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Art of Java Web Development: Struts, Tapestry, Commons, Velocity, JUnit, Axis, Cocoon, InternetBeans, WebWork Paperback – November 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932394060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932394061
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neal is an Application Architect at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. Before joining ThoughtWorks, Neal was the Chief Technology Officer at The DSW Group, Ltd., a nationally recognized training and development firm. Neal has a degree in Computer Science from Georgia State University specializing in languages and compilers and a minor in mathematics specializing in statistical analysis. He is also the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, video presentations, and author of the books Developing with Delphi: Object-Oriented Techniques (Prentice-Hall, 1996), JBuilder 3 Unleashed (Sams, 1999) (as the lead author), Art of Java Web Development (Manning, 2003), and No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology: The 2006 Edition (editor and contributor). His language proficiencies include Java, C#/.NET, Ruby, Object Pascal, C++, and C. His primary consulting focus is the design and construction of large-scale enterprise applications. Neal has taught on-site classes nationally and internationally to all phases of the military and to many Fortune 500 companies. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at numerous developer conferences worldwide.If you have an insatiable curiosity about Neal, visit his web site at He welcomes feedback and can be reached at

More About the Author

Neal is also an avid (but slow) Ironman triathlete, competing in several races a year of varying distance. He is also a voracious reader, loves to listen to very eclectic music, watch high-quality movies, travel to exotic locales, and eat at fine restaurants (sometimes enjoying combinations of the above). He has also been known to sit in front of a computer for vast amounts of time. When at home, Neal enjoys the company of his wife, Candy, and two cats, Winston and Parker.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on February 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a tome, but don't let that fool you, it covers a variety of front end technologies but doesn't cover the back end very well. It clocks in at 600 pages with judicious screenshots and lots of well annotated code.
What makes this book interesting is that it takes the same application and builds it using six different Java frameworks (JSP, Tapestry, WebWork, Interbeans, Velocity and Cocoon). What detracts is that while it provides pros and cons to each issue it fails to assert the best overall, or to provide an analysis of which would be best for a particular scenario. Chapter 11, which is about how to evaluate the frameworks actually doesn't do the evaluation. That is an exercise left to the reader. So if you like to choose between well documented options, you are in the right place. If you are looking for some Gartner style analysis and conclusions, you are in the wrong place (but there is no right place that I know of.)
The interesting chapters:
Chapter two provides an implementation in JSP and then covers the cons of that approach.
Chapter three provides a nice introduction to Tag Libraries as a way to increase reuse from the straight JSP model.
Chapter four is an excellent introduction to the Model 2 architecture.
Chapters five through ten cover the various frameworks. Strangely Velocity and Cocoon are covered when the author himself doesn't even consider them frameworks.
Chapter eleven provides a detail set of criteria to evaluate the frameworks, but does not itself evaluate them.
The chapters that follow are lumped into 'best practices' and cover a grab bag of technologies and issues including EJBs, performance, caching, debugging and unit testing, and axis.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Paul VINE VOICE on March 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is about using frameworks for developing Java web applications. The author gives a thorough overview of some of the most popular frameworks and discusses the pros and cons of various web architectures. The discussion is almost exclusively in the Servlet/JSP realm with little discussion of back end applications servers. The audience that will find this book most useful are those who have some experience with Java web development and are looking to expand their knowledge of modern web architectures.
The first part of the book is a discussion of Java web architecture in general with a concentration on MVC architecture. The second part is an examination of some of the most popular frameworks in use today. This part is interesting as the author demonstrates the same application developed in the various frameworks. The section finishes with a list of criteria to use when evaluating any framework for your own development projects. The final part is a discussion of best practices in various aspects of a web architecture such as resource management, performance, and debugging. This section reads almost as a series of articles.
The book is not really a how-to guide to using the various frameworks. I had trouble getting a couple of the examples working exactly as provided and some of the discussion was a bit confusing. But the overall view of how to choose and then incorporate a framework into a well designed architecture makes the book a very worthwhile read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Kolesnikov on December 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book provides many interesting ideas and examples, I am glad that I have purchased it. However I was most interested in Java Web frameworks comparison, and this is where this book is much less helpful.

The idea of building a two-page application to compare different frameworks isn't a good one. What can you demonstrate in such a no-brainer? Logic/presentation separation? I18n - l10n possibilities? User input validation? Code and functionality reuse? So what is being compared then?

In fact, the author has a rather fixed opinion about what a framework should do, and his ideas rotate very close around Struts and Struts-like frameworks. As a result, he completely failed to understand Tapestry, which is based on very different principles.

He states that "As demonstrated even by basic examples, Tapestry is a complex framework. To create the simplest web application, you must understand a fair amount about the architecture and components".

This is completely wrong, because Tapestry is a very user-friendly framework, if only badly described at a beginners level and having very few tutorials, but to prove his point, the author creates a 'hello world' application using Tapestry and doing this he extends Tapestry's ApplicationServlet to add some custom logging facilities. As a result, this 'hello world' application looks really frightening.

However, it should be noted that you don't usually need to extend the ApplicationServlet, even in the most complicated of web application. Not to mention that you would hardly need ANY logging facilities in a 'hello world' app.

To summarise, this is a good book in many respects, such as it shows a good style of coding and demonstrates some convincing examples of design patterns. But don't expect it to say anything useful about frameworks comparison. All the comparison in this book boils down to documentation and samples available, which might be useful, but far from being essential.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "javajer" on June 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is not for beginning web programmers as it assumes an understanding of the Servlet & JSP API's. It additionally is not a guide to Java Web Development as the title might indicate but rather a review of how and why to use several popular Java Frameworks. The books usefulness is that it compares and contrasts various ways to create "industrial strength" web applications.
Often it is difficult for a developer to understand the consequences of selecting a particular framework. This text resolves that dilemma by presenting six of them side by side. After reading these summary chapters a knowledgeable choice may be made or at least the options are narrowed down and a more exhaustive text obtained.
The author follows a teaching style as he explains his points using clear (and short) code examples. Practical loosely coupled designs are advocated thoughout the text. A section is devoted to summarizing common performance and debuging tips. It was nice to incude two IDEs although I'd have liked to see that part expanded to include *** WebSphere, WebLogic, NetBeans, Eclipse.***
One of the few disagreements that I have is about a common code oversight involving database resources.
The text provides a code sample showing how to connect to a database with all of the resources closed in a single finally block. IMHO, That's not a good style. I prefer to wrap each close in separate try blocks inside of the finally so that every close executes even if there are exceptions. Then reset object references back to null.
// -- clean up all db resources after the usual try catch code
finally {
if(resultSet != null) {
try {
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