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Struts 2 in Action Paperback – May 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1933988078 ISBN-10: 193398807X Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Brown is the Technical Lead for Hosted Services at Atlassian Software Systems, with a background in the commercial and US Department of Defense sectors. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation, and has been a Struts committer since 2003. He is also a committer on several Apache Commons projects and a frequent speaker at JavaOne, ApacheCon, and Java user groups.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193398807X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933988078
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Phillips on June 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to learn Struts2 quickly since I recently changed jobs and my new team has several web application projects built using Struts2.

Overall, I thought the book was done very well if you are looking for a good introduction to Struts2. The first 8 chapters are very good.

The main negative is the source code for the book's examples. The authors provide one very large war file with all the source code embedded into the war file along with an overall web application divided into sub-applications for each chapter.

This packaging of the source code into the war file made it difficult for me to create individual projects in my development IDE that demonstrated just the material in a specific chapter. I had to spend quite a bit of time breaking down the source code into individual web projects and then figuring out on my own what jars needed to go into each project, what the struts.xml file needed to have, and what ever else was necessary to separate out just that chapter's sub-application so I could run that example and play with it.

Where this really became a problem was in chapters 9 and 10. Chapter 9 is a very advanced introduction to integrating Spring and Hibernate/JPA into Struts2. I never could get this chapter's example to work correctly.

However, chapter 10 on the validation framework then uses the same code as chapter 9, so you really cannot separate out the code for either chapter 9 and 10.

The validation framework is likely something even beginning Struts2 developers will want to use, while Spring/JPA/Hibernate is for more advanced developers and should have been well after the chapter on how to use the validation framework.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vincent on May 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took a chance and pre-ordered this book because I have recently started a Struts2 project and wanted to learn more about the framework. The book did not disappoint.

The authors explained the concepts behind the framework clearly and used examples that were immediately useful. The book is a little too short and in many cases a few more details would have been appreciated but it seemed to be a deliberate decision to leave out some of the less common use cases to avoid cluttering up the book. Thus, this book is ideal if you are new to Struts 2 but have some prior experience with Java web development.

I like the fact that an entire chapter was dedicated to integrating Spring and Hibernate into the framework. It brings all the bits and pieces from the online documentation together in a cohesive and comprehensive package.

Chapters were also dedicated to validation, internationalization, best practices and migration from Struts classic. The authors spent several chapters on how the Value Stack and the ActionContext worked and how OGNL fits into this framework.

All in all there is enough information in this book to start and to produce a complete Struts 2 application.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Commodore on June 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, this book is outdated already. It covers Struts 2.0, and if you use 2.1 (which you should) you will have problems. This is particularly acute because 2.1 uses a lot of newer convention-based mapping to actions, and a lot of the techniques described in the book are now deprecated.

However, this biggest problem with the book is that it's a ponderous read. The author spends countless pages discussing the minutiae of OGNL and type converters ... way more than a beginner needs to know. However, more critical topics like the Struts2 JSP tags are barely covered until Chapter 6. Other important topics like session management are barely covered at all. This book needs a lot of editing and reorganization before it will be useful for most beginners.

Nevertheless, there is some useful information here for those with the patience to dig for it. I thought the discussion of interceptors was very solid. However, much of this doesn't justify the price of the book. I recommend just downloading the Starting Struts 2 docs from the Apache Struts2 website, and working through it. You'll learn a lot quicker through their "bootstrap" tutorial than you will here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Salvatore R. Mangano on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is without a doubt the single worst technical book I have read in quite some time. I say this not because I claim the authors don't know their subject but because their method of exposition is torturous. I have picked up and put down this book three times and finally I have given up. Each time I pick it up I say to my self, Sal, try to ignore their style and force your way through so you can get going with Struts 2. However, each time I give up. Why? The authors philosophy seems to be "why use 10 words when you can use 50". Let's tell the poor reader what we are gonna tell them, hardly tell them and then tell them what we hardly told them. Let's concentrate on arcane details and elevate them to the most important status. I don't know exactly where the eleven 5-star reviews came from but trust me, if you really really want to learn struts 2 then use what you can find on the web. Personally, I think you should pass on Struts 2 and look at some of the more light-weight frameworks - see wikipedia page for struts. But I digress.

As an author, I really don't like giving poor reviews because I know writing is difficult. Certainly Manning deserves as much blame for failing to provide any editorial guidance. But the bottom line is this: We all have too little time. We buy technical books because we want to get up to speed quickly and we expect a book with a large number of 5-star reviews to deliver. This one does not and you should know that up-front.
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