I want to get into XML and JSP for fun. I got one of the heads first books on Servlets and JSP and the book says that I need to get the JAVA book first. Do I really need to do this or can I do what I want from this book? I want to have a form page which submits images and plain text into a database and then the daabase will spit out an XML document which I will parse with XSLT and all that jazz. This is the popular way to do things now and I want to keep my skills up, I don't want to write an executable program or anything crazy, just a nice simple CMS type page, but I do want to understand the code and write it myself.
I choose Java because my company currently uses that technology, I thought about .net and stuff for a while but I think I will be more interested in Java and I like open source. However with that said I was surprised how sparse the JAVA/JSP section in the book store was compared to the .NET/VB section, even the PHP section was nice.
Sorry if I used any terminology incorrectly, learning!
So in conclusion, do I really need to get the Java book and LEARN Java first? Do you know of any great online forums or communities for newbie's like me. I try not to ask to terribly annoying questions.
If I were you, I would go with Tapestry as opposed to JSPs/Servlets. Tapestry is HTML focused and you can use your favorite WYSIWYG editor to edit your Tapestry pages. I highly recommend the Tapestry in Action book!
James Carman, President<br />Carman Consulting, Inc.
Joined: Mar 01, 2005
i like the name, but will i really be coding? I'm not a dreamweaver user, I hand code XHTML and CSS. TopStyle for this girl. WYSIWYG is for wimps
We're pleased to have you here with us on the Ranch, but there are a few rules that need to be followed, and one is that proper names are required. Please take a look at the JavaRanch Naming Policy and adjust your display name to match it.
In particular, your display name must be a first and a last name separated by a space character, and must not be obviously fictitious.
Well, Tapestry is for the HTML-minded folks. It's a component-based web application framework. Once you get used to it, you'll love it! The fact that you can use a WYSIWYG editor isn't the main feature, but it's a nice side effect! Check it out at http://jakarta.apache.org/tapestry/index.html.
Even though JSPs can and should be coded with very little or no actual java code in them, JSPs are made to function in a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) environment. That means that JSPs necessarily rely on java objects such as javaBeans and Servlets as a part of their overall environment. This means that in order to effectively write JSPs and the objects they rely on, you really do have to have some understanding of the Java language itself. If you are serious about really understanding how to code JSP effectively, and not just hack at it, you should get a book on Java and learn the basics of the language.
If you haven't spent some time learning Java, do that first. A Google search on "Java Tutorial" will bring up plenty. Get a firm grasp on packages, and the concept of a CLASSPATH for class loading.
After that, learn servlets. You should start with servlets because they are the most obvious. Like a piano, they're laid out plain and simple. Pay close attention to how they're threaded and why you should avoid instance variables until you know exactly what you're doing with them.
Once you have a basic understanding of servlets, you are ready to learn JSP. JSPs get compiled into servlets. They abstract the servlet concepts so that a web designer can work with them without understanding anything about servlets. For a web designer, this is good. For a programmer who doesn't understand servlets, this is like stomping around in deep leaves, you never really know what you're stepping in until it's too late. Once you understand how JSPs abstract servlet concepts, they are a very convenient and powerfull way for you to quickly update the view of your app without mucking in the business logic.
I like "Core Servlets and Java Server Pages" by Marty Hall. It teaches things in the right order. It's available for free online: http://pdf.coreservlets.com. The free version "first edition" is a little dated but still good. If you can afford it, pick up the second edition and save yourself some headaches getting the examples to run.
That is the shortest approach to getting familar with JSP. According to me