Book Review - Eclipse Step-By-Step by Joe Pluta
As part of my preparation for an Eclipse presentation later this month, I reviewed Eclipse Step-By-Step by Joe Pluta (MC Press). For someone with absolutely no exposure to the package, this will help you get started.
Chapter list: Welcome to Eclipse!; Installing Eclipse; Introducing the Workbench; The Resource Perspective; The Java Perspective; The Debug Perspective; A Simple Program; Running and Debugging; The User Interface; Adding the Database; Install a Java Runtime; Install Winzip; Download Eclipse; On Things GUI; Start Your SQL Engines; Index
I think to understand this book's style, you have to know the target audience of the author. He wants to show working code and examples that are well commented, and he wants to walk you through the steps involved in a task. He also wanted to show how Eclipse works from a Java perspective, even if the reader doesn't know Java. That's why you can type in the code he provides, or you can import it from the CD. The steps are very detailed with tons of screen shots to show you what each step should look like. Things are taken in bite-size chunks, so that really *anyone* could understand and use Eclipse by the time you get done with this book. If you have any experience with Eclipse already, you probably won't get much out of this book that you don't already know. But the beginner will be able to work through this material with no problem.
The argument could be made that there is too much handholding and screen shots of things that people have seen millions of times already. In addition, the screen shots are large. They take up a lot of space and make the book larger than it probably deserves to be. For a $60 book, I think I would have tried for smaller images and more content to make up the 362 pages. Experienced IT professionals might think it's too much step-by-step detail, but then again the hard-core IT person probably isn't the target audience. Finally, once you work through this material, you'll want to get a more detailed book on Eclipse to learn how to use the tool with all the whistles and bells. But at least you'll have the basics down before you get there.
So do I recommend it? If you want a no-threat introduction to Eclipse that assumes very little, yes. If you're looking for a single reference volume that will give you all the finely detailed minutiae of the platform, no. It all depends on where you're at and what you want.