Professional Portal Development Book Review

I just finished reading Professional Portal Development With Open Source Tools (Wiley).

The Good:

I enjoyed Chapter 1, it gives a good presentation of Portlets for someone who does not know much about it. It is a chapter one can use as a reference to verify some specific details of how Portlets are working. It is a bit similar to JSR 168 specifications, but I found it more detailed and well written.

Beside Chapter 1, there are here and there useful information:

The Bad And Ugly:

I was disappointed by the remaining of the book. While it is good to mention Lucene, Apache James, OJB, Jakarta Slide, as those can be useful in Portal development, the book does not provide any useful information on those products. It would be difficult to put all that in just one book. The author merely gives kind of hello world examples for each technology, which I find quite useless.

A quick presentation of software methodologies is again quite useless, and not what we expect from that kind of book. If I want to learn about software methodologies, I buy a book about it, I don’t buy a Portal Development book.

The rest of the book really looks like a list of disconnected subjects, the important ones are not given more attention to the non-relevant ones. Portal Navigation is a problem you will encounter in any Portal development, but you won’t find much in the book except a short example. The author also writes with way too many words for the content about CVS, Subversion, JUnit, AntHill, Scarab. And then he goes on about Java Web Start, woohoo! Yes, it almost reads as well as a resume full of keywords.


Don’t buy this book.

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