, the amount of information thrown at you is overwhelming and thus begs to come back and revisit a chapter or two. Please do not take this wrongly, that is actually a good thing, this book supposed to be a hard read for those who are new to JavaScript: the King of the Scripting Languages for the Web which to my astonishment being attempted dethroned by Dart and possibly other contestants.

It is a fact that the book is being revised (a big +) for the 6th time and republished, so 100% David sure knows his subject.

However, to my dismay, I spotted several minor, but very obvious technical errors which I submitted to an already quite long errata at different points in time, none nevertheless appeared on the list as of the time of publishing this review.

If to continue on a negative note, one other bother for me (not related to the book though) was a hardship experimenting with all the code due to lack of a JavaScript IDE with a good debugging support. The author advocates using FireBug in FireFox which is not my preferred choice of a browser at the moment, but I have not figured out how to debug (set breakpoints) the code from the book. At the moment I have to blame myself here trying to grasp JavaScript being a non-functional and SQL programmer. Let me state this again - this is not a basic grounds kind of a book, but rather a comprehensive (1,000 pages plus!) set of very detailed information about every little aspect of the JavaScript. However, a large chunk of the book is occupied by the Client-Side JavaScript Reference which, can I say this: redundant?

On the positive note (finally), the author covers most topics extremely well as RegEx, CSS, graphics to name a few, just not too long and not too short, but enough to get you going. Also the notes about each popular browser differences and nuances are very thoughtful because that must help developing better cross browser web applications. HTML5 is covered, too, but to a lesser extent than I imagined to myself it had to, I will not argue with the author here though as it is a book about JavaScript after all.

My closing remark, this is a worth every penny book with which you can grow as a mature developer, one would find answers in it to most programming techniques, but again, this book should not be your first book learning the basics of the JavaScript, or may be not even a second.

It is hard to not to give this book a 5 out of 5 rating, even though a 4 begs to be given, but since it is already a 6th edition, hey, I have a lot of respect to its loyal readers.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free as part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review program.

author: Compudicted | Posted On Friday, January 31, 2014 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Apache Solr 4 Cookbook by Rafał Kuć, Packt Publishing Book Review

Apache Solr 4 Cookbook

Before reading this book I have never even suspected so many kung-fu things can be done with Apache Solr (Lucene)!

To name a few: using a spellchecker, indexing binary formats (as PDF), breaking words apart, removing markup, handling plural and singular forms of words, incorporating geolocation, integration with a RDBMS.

This book definitely serves as a blueprint to doing development with Solr – it has all the necessary coverage from setting properly your environment up, incorporating other technologies as Nutch to going live and fine tune your system including an effective guide on how to deal with potential problems. As a bonus, there is a “Real-life” section that provides some help to tackling additional scenarios that the author faced in his practice, which did a lot of sense to me to be included into a Cookbook style of a publication.

The book is thoughtfully structured starting with a short description of a task at hand with how it was tackled to explaining in the details all the intricacies as what configuration needs to be affected.

The book is also very well structured paragraph-wise, it starts with the basics as installations and setting a few simple things up to dealing with more complex tasks as the book progresses toward the end. What I mean, Rafal has made this book very useful in an electronic form, for example a developer or (administrator) can quickly find in the book the needed information based on a desired accomplishment and even can copy and paste the sample configuration for further editing. To say more, the book has a good reference to several relevant supporting/complementing tools. And it would be needless to say that at the same time the author delves deep enough into how-tos of using the Solr GUI itself.

While I am still expecting my older laptop rebuilt I am really willing to get my hands on Apache Solr, this is how whetted my appetite is to explore it more after I am nearly done reading the book.

Verdict: I am sure having this book beside you will make you feel more confident in delivering your project on time with the best possible results.

It is a full 5 out 5 star rating, a big thank you Rafal and Packt Publishing!

author: Compudicted | Posted On Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:40 AM | Comments (2)

Doing Data Science - Straight Talk from the Frontline by Cathy O'Neil, Rachel Schutt Book Review

Straight Talk from the Frontline

It is the most difficult to digest and comprehend book to date out of what I have recently read. It is even fun though at the same time. I guess I need to blame myself because this book unexpectedly turned out to be more from the Academia world where my skills in Algebra and Statistics faded out over time than from the practical world. At the same time it was pleasant to feel a student again.

Nevertheless, the book offers a ton of insight, and how-to’s for the in “the trenches” practitioners. This book is full of external reference and facts, it sure took a while for the authors to assemble it.

From my observations, the knowledge of the R language is necessary before starting reading, sadly, even if a program code is provided in the book there is no sample output.

The book is written so it has chapters by guest authors, this makes sense as a data project is rarely comprised of one kind of a professional, this nuance is also covered in the book by the way.

These guest authors are top notch professionals that would write a complete book on their own subject matter of expertise. But because they are the “top guns” in their corresponding field each managed to cover a lot of grounds just within a dedicated single chapter.

So, in short, the best thing about this book is that in one single investment you get a comprehensive coverage for life on what approach or algorithm to use against a given data science task at hand. You must feel more secure after reading this book and as a result be more eager and ready to embark on any data science project.

Five out of five stars.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free as part of O’Reilly Blogger Review program.

author: Compudicted | Posted On Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Web Crawling and Data Mining with Apache Nutch by Dr. Zakir Laliwala and Abdulbasit Shaikh, Packt Publishing Book Review

Web Crawling and Data Mining with Apache Nutch

In our age of Data Explosion it becomes increasingly appealing, if not necessary, to scout the myriad of what it looks like though shrinking World Wide Web pages. If you even are not tasked with crawling a subset of the webpages today you may want to grab a copy of Web Crawling and Data Mining with Apache Nutch book to make you well prepared in advance.

Advantageously, the book is not excessively long, so even if you are in a hurry, it will allow you to accomplish the desired scope in a short time. Be aware that the book concentrates a lot on making related software communicate with each other and devotes a significant portion of it to setting things up in general so you may need to check for changes in how to integrate or install the parts in case you happen to work on newer releases of the involved software.

I need to give the credits to the authors here that they have made every effort to showcast the Nutch capabilities and yet make your solution prepared to be scalable. Better yet, Zakir and Abdulbasit empower you by sharing the intimacies of setting Hadoop and integrate Nutch with several popular Key-Value or RDBMS data persistence solutions as Accumulo and MySQL. However, the Nutch crawl optimization is for some reason is missing.

The book gladly is covering the index processing which is compulsory, but unfortunately in my opinion, does not expand enough on an a necessary part: Apache Solr.

The book also covers Apache Gora, but lefts out the option to integrate with Cassandra.

Based on my impression, this book is an ideal fit for IT practitioners, field/infrastructure people who need to deliver quickly a working Nutch prototype environment with various options.

On the not so happy note, the book concentrates a lot on the infrastructure aspects so while reading the book I desired the authors could provide better explanations about the place of the technologies covered. At least of what Nutch is comprised of supplemented with real life usage examples, perhaps a study or two would not harm. It also felt at the beginning like the book lacks some reader background prep steps so at times I needed to take a pause to seek some additional information. I suggest some reference would be nice to have along with glossary of terms.

Nevertheless, overall, it is a good read: 4 out of 5 is my verdict.

author: Compudicted | Posted On Friday, January 10, 2014 4:51 PM | Comments (2)

Making Sense of NoSQL by Dan McCreary and Ann Kelly, Manning Book Review

For many folks in the IT industry NoSQL remains a buzz-word or gimmick, although a persistent one.

So if by now it has made you curious what is this all the fuss around about look no further than getting this more than insightful read. I had almost non-stop fun reading this 300 pages plus book, but more importantly it is very educational even beyond the NoSQL world - it offers a wealth of advice, as any good technology book should do, to any IT practitioner be it a manager or just a member of a team.

Specifically, it serves as a guide to modernizing your business, placing it ahead of the competition preparing to the next iteration in the data handling. I trust those who choose to adhere to implementing the principals outlined in the book effectively position their business and themselves to rip all the benefits of the future IT leaping ahead of the competition.

The book surprisingly is mentioning not only the databases, but also the programming languages as Erlang, Clojure that gained so much traction in the few past years. It gives a good overview on the existing search technologies which is a good asset as well as some Big Data attributes as MapReduce. The book discloses without bias any limitations a NoSQL solution may bring with it. At the same time the book succeeded to remain platform and vendor neutral.

Dan McCreary and Ann Kelly do turn out to be world class, seasoned consultants who I would love to work with, they both are very well verified methodologies aware and best practice followers.

The book is very cleverly structured taking a reader from basics and theory to practical analysis and real world examples.

Even though this book remark targets the managerial staff I’d say it is also well suited for even a junior IT practitioner. And that is for the reason being a book that gives you a look at a “bigger picture”.

I imagine it could be a good book to read during lunches together with my teammates at work and we could discuss it thereafter.

On the negative side, if even I can hardly justify perhaps the use this word, the time devoted to XML in this book was a tad too long, again, it could be because of me who dislikes the overly verbose and bloated data format that for example should have no place in a RDBMS.

The book will definitely give you a glimpse to where the next generation data storage and processing is heading toward. It is fully evident that the authors have a comprehensive knowledge in the NoSQL subject yet remain objective.

So it is a very well balanced, not denying RDBMS at the threshold book that certainly deserves your time. A 5 out of 5 stars.

author: Compudicted | Posted On Monday, January 6, 2014 9:07 PM | Comments (0)

Packt Publishing is offering ANY eBook/video for $5 until January 3rd!

Heads up:

Packt Publishing is offering any eBook or video for $5, but only until January 3rd!

Browse by category:

Do not miss this offer. I grabbed two on Big Data. No review yet, but I hope to educate myself for cheap!

author: Compudicted | Posted On Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:32 PM | Comments (0)