KillerSites Blog

Book Review: Beyond Java

June 23, 2006

A small book that takes a critical look at Java and other languages (Ruby, PHP, ) at a moment in time.

I say ‘at a moment in time’ because this book will lose relevance very quickly – even more quickly than the typical nerd book.

In a nutshell:

  • You get a brief history lesson on languages and their problems.
  • You get a perspective of the problems that Java developers face.
  • You get perspective on the subject from interviews with several big-wig names in the field.
  • You get an overview of Ruby and Rails.

My complaints:

  • The author likes to introduce his chapters with kayaking stories that are suppose to reflect what he is about to talk about … I would just skip those parts because I am not into kayaking.
  • Question of accuracy: he mentions (page 174) that PHP does not have enough structure. This is a silly statement given that there are SEVERAL PHP frameworks out there that provide the exact same structure as Rails – some even copy Rails.


I liked the book and it was a worthwhile read. It has a few problems but it does open your eyes to things.

That said, the title of the book should have been: ‘Beyond Java and why I love Ruby’.