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I received an email through the virtual Java User Group highlighting the availability of a couple of eBooks around Java published by O’Reilly. The details are below. The books are more booklets (nothing wrong with that). The key difference being that they are shorter and focused on one or two focused subjects (in this case Java 8’s Lambda’s & Streams) which is great because I don’t want a whole Java book again, I just want to get a handle on the key changes and language innovations. It is worth highlighting that these aren’t just ‘free chapters’ which is what you see happen sometimes as the goal of the book is described, doesn’t depend on prior chapters to work the illustrated material and structured with the appropriate cover material contents, index etc so works as a discrete entity.

This approach seems to be coming more common at O’Reilly at least as a marketing device, and we have seen this being done with the Dummies brand where the booklets have then been printed as conference give aways.

Some may argue that this is a reflection of our ever shortening attention span with books. This maybe the case for some, but I suspect it is more about providing some that is more digestible than a ‘free chapter’, but more importantly reflects the recognition that for books that are providing guides (as opposed to reference books – which I’d include patterns books) people don’t want to buy a latest edition of a book where the 1st chapters are exactly the same as the previous edition of the book and that the only significant change is a new section on Lambdas for example.

Any way the latest book details received are:

by Raoul-Gabriel Urma
Offers a practical tutorial to some of the core Java 8 features and gets you programming quickly with Java 8.
by Richard Warburton
Explains the similarities and differences between functional programming and object oriented programming with Java focused examples.


The other book(lets) that have drawn my attention to the trend include:

In addition to these Book(let)s O’Reilly offer a range of ‘reports’ such as:


In addition O’Reilly have a page on ‘Open Books’ (here) – covering significant texts O’Reilly have had some involvement in but published under licenses such as Create Commons.