Bloomer "Power Programming with RPC" (review)

1992, (reprint with corrections) O'Reilly & Assoc. (A Nutshell handbook)

As usual with the Nutshell books, this text provides the programmer with information which is difficult to find anywhere else. This is a thorough guide to programming with Sun's Remote Procedure Calling software and I can honestly say I wouldn't manage without it. (I hate reading man pages, they're for people who already know what it is they're looking for.)

The book examines both high & low level communications using RPC as generated by RPCGEN or manually. Low level socket based communication is also described. Various implementation strategies for setting up client/server software are looked at. A couple of non-trivial applications are described in detail.

I recommend this book to anyone thinking of learning RPC. It is not a book for the novice programmer (It assumes familiarity with C and Unix.) But then what novice programmer would be trying to implement RPC stuff anyway!? If only a knowledge of socket based communications is desired, along with a simple introduction to client/server programming perhaps other texts are less thorough than this one and will be more to your taste. Having said that, I think this is a really handy book to have around. (Especially if your thesis relies on you being able to write distributed code!)

Alan Dorin, 17 Jan '95