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How many computer books did you buy (personally or for work) in 2004?

17% (91 votes)
18% (96 votes)
25% (130 votes)
21% (109 votes)
10% (54 votes)
more than 20
5% (27 votes)
N/A - I subscribe to an online book service (e.g., Safari)
4% (21 votes)
Total votes: 528


Killer App? Shaving the Yak apparently...

With the advent of XML, and the particular idiom that you don't need to provide an app that 'works out of the box' so long as you provide half a million different options in XML, the toolset has become exceedingly complicated.

I had one guy tell me it takes about six months to 'get good at' Ant. I'm like... ummm... okay... sounds... great (and then I go back to my batch files and/or proper scripting tools for builds)

So you get these huge chunky books on Weblogic, Struts, XDoclet, Hibernate, logging, JSPs (hold the phone - JSPs are supposed to be 'simpler' than Servlets, why on earth are there huge books on JSPs then???)... you get the picture.

There is so much Yak shaving in Java these days that on a typical project you'd probably end up with more XML files (not program data files, but configuration for your various tools and the 'magic glue' that makes things like struts and hibernate work) than .java files (!!!)

Also the the tools such as Eclipse and Netbeans aren't just IDEs anymore, no, they are themselves frameworks for building tools. And now we get tools on top of tools (eg NB 4 being built on top of Ant), layer on top of layer on top of layer...

Of the making of frameworks there is no end.

There is no problem so simple that it cannot be made more complicated (and fragile and difficult to configure) simply by adding another layer of indrection.

Killer App? Shaving the Yak apparently...

I agree. What ever happened to KISS (keep it simple stupid)? I've developed and deployed very complex applications with nothing more than Ant and BBedit into Tomcat using Oracle's JDBC and XDK. I didn't need volumes of documentation for any of these. I did buy the Tomcat book from Nutshell, but that was only to figure out the XML configuration file (to your point). I never “read” it. We are quickly approaching a quagmire of features which rather than making the development effort easier, makes it much harder. This includes java. Exotic features, which are driven by IBM or BEA, need to be curtailed.

we're in the low end of the technology curve aka killer app affe

I generally buy books when the technology curve is high. It was very high in the late 90's before the bubble burst. Now its at a low. I buy them to try and climb the curve myself and keep my skills current. Generally these curves are driven by some "killer app" (spread sheet 70's, GUI and client/server 80's, browser 90's). I think we have hit or are very close to the low, but what is the next "killer app" that will drive us all to learn new skills, and buy books. Please don't say its some java construct, I consider this to be noise (albeit good noise) left over from the browser "killer app"... but what might it be?