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BEEP: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly Networking)
by Marshall T. Rose

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Edition: Paperback

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Editorial Reviews
Developers of distributed applications have started to embrace Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol (BEEP), along with the far more established SMTP and HTTP, as transports for Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). BEEP: The Definitive Guide represents BEEP documentation that is literally authoritative: Marshall Rose wrote the BEEP specification as well as this book. Whatever the future of BEEP may be--and from many perspectives, it looks promising--this is the book you want to have on hand as you begin to use it for your requirements.

Most of Rose's initial work in this book has to do with explaining exactly what BEEP is good for--what kinds of problems it solves and how, and what kinds of problems it's not well suited to. It's important territory for the promoter of a protocol that aims to steal business from established competitors. Lots of conceptual diagrams show how messages pass back and forth between clients and servers, and how states change as a result of those messages. From there, Rose downshifts into discussions of how BEEP has been implemented in real programming languages--especially Java, but also C and Tcl--and how you can use BEEP in your own software. It's an absolutely accurate picture of a very promising technology in progress. --David Wall

Topics covered: A statement of what Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol (BEEP) is good for, and how application developers can benefit from using it as a transport for messages between parts of distributed applications. Detailed attention goes to design and usage of the BEEP implementations in Java, C, and Tcl.

Product Description:
If you need to design a protocol that really fits your application, you want BEEP--an integrated collection of building blocks that gives you "best in class" data transmission solutions for everything from framing to security. BEEP gives network developers what they've long needed: a standard toolkit for building protocols quickly and conveniently. For the first time, it's possible to create an application protocol that's tightly tuned to the application's requirements, and thus avoid re-inventing the wheel. BEEP: The Definitive Guide is the only book available to show you what this new tool is, and how to put it to use. After explaining concepts underlying the BEEP protocol, author Marshall Rose--BEEP's creator--tells you how to use the BEEP implementation in Java, C, and Tcl. You'll learn to build several working applications that use BEEP as a transport, including an implementation of the reliable SYSLOG protocol and an implementation of a BEEP transport for SOAP. If you're a network developer, you need to become familiar with this important new tool.

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 1 edition (March, 2002)
  • ISBN: 0596002440
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces. (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: based on 2 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank in Books: #492,750
    (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

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Customer Reviews
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

An excellent BEEP resource, April 7, 2002
Reviewer:Darren New (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This text is vital for anyone using BEEP, considering BEEP, or designing any sort of Internet protocol.

This book is very well written, complete and easy to read. It's written by the man who invented the protocol, so you can be sure it's accurate. It starts with a conceptual overview of the BEEP protocol, including the all-important discussion of WHY the protocol does what it does, including what problems it solves for you and what problems it doesn't. It then covers three implementations of the protocol library (in Java, C, and Tcl), discussing the APIs of each, and giving the source for two different applications for each. In contrast, the BEEP RFCs give relatively little information on the motivation and intended use of the features, and the API documents assume you know where to start and why you would use each entry point.

This text will tell you whether BEEP is right for your needs. If you decide to use BEEP, it's a vital companion to the technical API documentation and RFCs. Even though I implemented much of the C BEEP library, I found this book wonderfully helpful (even vital) for understanding the APIs in the other languages. It bridges the gap between the technical RFC and API documentation and the level of understanding you need to use that technical documentation effectively.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

a great resource for savvy Internet application builders, April 4, 2002
Reviewer:David Strom "davidstrom" (Port Washington, NY USA) - See all my reviews
Marshall Rose's latest book is a boon for two very different audiences: first and foremost, it is a guide to assembling Internet-aware applications based on his newest protocol called BEEP. Why bother with BEEP? Because it makes writing intelligent applications that function across the Internet easier, more secure, and more useful. Anyone who has tried to get a new application working between two computers behind two separate firewalls knows the frustrations involved, and BEEP is here to help with this and numerous other situations. This is not a typical O'Reilly book: there isn't much code, instead there is more pages devoted to the concepts and explanations of what Marshall was trying to do with BEEP and how you can make it work for you when you build your own applications. But it is a typical Marshall Rose book (Disclaimer: Marshall and I co-wrote a book on Internet email a few years back.) -- filled with wit, insight, lots of helpful information and above all well written and clear. There are chapters on implementations in Java, C, and tcl that help illustrate what you can do with BEEP. That doesn't mean that you can lift these code fragments and have a working prototype quickly -- but once you glom on to what he is doing with this stuff, you can build better applications and build them more quickly, more securely, and more reliably. Hopefully, the word will spread and the BEEP community will continue to grow and thrive.

The second audience for this book is more obscure but equally important. Anyone trying to attempt to write a new protocol these days needs to know the roadmap of what they are up against, and Marshall's book is sort of a Hitchhiker's Guide to Writing New Internet Protocols. The elegance of design, the simplicity of function, and the single-minded purpose of such a feat is a joy to behold.

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