I'm new to struts, and using JSP scripting for a while but want to use JSTL, anyone have good recommandation of books? I search amazon.com and every book got good and very bad comments I'm too confused to pick a good one. Thanks.
I agree with Bear that you need to have a good understanding of JSP & Serlvets before attempting to tackle Struts. Once you are ready, here are some thoughts... I have read a couple Struts books, but have yet to find one that I can recommend highly above all others. I find each has some strengths, but also some weaknesses. Again, the O'Reilly book, Programming Jakarta Struts is a great book, but when I read it, it was my first exposure to Struts and I found it daunting. After having a better foundation, I reread it and found it very informative. (Note I read the 1st Edition, but the 2nd is now out.) I think the "problem" with writing a Struts book is that Struts is a complex and large framework, and it can be hard to organize the presentation of the material in a easy flowing manner. In the end, I read about 4 books on Struts, picking up different things from different books and via repetition. But in the end, I learned Struts by developing a mid-sized Struts application. O'Reilly did recently publish the Jakarta Struts Cookbook, and it looks like it may make a good reference book, but I have not had a chance to read any of it,
While Amazon and its reviews are great, in the end I often find the best way to pick a book is to spend a Saturday in a good brick & mortar bookstore and read a chapter or two from each book. Other people's recommendations and reviews are going to be based on their learning style, the type of organization they like in a book, and their level of knowledge that they already have.
I am also new to JSP's, servlets, and Struts but making great headway thanks to an Extension class I'm taking from the local university. The course is on Struts, but because there are only 10 of us in the room our discussions go everywhere. The instructor answers all e-mails inbetween classes, so that helps the learning curve too.
I have found that this topic takes you to about every topic in the J2EE realm. Not only JSPs, Servlets, but JNDI, JDBC, HTML, and especially DESIGN PATTERNS.
Because of this stew of technologies, I found the Safari subscription helpful. It is part of O'Reilly. You pay a flat fee every month ($19) and can have up to ten (10) books on your virtual bookshelf. The book has to stay on the bookshelf for at least 30 days, after which you can swap it for another book or keep it. If you find you really like a book, you can buy it from them on line at a discount.
A lot of books are available on Safari, not just the ones from O'Reilly. Unfortunately the Head First series is not available. My theory is that those books have too much graphics and cutsey images to be economically placed on-line. I like the Head First series, especially their book on design patterns.
I have been a Safari subscriber for almost 2 years now, and I love it. It should be noted that Safari allows printing, and in fact have a "print" button on all pages. They also have a subscription option that allows you to purchase download tokens to download chapters. I know some people do not like reading from the screen, but I am fortunate that it doesn't bother me. I suspect that the distain of reading e-books from the screen will decrease in its commonality as the "younger" generation, having grown up with computers, will be more use to that type of thing.