I'm looking for a good online tutorial to get started and was hoping to get some good suggestions here. I'm a web designer surrounded by developers who have basically hijacked our website and who want to move everything to the struts/tiles framework. I agree that this is a good idea, but if I don't learn the basics of Java - classes, config files, and basically all of the concepts associated with our new development environemt I'll be left in the dust and obsolete. I'm pretty good at working around java code or reusing it to make similar pages and basically knowing how to not break pages when I redesign, but I need to get my arms around Java ASAP. I've already taken a few tutorials such as one entitled "Your First Cup of Java" and that was good, but I need to take a few more basic turorials in order for this stuff to start sinking in. Any good leads would be appreciated.
Learning Struts is non-trivial because it draws on a bunch of different technologies. First and foremost, use the Java Tutorial. You said you had been through the "first cup" section. Don't miss Learning the Java Language and Essential Java Classes trails. Those trails give you a good cross-section of the Java API. You can skip the GUI-oriented trails since you are doing server-side programming. Next, consult the Java 2 Enterprise Edition Tutorial for the web-specific technologies. There's a lot on web services (don't bother right now) and XML (get the basics of what XML is so you can work with Struts config files). Chapter 11 is where things get relevant. Servlets and JSP's are what Struts is made of. You should be done around chapter 16 unless you are doing internationalization or serious EJB programming. Next you can get to what you want to know, how to use Struts to get things done. I worked with Struts over the summer and the on-line documentation was scant, so get the Oreilly "Programming Jakarta Struts" book by Cavaness. It has a lot of good background information on how all these technologies work together. Good luck.