|Struts in Action|
|author||Husted, Dumoulin, Franciscus, Winterfeldt|
|rating||(11/10) it goes to 11|
|summary||More than just a book about how to use the Struts framework, covers the best practices of web application design and development. If you are building a java web application of any appreciable size, YOU NEED THIS BOOK.|
What's NeededSo it is generally acknowledged that using the MVC pattern is the proper way to build web applications, but with the large number of technologies and frameworks it can be a long road to figure what is the best solution for your application. What we need is a book that covers the best practices of web application design and development from both a technology/architecture perspective, and is written by a few folks who have deep understanding of the underlying problems of building robust web applications.
That's what I love the most about this book, it doesn't just talk about how to configure and develop with Struts. It's a web application manifesto. Anyone can write a book about how to use Struts to build a web application. That's not the point. This book is ~8 people-years worth of first-hend developer knowledge (4 authors x ~2 years of working on the Struts project) condensed down into 630 pages. It doesn't just teach you how to use Struts (and Velocity and Taglibs and Tiles), but why you should use them. That's the most important thing this book has to offer. If your project is looking at using Struts & other Jakarta technologies, you need this book. If your project is currently using Struts & other Jakarta technologies, you need this book.
The Velocity coverage is pretty light. If you are more comfortable building logic with a quasi-shell script language instead of using markup tags, then you should look to the project's documentation for further reference before embarking on a prototype. The Jakarta Lucene project, is touched on in the sample application they build, but are left as an exercise for the reader to investigate. While it's good to bring in related technologies to flesh out your sample apps, you have to be careful not to get sidetracked from the primary topic. You could easily write several books about the other components developed by the Jakarta project.
The best part is that the 4 authors are all Struts authorities (one Jakarta project manager, 2 Struts committers, one principal consultant), so they know Struts and the other Jakarta web frameworks inside and out. More than that, these guys have been solving the problems involved with web applications for several years now. They have deep experience in the patterns and best practices of building robust and flexible web applications, and this book passes on their experiences to the reader.
So What's In It For Me?
With this book and a little bit of effort on your part, you will be a competent Java web application developer. With a little bit more effort, you will become a Java web application architect. It's worth the extra effort. This is a tremendous book that will set the standard for web application references and will continue to be useful for years to come. It reminds me of the first Manning book I read, Neward's Server-Based Java Programming in terms of it's scope. approach and usefulness.
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