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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Dr. Dobb's reviews Tapestry In Action

Just came across this brief review of Tapestry In Action. They generally liked it, but criticized the index (a not unheard of complaint). The index was the most painful part of a very painful process, and it shows.


Erik Hatcher said...

Maybe you should build a "search inside" feature :) See http://www.lucenebook.com/search?query=tapestry for example - and the search page is powered by Tapestry!

sicklittlemonkey said...

Their primary criticism is a good reason to use the PDF versions of tech books. Others include portability, not having to leave the keyboard, and hopefully solving the post-it problem - with Adobe Reader 7.

Richard Clark said...

Good indexing is hard, and there's an art to it. The indexes in the Manning books seems to be uniformly bad, which leads me to believe that they don't support the authors properly through the indexing process.

For example, the Hibernate book lacks many key entries (try finding out about how Hibernate works with getters and setters, for instance), but includes entries for trivialiaties. An off-hand reference to "code smells" gets _two_ entries: "code smells" and "smells, code".

Clearly there needs to be a new meta-entry: "indexing smells".

Re: the Tapestry book. The single most useful change to the index would be to 1) list each Tapestry component by name, and 2) list all of the tapestry methods shown, by name. As it stands, when you're trying to figure out how to use _x_, whether a method or a component, it can be tremendously difficult. (An index entry for examples, by component name and method name, would also be useful.)