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Have you heard about Lift, a Scala web framework ? If no, there is a fast way to introduce yourself with that state-of-the-art technology through Apress The Definitive Guide to Lift. The book is written by three of the principal committers on Lift, Derek Chen-Becker, Marius Danciu and Tyler Weir and it summarizes the current state of Lift.
Lift is designed to provide a simple and flexible, yet powerful web framework. It adopts some concepts introduced by existing frameworks, such as:
* Seaside's highly granular sessions and security
* Rails fast flash-to-bang
* Django's "more than just CRUD is included"
* Wicket's designer-friendly templating style
The framework stresses the importance of security, maintainability, scalability and performance, while allowing for high levels of developer productivity.
The book should be considered as a look at the current state of the framework. I wouldn't call it a definitive guide. Authors often present a set of alternative approaches to the problem. That way it was difficult for any guideline or best practices to emerge which furthermore in my opinion differentiates a good guide from a reference book.
The writing is good, sometimes too concise. A reader should be familiar and comfortable with functional programming concepts. Scala knowledge is not required, but surely will help. The typography is fine, although code listings seem a bit odd as if they were included in hurry (e.g. no line numbers). A big flaw is a missing appendix which is referenced through the book. There is no index or listings table neither.
Overall I find the book pretty instructive. It can be a good starting point as well as a reference to the subject.