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Question to authors about HFSJ end-of-chapter mock questions

B.Sathish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 372
I would like to know who prepares the mock-exam questions at the back of each chapter in HFSJ, the authors of the chapter or someone else? I am asking this because, some of the questions at the end of each chapter seem to mis-placed - either they are not covered at all or covered in a future chapter. An example would be the questions at the end of the "Developing custom tags" chapter .There were a quite a few questions about jsp:invoke, variable directive in tag files and DynamicAttributes, which were not covered at all in the chapter. In one of the servlets chapter, there was a question on listener attributeReplaced() whose behaviour was actually covered only in the next chapter. Another example-in the deployment chapter, there was a question on the resource-ref tag not covered in the chapter. I can cite many examples like this. I hate to think there would be such "out-of-chapters" questions in the final mock-exam at the end of the book. Such questions do reduce confidence to some extent. If those are included in the exam, they should have been covered in the chapter.
bengt hammarlund
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 17, 2003
Posts: 78
I personally think that it's proposital. It's a way to keep the reader alert, to force us to think and prepare to be ready to answer questions about something we didn't studied yet, a scenario that probably will happen in the real exam.
So it's interesting to be a little more prepared to think, and don't desperate on the real thing. It's like a psychological preparation, instead of only a technical one (I think that is what makes this a great book).

Good luck on the exam and I hope the authors reply this thread, to clarify if I'm right or just plain crazy.


<b><i>Bengt Hammarlund</i><br />� Sun Certified Java Programmer</b>
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8815
    
    5
Hi Sathish,

First I have to put on my bartender hat and ask you to adjust your name to match the JavaRanch naming policy. We've found that if everyone uses their real name the ranch is a lot friendlier.

Ok, now let me put on my author hat. When the book was first published we had quite a rush, because the exam topics were broader than we first judged . As you indicated, there were a few places where exam questions covered topics that we didn't do justice to in the chapter. However, about 8 months ago we made a bunch of corrections to the book, and we thought we'd handled all of those situations. So there are a couple of possibilities:
1 - maybe you got a 1st printing of the book, in which case you should go to the O'Reilly site and print out the errata for the book.
2 - maybe you found some new stuff that we haven't heard about!!! In that case, we'd really appreciate it if you let us know exactly what you've found so you can fix it.

In general, we intend for the chapters to prepare you for the mocks, but occasionally we screw up. We have been told that the mocks in the SCWCD book were especially hard, but most people think that's a good thing.

In any case, if you've encountered problems, please let us know so we can fix them!

Thanks,

Bert


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
B.Sathish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 372
Hi Bert,
Regarding the name - this is my real name . I tried to put just my initial as the second name (the usual convention here in India), but it did not allow me to do so. So I had to put another letter.


Regarding the edition, what I have is :

ISBN: 0-596-00540-7

Printing History:
August 2004, First Edition

Fourth Indian Reprint: May 2005.
ISBN : 81-7366-403-X

I think this is the latest available in India. Was there a version printed after this???

The last numbered page in my book is 854

Does anyone in India have a newer print than this? I would be surprised if someone has. Anyway, I am just planning to read this book and go for the exam.
B.Sathish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 372
one more thing - does anyone's HFSJ book cover these things in the "Developing Custom Tags" chapter (chapter 10)?

1. jsp:invoke standard action
2. Variable directive in tag files
3. DynamicAttributes interface and dynamic-attributes tag in the DD

please let me know if somebody has a HFSJ book that covers these topics inside the chapter...

Bert - do u remember whether you covered these in your second print that you said was released 8 months ago??
B.Sathish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 372
sorry..I meant dynamic-attributes tag in the TLD, not in the DD
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8815
    
    5
Hi Sathish,

I'm going to be out of town for a few days, so I've asked Bryan to take a look at this thread and see where this issue stands. I'll check back upon my return.

- Bert
Bryan Basham
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 30, 2001
Posts: 199
Hello Sathish,

Please allow me to answer your questions.

First thing I want to say is that I was personally responsible for managing the mock questions, both for each chapter and for the final mock. I take personal responsibility for any failures in that regard.

1. jsp:invoke standard action


This standard action is not covered by the SCWCD revB exam; therefore we did not discuss it in the book. My appologies if I included a mock question on this topic; it is out-of-scope of the real exam.

2. Variable directive in tag files


The *topic* of variable declarations in tag files is also out-of-scope of the real exam; unfortunately, there is an item in which you need to know that 'variable' is a valid directive in tag files, but you do not need to know what it does or how you would use it. I personally hate such questions as they are pure memorization. Sorry, but I didn't write that item.

3. DynamicAttributes interface and dynamic-attributes tag in the DD


With this item, I feel that we failed our readers. I could not find any content in the book about dynamic attributes and there are a few questions on the real exam about this topic. If you would like, I will give you a brief tutorial on this topic. Just let me know.

Sincerely,
Bryan Basham
Paul Bourdeaux
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 24, 2004
Posts: 783
Bert and Bryan,

I just wanted to say that I am impressed with your responses to Sathish. It is very professional to take responsibility for any errata the way you have.

I have the first edition of HFS&JSP (Heck, I am one of those people who ordered it LONG before it actually came out ), and I have seen a lot of people complain about the errors. Personally, I have found that the errata page online does a good job of keeping track. My friend just purchased a more recent edition of the book, and it looks like the vast majority of the errors have been corrected. Nice work, and thanks for a great book!


“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” - Rich Cook
B.Sathish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 372
Hi Bryan,
Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. Despite the errors, I should say that the book is excellent and helped me learn a lot and has given me a lot of confidence to take the exam. It would be great if you could give us a short write-up on dynamic attributes. I think that would benefit everyone going to take the exam.

Thanks a lot again..
Bryan Basham
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 30, 2001
Posts: 199
Originally posted by B Sathish:
Hi Bryan,
Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. Despite the errors, I should say that the book is excellent and helped me learn a lot and has given me a lot of confidence to take the exam. It would be great if you could give us a short write-up on dynamic attributes. I think that would benefit everyone going to take the exam.

Thanks a lot again..


Hi Sathish,

Sorry for the delays, but this was harder than I thought it would be. I have created a new thread called "Tutorial on Dynamic Attributes". I hope that you enjoy it.

Cheers,
Bryan
 
 
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