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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Mastering Jakarta Struts
Author:
James Goodwill
ISBN:
0-471-21302-0
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
335
Price:
£27-95
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
java; internet
Appeared in:
16-4
This is a guide to making your first steps using the Jakarta Struts framework. It is a typical example that the average shelf life of computing books is not very high, as the technology of new frameworks like Struts evolve too quickly. The Struts project was created in May 2000, the book published in 2002, and I am reading the book in April 2004. Looking on the Struts website I notice that a lot of things are not described at all in the book: the ValidatorForm, the Tiles extension, difference between MVC Model 1 and Model 2.

The book contains some curious cut and paste errors, e.g. Part I in the contents has the title "JXTA Overview", it seems like the publisher has used one of its other books as a template.

The book contains three parts; the first part forms an overview of Tomcat, JSPs and Struts. The second part, titled Core Struts, works through a basic example of how to use Struts. The third part of the book is not very useful: it covers the

struts-config.xml
file, and four tag libraries (the bean tag library, the html tag library, the logic tag library and the template library). They are not treated in a useful way; they repeat the attributes of similar tags, often related to equivalent HTTP headers or HTML tag attributes.

People with relative little experience in writing JSPs and using Tomcat, and who want to read an introduction to Jakarta Struts will still benefit from reading this book. The book is pleasantly written, and guides you by the hand with small understandable and practical examples.

It is a pity that everything is kept so simple, and more difficult questions are avoided. For example, a Plugin is loading a properties file with the code:

File file = new File("PATH TO PROPERTIES FILE");

This is an excellent opportunity missed to treat the general problem of how to load a properties file in a web server's context.

The Tomcat deployment examples are also too simplistic; the book does not even mention how to deploy a web service using a

.war
file, or how to use ant or any other tool to compile your Java files.