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Series: Murach: Training & Reference
Paperback: 758 pages
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates; 2nd edition (January 21, 2008)
Here is my review of Murach's Java Servlets and JSP 2nd Edition.
I have the Java 6 SE book from Murach's, and it's equally impressive.
I love the layout, style, organization, thoroughness, ease of understanding, and overall excellence of the Murach books.
They explain everything very clearly, step by step, in a mentor/instructor conversational style, and in a problem solving context.
The problem solving context is especially valuable, as it really drills the topic into one's brain. It's one thing to read about an API and see how it works, it's another thing to see being used to solve a common business process or problem.
Also, the layout, where descriptive text is on the left page, and figures and code examples are on the right page, is perfect. It makes learning the subject very easy. By contrast, many tech books will scatter that stuff across a number of pages, and don't give clear figures or code examples.
This latest Servlets and JSP 2nd Edition book from Murach is no exception. It makes a rather complex subject (Java web applications) much simpler.
It's explanation of setting up your development environment is very clear and easy to follow. It has you download and set up Tomcat, the sample apps and exercises, MySql, NetBeans, and of course the jdk.
I also like the fact that it focuses on the basics of Java web development, and sticks with the essentials - Servlets, JSP, JSP tags, http, html, basics of MVC, and so on. These are skills that server side Java programmers can build on, and go from there. If the book brought in other stuff like Struts, Spring, ORM, EJB, JNDI, it would have very much muddied the waters. And those frameworks/APIs are non-essential (albeit common).Read more ›
"Murach's Java Servlets and JSPs" covers a broad range of web development related topics such as servlets and JSP. It uses a two-page layout, with theory on the left page, and examples, figures, code, summary on the right page.
The book starts with a step-by-step installation of Tomcat 6, Netbeans and MySql, following with instructions on how to use each of them. Then starts the journey to web application development: Servlets, JSP, EL, JSTL, custom tags, filters, listeners. From scriptlets to the Expression Language, from MVC Model 1 to Model 2, using database, JavaMail, dealing with security, everything is clearly written and logically explained. I found that the chapter on custom tags could have been more polished, and a chapter on Tag Files would have been welcome too.
The icing on the cake is all the hands-on exercises. Each chapter concludes with a summary, and practical exercises. I strongly recommend downloading the sample applications and going through each exercise carefully, as it will certainly improve your learning experience. Moreover, the last section introduces a music store application to put all the freshly assimilated knowledge into practice.
This book is mainly aimed at beginners, but it is still a great refresher for experienced users. It is very practical, and will make Servlets and JSP fun to learn. It is so enjoyable that you'll finish reading it in no time. I wish I had such a book when I started developing web applications. Highly recommended.
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The previous version of "Murach's Servlets and JSPs" was a good book, and this one is too.
The book is described for use as "Training and reference", and while books tend to be good for one purpose or the other I found this one did manage to accomplish both objectives. The information is presented in small, distinct and incremental sections, and each block of code is clear and concise. It also contains all of the important information required to get a good start developing Servlets. I also found the same layout worked well when accessing the information as a reference.
It was very amusing that the book managed to get through four whole chapters before addressing Servlets or JSPs in detail, but given that many people leap into Servlets while their other technical skills are still growing, this prelude will be valuable to many beginners. These chapters are spent introducing web programming with Java, setting up Tomcat and the Netbeans IDE, and a one chapter crash course in HTML.
All of the required topics are covered elegantly, and enough room is left over to provide the same level of coverage for the next level of knowledge such as SSL, JavaMail, connecting to databases, container managed security and even some raw HTTP.
While I would not usually consider 10 horseshoes for a programming resource, this one is less likely to be read and forgotten, and should be of use for the first few years of Servlet programming for the novice. Therefore it is easy to recommend adding this one to your bookshelf.
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This book takes you through a well structured learning journey of JSP, Servlets and related technologies such as Netbeans, Tomcat and MySQL for developing complete web apps. The book has provided me with the skill and confidence to start building my own web-app. The book finishes with a completed e-commerce example that builds on the earlier work, and gives the reader a basis for their own future development.
The book provides comprehensive details on how to set up the environment for developing and deploying web-apps, with the installation of Netbeans, MySQL, libraries etc covered in the appendices. The set up is generally a difficult part of learning a new computer concept and this book explains this very well.
The material, the downloaded code, and exercises are well integrated and provide for a comprehensive learning experience. I was able to successfully complete the vast majority of exercises readily.
I have ordered the Murach Java book as I found the JSP and Servlets book very useful.
COMPARED TO HEAD FIRST *********************** I am a big fan of the Head First series, a series which has taught me everything I know about Java, XHTML, CSS, Design Patterns Ajax, OO Design etc. I love it. But as a novice, I found Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (SCWCD) difficult to get into. Mainly because the HF book is directed towards accreditation, and contains some curved balls to prepare for the exam that distracted me from learning.
Instead, I did the Murach book from cover to cover, and skim read the HF book (partially because I am in love with that bossy HF girl!).Read more ›