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Impressions of "Mac OS X for Java Geeks"

Posted by eitan on July 10, 2003 at 2:30 PM PDT

I recently read Will Iverson's "Mac OS X for Java Geeks" and thought I'd
contribute my impressions of this recently published book.

In summary:

  • a quick read
  • a good book
  • nice diversity of topics
  • well-balanced selection of topics

This is one of these topics where you know it's a hot topic but you can't quite
define it. Maybe it's because Mac OS X and Java are fairly orthogonal.

On the one hand, there exist Apple extensions to Java which allow you to do cool things
but that sort of defeats the very purpose of Java. On the other hand, anything pure
Java has nothing to do with OS X.

Nevertheless I believe the author did a good job with this book in terms of
its structure, and covering various Mac OS X'ish things related to Java from
bundling a Java desktop application for the Mac OS X platform, to Apple-specific
APIs such as the spelling framework, quicktime, and speech. Other topics
covered pertain to installing popular Java apps such as Tomcat or Jboss
on OS X. There's also the prerequisite how to set up mysql and
postgresql for Mac OS X.
Lastly, I enjoyed the last topic on Web Services
and the sample AppleScript clients that call the java web services developed
in that chapter.

The main dilemma with a book on this topic is that Apple has been moving
fairly fast with upgrades and redid a lot of things with the release of J2SE
1.4.1 for OS X, including how apps are bundled. The Jar bundler is now the
main utility for bundling apps (and no longer the MRJ AppBuilder).

An easy read, doesn't assume much (if any) a priori knowledge of various Java APIs,
Mac OS X, or databases.

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