Here at Mystic, it would come as no surprise to anyone who has read our blogs or worked with our team that we love Apache Wicket. I was pleasantly surprised when the team at Packt Publishing emailed me about reviewing the new Apache Wicket Cookbook. In equal measure I was happy to see that they had snagged Igor Vaynberg to author this tome.
In the spirit of transparency, Packt and I originally came close to doing this book together. We had a difference of opinion that led me to decline, however I still stand by my argument that a pink pony and sharks with frickin laser beams would have been an adequate payment for my time. Oh well.
Who the book is for
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is jam packed full of useful information for those folks familiar with Apache Wicket. Yes, that’s correct, this book should not be the first one you buy about Apache Wicket, but it definitely should be the next. The cookbook is aimed specifically at individuals with a working knowledge of the framework, from the beginner to the advanced seasoned user.
Wicket Crash Course
If you need a crash course in Apache Wicket, you’ve got several options.
They are ranked from easiest to most difficult for the average person. If you prefer diving in head first and building a project without reading much background, the last option will certainly get you there (albeit not quickly).
Those of us who have been using Wicket for years, know Igor very well. He has always seemed to have more hours in the day then most as he deftly answered newbie questions up to seasoned difficult questions on the mailing list. All of this was done while working like the rest of us, helping develop and design upcoming versions, and being a family man as well. Wow. It should come as no surprise then, that each one of the recipes in this book is chock full of detail, the proper amount of explanation, and real world useful when building out a Wicket solution for a client.
I have had the luxury of reading, and re-reading sections of the book while building out an Apache Wicket solution for one of our clients at Mystic, and it’s been wonderful. Each of the recipes are worth reviewing in-depth not just for the solution, but how the author has chosen to code it. Because we’ve given training courses and spoken about Wicket at several conferences worldwide, it comes as no surprise that each page seems to be smashed together full of text. There is a lot to explain when it comes to Wicket, and giving 1 or 2 page recipes without doing this would have been impossible. Had Packt allowed the author, I’m sure we could have seen even more breadth and at least hundreds of recipes which would cover the wellspring of 3rd party lib integrations, and other tricks to make working and reusing code with Apache Wicket an absolute blast.
This book is definitely for the Wicket developer who wants to learn from one of the masters. Go buy your copy today.
Was the book worth it? YES
Review the table of contents here:
Chapter 1: Validating and Converting User Input
Chapter 2: Getting Down and Dirty with Forms and Form Components
Chapter 3: Making Forms Presentable
Chapter 4: Taking your Application Abroad
Chapter 5: Displaying Data Using DataTableDownload for free
Chapter 6: Enhancing your UI with Tabs and Borders
Chapter 7: Deeper into Ajax
Chapter 8: Visualizing Data with Charts
Chapter 9: Building Dynamic and Rich UI
Chapter 10: Securing your Application
Chapter 11: Integrating Wicket with Middleware
Chapter 12: General Wicket Patterns (available only online due to size constraints
Mystic has consulted with us on many of our applications, provided penetration testing to assess security readiness, and kept the servers humming along with our mish-mash of hardware and software that was required. They redesigned the network architecture to better support our growing needs and were always available for questions or concerns a phone call away.