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Programming Jakarta Struts Paperback – November 23, 2002

ISBN-13: 063-6920003281 ISBN-10: 0596003285 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003289
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,379,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

If you've adopted Java as your organizational language, you're probably using, or planning to use, some sort of multitier design to maximize maintainability while making your data store accessible to as many applications as possible. The Jakarta engine ranks as the interface server of choice in that environment, and the Jakarta Struts Framework 1.1 makes it far easier to implement multitier information systems. Programming Jakarta Struts is the best how-to documentation around--in print or on the Internet--on the subject of using Struts to their greatest potential. Chuck Cavaness's book is comprehensive, detailed, critical of its subject where appropriate, and generally invaluable to anyone implementing the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern in Java with the assistance of Struts.

Thankfully, Cavaness opens with an overview of the MVC pattern with a focus on how you're meant to implement it under Struts. For anyone thinking that implementing MVC sounds like more trouble than it's worth, this clarifies why such design usually pays off in the long run. After that, it's into the particulars, which include code listings (lots of them, delightfully commented) and crystal-clear block diagrams that show the flow of messages among objects. There are also many database schema charts that show how the authors structure data in the storefront and shopping cart application that spans the whole of this volume. --David Wall

Topics covered: The Jakarta Struts Framework 1.1 and how to use it to implement the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software design pattern. All the important features of Struts 1.1 get attention, including exception handling, the validation framework, internationalization, logging, and templating with the Tiles framework.

About the Author

Chuck Cavaness is a graduate from Georgia Tech with degrees in computer engineering and computer science, has built Java-based enterprise systems in the healthcare, banking, and B2B sectors. Working at an Internet company to design and develop software architecture, Chuck has spent many frustrating hours figuring out the dos and the don'ts of web applications. With each enterprise system he's developed, Chuck has learned several valuable lessons about building "real-world" web applications, information that he's made available to developers who haven't had the opportunity to work on large systems. Chuck is the co-author of Special Edition Using Java 1.3 and Special Edition Using EJB 2.0, both available from QUE.

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Customer Reviews

I never really "got" Struts after reading this book cover-to-cover.
I read the draft chapters of this book and found the coverage to be excellent and the author's style to be very good.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about Struts.
Vinny Carpenter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By cassian78 on April 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book does an excellent job of laying out the Struts framework at a high level and then explaining each individual component of the framework in detail. It provides clear examples of good design patterns separating the business model from the view/controller of the application, and decent documentation of the use of each parameter in the configuration files.
What it does not do is provide easy, step by step, "this is what we just did and this is the result"-style tutorials on building your first Struts application.
I read most of the book without attempting to sit down and write any code. When I finished reading, I had a clear understanding of how the framework operated and a good idea about how I wanted to build my first Struts application. However, when I sat down to actually code the application using the book as a reference, I was completely lost.
I must say that I am disappointed because the book does seem to market itself to all levels of Struts developers, but I think it's really only useful to somebody who has already gone through a few tutorials. I learned more about building my first Struts application by following tutorials in the MyEclipse IDE, and reading the code and configuration files from existing Struts applications.
I give this book 1 star for beginners and 5 for experienced developers - so let's call it a 3.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "bitbucket44" on January 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've relied on O'Reilly books to provide the gist for any number of topics but this one disappoints on a number of levels. Too much filler material (if you don't know about EJBs and WARs then you shouldn't be reading this book) and an imbalance of detail. I need to know how to enable debugging in struts-config.xml or how to specify the message properties files in web.xml, not individual attributes to custom tags; I can find those in the javadocs.
Granted it's a relatively new technology but this treatise didn't provide much more than what I could find on-line. There wasn't even decent coverage of the specifics of minLength and other validator features. Trash the fluff and stick to the details which implementors require and you might have a decent book.
Now I'll just have to buy the Husted tome. It's not like I'm made of money, you know? I just can't recommend this book to someone trying to develop a production application in "web time".
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've wanted to write a review for this book ever since I started reading the draft chapters on I was one of the many who participated in submitting feedback from the very beginning and feel like I've learned so much from the material, but understand how someone might not get it immediately.
This book was written specifically to teach Struts developers how to fish; it wasn't designed to fish for us. This is something the Author mentioned on the list many times. You won't find a million different ways to use a specific tag for example. Instead, I think the coverage is more advanced and attempts to strive higher than just Struts.
So, here's my review for this book. I hope it helps you decide whether this book is for you or not.
First the bad - This book is light on the tags section. If you are looking for every which way to use the iterate tag for example, you won't find it here. Also, the modules coverage could have been better. Of course, I think that's due to the flux that modules was in at the time of release. I don't personally hold this against the Author. The other books (especially the ones that came out before it) have the same issue.
The other topic I would have liked to see covered in the book is Security. It's actually not covered in any of the books very well. Based on the earlier table of contents that the Author published, it was included. However it was posted on the mailing list that the chapter on security was being cut due to size and time. Maybe the 2nd edition will add this (hint, hint).
Now the Good - This book covers so much about how to hook Struts up to a Model architecture; especially Chapter 13 (the one on EJB). I really like this chapter and have learned so much from it. The examples are clear, concise and helpful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By HiRez on August 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
The author is knowledgeable but does not present the material in a clear, coherent manner, especially for those new to Struts development (which you probably are if you're reading this book). I never really "got" Struts after reading this book cover-to-cover. That is to say, there's no way I could create even a simple working Struts application from scratch. Here's my two main complaints:
1. The book is organized very poorly. For example, although throughout the book we've been seing ActionForms used in code, it's not until page 175 that we get "What Are ActionForms?" The IStorefrontService interface is finally described on page 158, even though it's been seen multiple times previously without any explanation as to what it is. On page 230, the author writes "I've mentioned the UserContainer and ApplicationContainer classes in previous chapters without defining exactly what they are." So the pattern is that things are just foisted upon the reader inside code listings with no explanation and no reference. Sometimes they are finally described hundreds of pages later, sometimes not. In-between are many pages of useful information, but that would have better been left for future chapters. We learn lots about how to extend Struts before we even know how the basics of it work. That makes no sense if you are looking for a tutorial. Needless to say, it's pretty confusing to look at stuff that isn't explained. Terrible.
2. There is no step-by-step creation of a working application here. I made the mistake of thinking there was by skimming the book, but the code is largely given in unconnected fragments, often without a reference to even what file it is supposed to go in (some code relates to no actual project at all).
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