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Apache Struts 2 Web Application Development Paperback – June 15, 2009

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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About the Author

Dave Newton

Dave Newton, a Struts PMC member, has been a professional developer for over twenty years, getting his start in Lisp and Smalltalk development, moving on to a lengthy stint in embedded system, game, and device driver development, before (confusingly) finding himself writing Java-based web applications for a variety of clients.

He is a strong proponent of agile practices and tool creation and use, particularly in relationship to documentation generation and testing. He's a regular (if crabby) fixture on the Struts user mailing list, prodding people to read the documentation and think outside the box.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (June 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847193390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847193391
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,377,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of the book from Packt Publishing in return for agreeing to write a review. I also know the author, Dave Newton, from his frequent and very useful contributions to the Struts 2 user mailing list. Dave also helped me on a Struts 2 - Jasper Reports project.

I completed reading and working through the code for Apache Struts 2 Web Application Development (Packt Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-1847193-39-1) by Dave Newton. I was looking forward to reading this book as published books on learning Struts 2 are few, especially since the 2.1.X release of Struts 2.

I've been developing Java web applications using Struts 2 for approximately 18 months, so I'm not a Struts 2 beginner. Since the book's target audience is Java developers new to Struts 2 [page 3] I tried to read the book with a newbie mindset.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars out of 5. If you're brand new to Struts 2, I'd recommend you first read Struts 2 in Action ([...]) and then pick up Apache Struts 2.

My main criticism of Apache Struts 2 (and why I don't think it's the best book for newbies) is that this book quickly skims over some critical foundation subjects such as XML configuration, convention plugin, and annotations. Without a thorough understanding of how and when to use those key Struts 2 techniques, it will be difficult for someone new to Struts 2 to actually build a web application that uses the framework and even more important trouble-shoot a problem.

The introduction to using the convention plugin and annotations is only 4 pages long. If I did not already have prior experience with those techniques I would have been lost trying to understand the examples in the following chapters.
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Format: Paperback
"Apache Struts 2" is like two books in one. The first part is a 200 page book on Struts. The second part is a 150 page series of essays on related technologies and good practices in web application development.

If you've read my previous reviews of Packt books, you'll know I tend to like their shorter books better. This book kept the attributes of a short book that I like since it's like the book was only 200 pages. The longest code example was 1.5 pages and even that length was rare. There were the collection of typos I've seen in most Packt books though which unfortunately precludes a higher rating.

The first/main part covers Struts 2 clearly and succinctly. It is fast moving, includes gotchas/tips and provides opportunities for further exploration. I particularly liked the discussion of tradeoffs with techniques when it comes to maintenance. There are notes for Struts 1 developers.

The second part is a mix. It includes things like intro to JavaScript, why version control/testing/documentation matter and how to use Struts with AJAX. I'm not clear on what some of this has to do with Struts, but it is things everyone should know. The beginning of the book is written for experienced people (along with side notes on cool techniques) and later part as if for people without training. Or maybe for people who haven't been exposed to practices?

Overall, I did learn Struts 2 from the book and was entertained throughout.

And to make the FTC happy: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of JavaRanch.
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Format: Paperback
The first few chapters provide a good overview of the technology. However, as a someone familiar with early versions of Struts 1, I found myself getting lost in Chapter 2 - Basic Configuration. The author does not spend enough time on XML configuration and how it relates to the major elements of Struts 2, i.e., dispatchers, interceptors, actions, and results. The author assumes we don't like XML. So, he decides to cover non-XML conventions and annotations. Ironically, at first blush, the annotations seem to be more complex than the XML they replace.

I would have preferred a detailed treatment on XML configuration as a foundation of my understanding of Struts 2. I could have learned the other configuration options after I felt comfortable with XML. I don't recommend this book for anyone trying to learn Struts 2. Instead, I recommend reading Struts 2 in Action.
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