Submission Summary: 0 pending, 41 declined, 10 accepted (51 total, 19.61% accepted)
With the above list given in order of importance. Really this breaks out to "Runs all the Tests" and "Refactoring" or making the code better. Simple design is perhaps one of the harder things out there, and yet the most important. When you look at systems that highly scale, it's because they are made up of simply designed components which work very well together.
After the Emergent Design chapter there is suddenly a chapter on Concurrency. This was not something I expected to see, but was very glad to. Too many times books about patterns and design don't address problems like scaling and concurrency. But this chapter does a great job of introducing the necessary steps that need to be taken to deal with concurrency — while still keeping your code clean. The book also provides an appendix which goes even deeper into the concurrency topic which I found to be quite good. Both this chapter and the appendix provide some very valuable rules that I personally have used when writing concurrent systems — like "Get your nonthreaded code working first" and "Run with more threads than processors" to flush out problems.
Chapters 14-16 cover the cleaning up of three different sections of code — an argument processor, JUnit and SerialDate, which is part of the org.jfree package. These chapters really hold true to the warning in the introduction that we'd be going through some code. However, the refinements work very well, and I think that each of them show the value of how much cleaning up the code can improve the readability of even code that works well and seems clean.
The last chapter is a "Smells and Heuristics" chapter which I'm finding to be a handy reference guide for code smells I see. When something is bothering me with code I'm reading, I flip to this section first to see if they have it listed. And with things like "Replace Magic Numbers with Named Constants" you can be sure that all of the advice that should have been beaten into your head long ago is still there, and relevant.
All in all I think this is a very valuable book for any developer wanting to improve how they write code. For senior level people, some things may seem trivial, but if you really take the time to look at the structural changes being made and apply them, you will write better code. For functional developers — the authors believe in OO, but there are still valuable nuggets that are applicable outside of that (like "Use Copies of Data" in the concurrency section). And for any developer, the insights are really good, and you'll find yourself writing down little snippets to hang on the wall.
The challenges with the book are first that it is just as they said — hard work. This is not a flip-through-with-your-mind-shut-off type book. If you want the most out of it, you have to be willing to really work at it. The other challenges are that at times it gets way too Java-centric. All of the code examples being in Java is fine, but some of the chapters (most notably the Systems chapter) really go heavy into Java tools and the Java way which, to me, weren't always applicable across languages.
All in all, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve how they write code. You likely will find yourself violently disagreeing with parts, but the total sum more than makes up for it."
Wonder how the Search guys feel about that announcement..."Microsoft made an unsolicited $44.6 billion cash and stock bid for Yahoo Friday, a deal that shakes up the competitive and lucrative market for Internet search. The deal would pay Yahoo shareholders $31 a share, which represents a 62% premium from Thursday's closing price.
% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis