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Question for David

Rob Hunter
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Joined: Apr 09, 2002
Posts: 805
I'm kinda curious about glassfish and your book to be honest. Is glassfish freeware as (for example) JBoss? Is it configured similarly to JBoss (i.e. would you say it's easier, harder, or about the same to use for a beginner as would be JBoss)? I had recently switched from JRun to using JBoss and wouldn't mind switching again if it was easier to configure and use glassfish.
Few questions about your book, what level of programmer (or range) is this book intended? I do have some java knowledge but sometimes feel intimidated by some of the more advanced books out there on subjects such as this (+ as another poster asked, Sun's random, inconsistent naming convention doesn't help matters much). What are some of the core areas you focus on? I recently read a book on J2EE that focused quite a bit on RMI. Is your book geared more towards general interest or does it incorporate general business applications, examples, etc..,? Thanks for your time and welcome to the wonderful world of javaranch.

Rob
David Heffelfinger
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Joined: Jul 08, 2004
Posts: 176
Rob,

GlassFish is free to download, you can get it here, it is open source, like JBoss.

I think GlassFish is easier to configure than JBoss. Typically JBoss is configured by hand editing XML configuration files. Glassfish includes a very user friendly web administration console.

The book assumes some Java knowledge, no previous knowledge of GlassFish, Java EE or J2EE is assumed.

The book covers all major technologies and APIs included in Java EE 5 including JavaServer Faces, EJB 3, the Java Persistence API, JAX-WS (web services), servlets, JSPs, security, JMS, etc. It also covers frameworks that build on top of the Java EE specification such as Facelets, Ajax4jsf and Seam. It does not focus on one particular technology or API, all of them are given about an equal amount of attention.

The examples in the book tend to be a bit on the simple side. I chose to make the examples this way to avoid having to add code that is irrelevant to the topic at hand. In my opinion, this leads to easier to follow examples.

David


Author, <a href="http://www.packtpub.com/java-ee5-development-with-netbeans-6" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Java EE 5 Development with NetBeans 6</a>
Craig Bayley
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Joined: Sep 27, 2007
Posts: 46
Simple examples are good, but sometimes it can be hard to translate from simple examples to real world solutions. I appreciate it isn't the role of a book to provide the answers in full to application development and deployment, but, can you recommend a good online walkthrough for Glassfish that goes into nitty gritty detail of developing and deploying a realistic system...

Or, is that the next book? Or, any plans to do that online somewhere yourself?
Rob Hunter
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Joined: Apr 09, 2002
Posts: 805
Thanks for the response. It sounds like a decent book for the level that I'm at. I agree with the bit on examples you mentioned. Basic examples to start off with allows the reader to get a thorough understanding of the basics before moving on. If the examples are clear the reader/programmer can take it from there and expand on it to whatever direction he/she wants. Thanks for the info on glassfish too, I'll definitely have to take a look at that. Do you know who/which group is behind it's development? Oh, which tools do you normally use (or suggest in your book) to use when developing your java applications and do you have any additional advice/info on the development tools you use? Currently I use Macromedia Dreamweaver but I've heard there are some really good freeware tools out there as well. One final thing: what would be the best test environment to be in for trying out most of the code in your book? Just wondering (since EE) if one computer running XP Prof would suffice or would it be better to try much of the code on a network of computers? Being unfamilar with Java EE, I'm unsure whether or not learning Java EE at home would be practical or not and if it might be something to experiment with at work. Thanks again for the info.
David Heffelfinger
author
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Joined: Jul 08, 2004
Posts: 176
Craig,

Although there are no definite plans to write a second book on GlassFish, there is always the possibility.

Most examples and walkthroughs I have seen online tend to be fairly focused as well.

Most that books that choose to present a realistic application tend to develop a single application throughout the book, starting very simple and adding features as the book moves along. The disadvantage of this feature is that if a reader is interested in learning about a feature discusses in, say, chapter 5, the examples won't be very easy to follow if the reader hasn't read the first four chapters. For this reason I chose the approach of having small, self contained, simple examples.

I may write a tutorial or two online, but to present a realistic application would take a lot more material than a typical online tutorial has.

David
[ November 27, 2007: Message edited by: David Heffelfinger ]
Rob Hunter
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Joined: Apr 09, 2002
Posts: 805
The whole broken down approach is the best approach as far as I'm concerned but to be honest (and doing a fair bit of reading elsewhere) I've found most people do the "complete" application bit. By the time chapter N gets hit you have to read a novel to get what you're really looking for. Books set up like that get pretty repetitive too and, if they don't, you have to be flicking back and forth to look at different sections of the program to see how they fit together.
One small thing David, when you set up glassfish do you run it as a service? If so, how do you get it running as a service? In JBoss, I use JavaService to accomplish this. Thanks, I'll definitely take a look next time I'm at Chapters to see if you're book is there.

Rob
David Heffelfinger
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2004
Posts: 176
GlassFish is led by Sun, however it is open source and anyone can contribute to its development (Of course, any patches submitted by non committers are tested and aproved before applied).

The book doesn't suggest any particular tools to develop or build. The examples use Maven 2 as a build tool. For those unfamiliar with Maven, all you need to know is that once it is installed, all you need to do to build any project is execute "mvn package" from the same directory where the Maven build file (pom.xml) is located. This command will compile and build a JAR/WAR/EAR file as necessary.

Regarding the tools I use, I like Maven, and I used Eclipse to develop the examples in the book. However, I recently tried NetBeans and like it a lot. Lately I've been using NetBeans 6 RC1 for my development. Either IDE will suite your needs just fine. The only slight advantage is that NetBeans comes integrated with GlassFish out of the box, where with Eclipse you need to install a plugin.

One computer running XP pro (or Linux, Or Mac OS X, or XP Home, or Vista) should be more than enough. You might want to have at least 1 gig of RAM, but if you have more even better. You can learn Java EE 5 with your home equipment (given that you have enough RAM) with ease.

I didn't set up Glassfish as a service, but it can be done.

David
 
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