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Review of book "Java Exception Handling" by Jakob Jenkov

Some month ago on the site of Jakob Jenkov, where I often take a look into some tutorials on Java performed by Jakob, I saw an offer to read a new book "Java Exception Handling", written by Jakob in the case to give him a feedback on it. I decided that read of such book will give me a solid knowledge of exceptions in Java and, by the way, it will also give a chance to do my first review of a book.

So I wrote to Jakob, he sends me a copy of the book. I spend about 2 weeks to read it during my everyday trips in the subway and then make my review for Jakob. I decided that this review will be interesting not only for the author but for any Java developer, who could be looking for a good book on exceptions, cause overall impression is positive.

I will start from positive moments:

  1. The first time I see a book dedicated to exceptions. It is not widely spoken theme. And it is excellent, that somebody decides to undercover it.
  2. I'm experienced developer (about 7 years in total and about 4 years in Оava) and I work in a large international company, where hundreds of developers and most of them use java as the primary programming language, so seems like about java I should know a lot of things and tips, but I found some new things in this book.
  3. The really useful thing, from my point of view, is patterns of exception management. Nowadays very often developers invent its own way to work with exceptions, but such vector for templating put this action to a new level of programming culture. I'm not saying that those templates are ideal, but this start discussion about it! So it is very valuable from my point of view.
  4. The first half of the book very close to be useful and solid material.

What I dislike in the book:

  1. In preface, was announced that book is for developers with 2+ years experience. As for me, it is should be declared as the book for juniors. Most of the information is valuable for this audience. For experienced developers huge part of the book just a repeat of things they know.
  2. Sometimes material described in a very detailed manner, like for a real junior.
  3. Sometimes there is no feeling of solid material over the book. Some material is very far from each other, but it opens two parts of one thing. Sometimes chapters, from my point of view, should be done in another way (for example, explanation of the exception object and its hierarchy as for me should be the first chapter).
  4. The second half of a book has a lot of useless text. This part mostly theoretical, so there are no examples from practice, but a lot of things here described too detailed, for the developer they are clear. As for me, I've read it page by page, but the only useful thing I can remember now from this part were patterns. I suppose a lot of details and explanations should be deleted from this part.

What can add to this book, from my point of view:
take a look on exception pitfalls and for this theme, the most useful source is interview questions.

So I suppose the book worth the amount of time and money that you could spend on it. It will give you solid information on exceptions. To find out details on the book, please, take a look here:

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