Now this post is a short review on another tech book I had my eyes on these days. It's again from the PACKT's nice library, and it is named GateIn Cookbook.
Entirely in unison with the name this is a book comprised of recipes. Now first of all GateIn is a powerful portal technology housed as a JBoss project. Despite the strong affiliation you may find it hard to get your h
ands on a concise documentation about it. And if you go at the project's documentation page, you won't find a link referring the GateIn's version in the book. In such cases finding proper resources might become a struggle - googling through blogs and forums that say some bits but never cover exactly what you need at the moment. It might get dreadful.
Or you just might get the book. It's all compiled in it. Someone else already did the tiresome job for you and you have all the bits put in proper order. And what's more important - your alternatives are covered. Any version of the portal system comes in several bundles - for any of the most recent production versions of the most popular open source application servers (JBoss, Tomcat, Jetty). And the book covers at least two of them where necessary and where the differences matter. And variety is not all about the background technology. When developing portlets a few alternative supporting technologies are covered (JSF, jQuery and RichFaces).
The recipe style is more of a hands on approach. In general this would break the readability of a book, but in the case of a portal technology this is a positive. The authors know that you need to hack in and configure your implementation as fast and accurate as possible, and there aren't too much distractions. In fact the background information in form of definitions and 'How it works ...' and 'There is more ...' sections is present and is exactly where it belongs, so most of the time you gain understanding on the go.
On the project side you won't get too fancy and beyond the simple 'Financial' portal. Actually this is a book centered around the developers, integrators and administrators, and it has a good technical depth (XML configurations, portlet packaging and implementation, ...). Adding a more colorful layer of business logic could bring a better readability and overall comprehension of the way portal is constructed, but it also could distract and make the target reader loos their ground.
In short if your project employs a portal technology and your choice is GateIn, this book could be the reference you need, mostly because it is the best there is.