A question for the authors. I was looking at the table of contents and found a downloadable chapter which was the Tomact chapter. My question is why did you decide not to cover development on Linux or Mac? I think this is a real void in the Java Book space in general. I am moving to Java development because of it's cross platofrm abilities. I understand that windows is the standard but until authors embrace the other platforms available Linux, Mac, Solaris, etc. New developers will continue to flock to windows because that is where the books lead them. I'm not trying to cause a windows debate here, but Java is very much about choice and I thought it odd that you did not cover installation and deployment on anything but Windows. Sal Ditefano
I'm not an author, but here's my opinion. I think the assumption, right or wrong, is that if you're a Unix user (Linux, Solaris, etc..) you are probably a fairly technical person and can make the translations when given instructions for Windows. I know the Mac people are as fanatical as Unix users and I assume the same would apply there as well. I bought the Murach's JSP & Servlets book a week or so ago, and even though, like you, I noticed the author's were working on Windows, I thought nothing of it. As you mentioned, Java is a cross platform language, so other than tool setup I really shouldn't care. And again, the assumption is that if you've chosen Unix as your preferred OS, that you're an under-the-hood, hands on type of person and can figure out how to install Java, Tomcat, etc... on your own. As far as the argument that new developers will flock to Windows because books are leading them there I think is unfounded. I suppose if you decided out of the blue that you wanted to be a programmer (and for the life of me I can't see why you'd do that in this economy) and ran down to your local Walmart to buy one of those ultra cheap computers that has Linux installed. Bought a programming book that only mentioned development in the Windows environment, then you might think, "crap... I need to install Windows". Again, this is just my opinion.... anyone else?
Hi Sal. Thanks for the question. When we were developing "Murach's Java Servlets and JSP", we decided to show how to configure a test environment in Windows (the JDK, Tomcat, and MySQL) because we figured that most of the potential readers of our book would be configuring a test environment under Windows. We're not trying to steer anyone to Windows over Linux or Mac, it's just that all the stastics that we've seen show that most people, even Java developers, use Windows. Let me know if you think that I'm wrong on this point, or if you have any statistics that indicate otherwise. Since Java is cross-platform, it would have been ideal to show how to configure a test environment for all operating systems, but we have limited resources, and you can imagine how much time and effort that would take. In fact, I wanted to cover this information in an appendix, but we ran out of time. Plus, the information about how to install the JDK, Tomcat, and MySQL on other operating systems is available on the web, and we tried to provide links to the appropiate sites for Linux and Mac users in the book (most notably, the link to the Tomcat site). As Jon pointed out, once you configure a test environment, the code is cross-platform, so the coding skills that you learn apply to all platforms. In fact, although we developed and tested most of the code for this book on a Windows machine, we also uploaded this code to a server running under Unix, and it works there too.
Hi It makes perfect sense that you need to put the resources torwards where they are most beneficial. I have just noted many new developers have more trouble setting up a development environment on the linux or mac then windows. Maybe I'll write an article! Thank you for the response. Sal