The Definitive Guide to Jython
The authors describe this book as having the intended audience of a Java developer wishing to use a dynamic language other than Groovy orJRuby. This is a very accurate assessment.
The first section serves as a quick introduction to the Python language, however should not be completely skipped even by seasoned Python developers. As a Python and Java developer, it was good to see comparisons of similar features from both languages. In many cases, the authors took the time to show code examples from both languages, side by side.
The book then leads into practical application of Jython. In addition to sections on how to call Java code from within your Jython scripts, extremely detailed instructions are given for calling Jython code from within Java. Also, the reader is taken through instructions on setting up Jython with their IDE (a must for any Java developer) and using JDBC calls from within your scripts.
Next, the reader is taken on a journey through using Jython with JSP, Django, Pylons, Swing integration, and – very importantly – eployment to Java application servers such as JBoss and Glassfish. Readers are then exposed to testing techniques for Python/Jython,and details on Concurrency in Java and Jython.
The book ends with several Appendixes which should not be missed. Parsing XML with Jython? It’s there. Writing Ant task? Yep.
I give the book a 4 out of 5. The only thing that would have made the book better would have been to spend a little less time talking about Python syntax and explaining only the differences between the languages. My thought is that if someone buys this book, they have likely already read an introductory book on Python and will spend much of the first 160 pages reviewing what they already know. This could have been condensed to about 15 pages by showing only the differences between the languages. However, as I mentioned before, the comparisons of features, and the places where the integration points are mentioned, are worth reading that section.
I should warn Python developers looking to learn more about Java. This book is not for you. Many of the topics covered assume the reader has existing knowledge of Java, including application servers and GUI development with Swing.
If you are looking for a book on Jython, this is the only book I would consider buying. I highly recommend it for any developer looking to gain the speed and ease of Python within their projects. So, go out and buy the book. Support the authors for the obvious hard work they put into making such a great book.