Publisher: O’Reilly – Safari Books
Published: August 2016
Price: Kindle $US20, Paperback $19.95
Raval writes for application developers interested in the capacity of the blockchain to underpin distributed applications. He provides excellent explanations of the evolution of the technology and its implication in terms of how applications operate and the impact those modes of operation have on various business models.
He maps out the various BitCoin technologies and components of the BitCoin ecosystem and discusses the political beliefs that underpin preferences for certain approaches. This is valuable for strategic planners in corporations, government as well as academics researching the area.
He discusses separately the decentralisation of various aspects of technology such as bandwidth, asset registration and processing capacity and then pulls all that together with a discussion of the practical implications of that.
Thus a serious foundation for the principles underpinning distributed application is built up before he touches the topic of specific platforms or presents a line of pseudo code.
By Chapter 3 he has the reader building their first dApp and then moves in Chapter 4 to exploring the operation of the first distributed marketplace, the Open Bazaar.
By interweaving practical technical development with real world considerations he provides a path to market that will suit most hands on developers.
From there on he introduces one technology after another, outlining its operation, implications, installation and manipulation.
This is a hands on book for real world developers who want to get immersed in the capabilities of distributed applications, quickly.
It is beautifully produced with code blocks, examples and illustrations all carefully laid out and presented to maximum effect.
At 18 months old, some of the technologies have moved on a version or two, but the rapid immersion approach ensures that you can follow Raval into a topic and then quickly catch up with the latest developments.
O’Reilly is selling it as a contemporary work, at $US20 for the Kindle version and $US19.50 for the paperback it is clearly aimed at meeting the current needs of active programmers. With the rapid move from concept to hands-on implementation, this is not a book for planners or strategists, though if you find a copy in the lunch room, you will enjoy the introductions to any of the topics that interest you.
You can buy the book directly by clicking the picture of the cover above.