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Customer Review

Contents
This book covers JavaServer Pages (JSP) technology and standards. The chapters are as follows:
Part 1 - JSP Application Basics - Introducing JavaServer Pages; [...] and Servlet Basics; JSP Overview; Setting Up The JSP Environment;
Part 2 - JSP Application Development - Generating Dynamic Content; Using JavaBeans Components In JSP Pages; Using Custom Tag Libraries And The JSP Standard Tag Library; Processing Input And Output; Error Handling And Debugging; Sharing Data Between JSP Pages, Requests, and Users; Developing Custom Tag Libraries As Tag Files; Accessing A Database; Authentication And Personalization; Internationalization; Working With XML Data; Using Scripting Elements; Bits And Pieces;
Part 3 - JSP In J2EE And JSP Component Developments - Web Application Models; Combining JSP And Servlets; Developing JavaBeans Components For JSP; Developing Custom Tag Libraries Using Java; Advanced Custom Tag Library Features; Integrating Custom Code With JSTL; Data Access Strategies;
Part 4 - Appendixes - JSP Elements References; JSTL Actions And API Reference; JSP Expression Language Reference; JSP API Reference; Book Example Custom Actions And API Reference; Web Application Structure And Deployment Descriptor Reference;
Review
So, you're surfing a web site and hit a web page that ends with the extension .jsp. Looks like a regular web page to you, and if you view the source, it still looks like regular HTML. So what is a .jsp page, anyway? This book will tell you everything you need to know, both as to what they are, how they work, and how you can start using the technology in your development projects. Provided you have a basic understanding of Java, this book will work well for you.
The book starts off with an explanation of what JSPs are and why you would use them. Basically, it provides a way to generate dynamic web pages using snippets of Java code. Logically, it's much like ActiveServer Pages (ASP) code as provided by Microsoft, only using Java instead of Visual Basic. It then goes into the benefits of generating content in this fashion, and how it's a superior method to other technologies such as CGI and ASP coding. The rest of the book then goes into great detail (with a large number of examples) on the specifics of JSP syntax. The author does an excellent job of meshing the approach of a tutorial with actual detail that can be referenced after you start developing applications.
The author assumes the use of the Tomcat J2EE server package to learn JSP technology. Tomcat is a free download from [...] and it's easy to load and configure. But don't despair if you are using a different web server. The examples are very generic and portable, and with very little effort you can adapt the information to whatever platform you use. In my case, I was using the Websphere platform and had no problems using that server to work my way through the book.
By getting the 3rd edition of the book, you'll learn about the latest versions of the JSP 2.0 specification, as well as the JSTL specification (version 1.1). These were both released in late 2003, so you are getting the latest and greatest as far as the information goes. Since the author was involved in developing the JSTL standards, he has replaced many of his custom examples with the new standard components that are now part of the language. This is extremely important in that you will be learning core language features as you work your way through the book, instead of how the author had to work around deficiencies in the spec.
Conclusion
If you want to keep moving along in the Java-based IBM/Lotus world, servlet and JSP technologies are in your future. While you may not need it right now, you WILL need it. I highly recommend this book as a great starter text on the subject that will grow with you as you learn and work with JSPs.
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