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How Tomcat Works, the book.

Posted by monsonhaefel on May 31, 2004 at 8:11 PM PDT

A couple years ago I tried my hand at self publishing books. Specifically, I created my own publishing company, Titan-Books Inc., and published three companion workbooks to my O'Reilly EJB book. The authors and editor did a wonderful job and the books turned out great. However, I quickly discovered that (a) it was lot of work running even a small publishing company and (b) I wasn't making much money at it. To make a long story short, I sold the rights to the books to O'Reilly, lost some money, but learned a lot about myself and the publishing industry.

A few months back, maybe a year ago, I was contacted by Budi Kurniawan. Budi wanted advice on self publishing - I don't even remember what I told him, but he says it was helpful so there you are. Last week Budi contacted me to tell me he has successfully written and self published his first book, How Tomcat Works. You can buy it directly from Budi and get a 45% discount ( or from How cool is that!?

Well, I've been reading Budi's book and I have to say that it's really excellent. I mean, I can't put the thing down! His writing style is really straight forward and engaging. The book is in need of some serious copy editing, that's for sure, but in many cases those little rough spots add to its home-grown charm.

Budi's book, How Tomcat Works teaches the reader exactly how the Apache Tomcat Servlet engine works. Budi starts with a very simple (3 classes) web server and slowly, over the course of a dozen chapters, enhances that example until it becomes Tomcat. It's a really cool approach to explaining the inner workings of a system and I just love it. I'm staying up way too late reading the thing and learning a lot about how Tomcat works.

You don't have to be rocket scientist to appreciate the book or understand it. If you have intermediate to advanced Java skills and know something about Servlets, you'll have no problem at all and you will learn a lot.

I hope the book continues to be as good as the first couple of chapters. If it is, I'll probably become its biggest booster. In my opinion, knowing how the software you use works under the covers is far more important than anything else you can learn. Patterns and APIs are fine, but nothing beats knowing how things really work. The best in the business have this type knowledge, so if you want to be the best at Servlet development, than this book is for you.

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