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Murach's Java Servlets and JSP Paperback – January 1, 2003
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From the Publisher
As the publisher, I'd like you to know the reasons why I think you'll learn Java web programming faster from this book than from any other on the subject:
Unlike most books about Java web programming, chapter 3 of this book provides a crash course in HTML. Since this is essential background for the use of JSPs, this means you wont have to use a second book to figure out how HTML works.
Unlike most books about Java web programming, three of the early chapters (4 through 6) show you how JSPs work, how servlets work, and how to use the Model 2 architecture to get the most from JSPs and servlets. From that point on, youll learn to use servlets when theyre appropriate for the task at hand and JSPs when theyre appropriate. As a result, you wont waste your time learning how to use servlets for tasks that should be handled by JSPs.
To make it easy for you to learn on your own, the CD that comes with this book provides all of the software that you need including Java, Tomcat, and MySQL. It also provides all of the examples and applications that are presented in this book so you can run them on your own PC.
Like all of our books, this one includes hundreds of examples that range from the simple to the complex. That way, you can quickly see how a feature works from the simple examples, but youll also see how the feature is used in more complex, real-world examples.
If you page through this book, youll see that all of the information is presented in "paired pages," with the essential syntax, guidelines, and examples on the right page and the perspective and extra explanation on the left page. This helps you learn faster by reading less...and this is the ideal reference format when you need to refresh your memory about how to do something.
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The only downsides are that this thing is the size of a Manhattan phone book (you have to be of a certain age to grasp what I mean) and it's not available on the Kindle. I'd buy it in a heartbeat if it were.
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!). The HF series is more fun and engaging, but for JSP and Servlets I found the Murach approach worked best for me. While the Murach book is as as well written and presented as can be expected of a more traditional text book, it is not as interactive as the HF series. I therefore found completing the exercises in the Murach book important for engaging with the content.
Murach does a better job than HF on the MySQL and IDE side of things. HF probably covers the nuances of the Servlets more comprehensively.
I recommend both, depending on what you need.
After this book, learn the spring framework. Don't try to learn spring without building a site using the knowledge you gain from this text if your new to java web technologies.