Java News from Friday, June 6, 2008

Nobody guessed what I think is the second obvious choice for a Jolt award this year, though there was one interesting suggestion I hadn't noticed: The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 0: Introduction to Combinatorial Algorithms and Boolean Functions by Donald Knuth. That's actually a very good idea, though Fascicles 1-3 didn't make the final 6 in previous years, so I may be safe there. (Then again maybe Knuth and Addison-Wesley didn't think to nominate them, in which case, I probably shouldn't have mentioned it here. Damn. Too late. )

However the other book I think would be a sure winner most years may have slipped by readers of this web site because it's not a Java book at all. Rather it's a book about JavaScript. Specifically it's JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford. This book manages to combine an introductory JavaScript tutorial with best practices ideas for advanced developers. Language aficionados tend to look down on JavaScript, but Crockford makes a really good case that if you ignore all the singing, dancing web pages it's been used to create, JavaScript is actually a pretty damn interesting language (albeit one that has little to nothing to do with Java.)

So that makes three tough competitors, and two I'd usually classify as sure winners; and the year's not half over. Oh well. Maybe Refactoring HTML can sneak out with a Productivity Award.