Bitter Java

Bruce A. Tate

2002 | 368 pages | B&W
ISBN: 9781930110434

$44.95 Softbound print + PDF eBook
$35.99 eBook edition (PDF only)



It is a well-known fact that most software projects fail. Drawing important lessons from common failures is the goal of Bitter Java.

Reusing design patterns is not enough for success: patterns are like partial maps of dangerous terrain. They help, but don't prevent you from getting lost. Bitter Java teaches you how to recognize when you are lost, and how to get back on the right path. It illustrates common pitfalls of Java programming through code examples; it then refactors the code and explains why the new solutions are safe.

This book is a systematic account of common server-side Java programming mistakes, their causes and solutions. It covers antipatterns for base Java and J2EE concepts such as Servlets, JSPs, EJBs, enterprise connection models, and scalability. If you are an intermediate Java programmer, analyst or architect eager to avoid the bitter experiences of others, this book is for you.

After studying antipatterns in this book such as:

You will be standing on the shoulders of those who failed before you.


Bruce A. Tate is an Internet architect who developed the bitter Java concept after seeing a set of customer problems repeated and decided to collect these stories and publish their solutions. He is the coauthor of Objects for OS/2. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Sample Chapters

Chapters 1 and 6, as well as the Foreword and Preface of Bitter Java are available here in Portable Document Format (PDF); you need Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software to view them. You may download Acrobat Reader here.

Download the Foreword.

Download the Preface.

Download Chapter 1.

Download Chapter 6.


"The book is really full of antipatterns and ways to avoid them. Understanding antipatterns will help software developers prevent and recover from situations like spaghetti codes or ineffective algorithms to name only some of them."
--Ionel Condor, Java user Group Cluj-Napoca, Romania

"Not only is this book an incredibly useful tool, but it also manages to be a fairly entertaining read! ...Best of all, this book will leave you with an instinctive sense for the antipatterns that you'll face in your future projects, so you can keep your Java brewing smooth and sweet."
--SitePoint Tech Times

"Bitter Java is an excellent example of not having to reinvent the wheel...a superbly presented essential, core addition to the Java user's reference shelf collection."
--Wisconsin Bookwatch

"Reading this book is like having a consultant guiding you on various aspects of project design for server-side Java big bucks by reading this book instead of hiring a consultant."

" of the few programming books on the market that is almost impossible to put down...This book is the real deal and packs more learning into it's 399 pages than most of the 800+ page technical tomes on the market."
--Columbia, SC Java User Group (Columbia JUG)

"!!!! Exceptional"
--Today's Books

"This is one of the more interesting Java books I've read."
--Dr.Dobb's Journal's Suggested Reading list for XML and Web Services

"...very enjoyable to read...This book is packed with useful design tips and techniques for the serious Java server-side developer. Go and buy this book because you will want to read it many times."

"...should you buy this book? I think that if you are a serious Java programmer the answer is a resounding 'yes'. Your programming will get better for spending time studying this book, and you will save yourself an awful lot of pain from the help and insights you will get...At last we have a book that tackles the problems rather than pretending there are none."
--C Vu, Journal of the ACCU

"There are 1693 books for sale at with the word 'java' in the title and almost all of them are earnest, chipper books that promise real programmers, dummies, and nuts that learning Java is easy. Bruce Tate's, Bitter Java, is not one these books...If you're a hired codeslinger creating J2EE applications or servlets, then this is a good book for your shelf."

"This book is insightful and a pleasure to read, thanks to the author's storytelling talent and a host of Java lessons worth sharing...The author does a great job of articulating a philosophical foundation on which good architects and programmers can build. The patterns and antipatterns in the book center primarily on Web applications. However, the value of this book is well above the price of admission and the prose is so smoothly crafted that you'll wonder why more books couldn't be this good."
--JavaPro Magazine

"Reading this book is like having a consultant guiding you on various aspects of project design for server-side Java coding...Experienced Java programmers and project leaders will benefit from this book. If you are a Java programming consultant, this book should also be on your list."

"This is one of the few programming books on the market that is almost impossible to put down. Bruce Tate's ability to combine his passion for extreme sports with real life programming experience makes for a very interesting read. But don't think that means he puffed up this work with superfluous prose. This book is the real deal and packs more learning into it's 399 pages than most of the 800+ page technical tomes on the market??? This book should be required reading in every development shop and CS department!"
--Columbia Java Users Group

"Bitter Java is an excellent book about ensuring that your Java projects succeed. This book covers many of the typical reasons that software projects fail???Usually authors describe what patterns and anti-patterns are in a very scholarly fashion...This book is more down-to-earth, explaining the anti-patterns by giving real world situations.
--Fort Worth Java Users Group

"Unlike most technical writing, this book is truly a pleasure to read...if you are or aspire to be a Java professional, this could easily become one of the most valuable books in your Java library." Guide Rating *****
--Focus On Java at

" excellent book about ensuring that your Java projects succeed."
--Tracy Pope, Senior Architect
--Neoris USA and VP, Forth Worth JUG

"... a great book well worth the time and money for all Java developers."
--Michael Yuan, Research Associate
--Center for Research in Electronic Commerce, Univ. of Texas at Austin

Source Code

Source code for Bitter Java is contained in a single ZIP file.

Free unzip programs can be found at

BBS Example (80 Kb)