I was wondering what are the best books on the market today for learning about J2EE api's?
What are the latest and greatest? Which books do you think will continue to sell weeks, months, perhaps even years from now?
IMHO, none. The only books that carry the word "J2EE" in their titles are the ones by Ed and one by Perrone/Chaganti, published last month by Sams. Supposely Wrox Press has a book on WebLogic/J2EE in the works, which is scheduled to come out in Oct. Sams also has an EJB book planned for Sept release, written by people at BEA consulting. For the two published books, Ed's book is good for EJB, but is unfortunately somewhat dated WRT the J2EE 1.2 API and JSP. Perrone's book is a potpourri of all distributed object technologies and has a functional example using WebLogic 5.1/Oracle, but it lacks focus and depth.
Other books cover one aspect or another about J2EE. Jason Hunter covers servlets in great detail, but only up to API 2.0 and no EJB and little JSP. Fields and Kolb cover JSP/servlets, but very little EJB. Monson-Haefel covers EJB very well, but little else. Other books bearing the servlets/JSP/EJB name in one form or the other do not measure up to these 3.
In terms of publishers, books by O'Reilly are excellent in general, but are typically late to the market. Wrox publishes a large number of books relatively fast, but some of the recent books suffer from broken coherence because of multiple authors. Sams puts out books with huge numbers of pages in each of them, but there are obvious fillers in them.
Just my 2 cents.
I agree. IMHO the days of paper print to get information is simply gone (or going the way of the dinosaur). I, like many other people, have every O'Reilly book in ther Java series, but because the core APIs change so quickly, even they become obsolete quickly.
I think the web is the only legitimate place to get up-to-the-minute information (like we are doing right now) and I stopped buying books to "last a lifetime" long ago.
I find (biased) of course, that the IBM Redbooks come closest to describing end-to-end e-business scenarios, using all the J2EE APIs but even they get dated quickly and are usually a release behind by the time they make it into print. However, the REDPIECES (Redbooks in progress) are more timely.