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JSTL/JSF/Velocity

deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Dear Seniors,


I have mostly worked on middle tier and back-end.
These days I am trying to get my hands dirty in Java Front-end development. However, I am not able to decide which is the best technology to use for front-end development.( JSTL or JSF or Velocity templates )
I know some concepts of Sevlets/JSP, HTML/JavaScript.

Please help!!!

Thanks.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61424
    
  67

My advice is to become proficient at JSP and JSTL before diving off into other frameworks.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Thanks bear!
I really appreciate that.
To be very honest, I am planning to make my own website(web application). So, I am looking for some book which could give me practical examples that I could refer to while creating my web pages. (I am going to be using Struts).
Could you kindly suggest a good book on JSP/JSTL.
David Newton
Author
Rancher

Joined: Sep 29, 2008
Posts: 12617

I hope you're not planning on using Struts 1--it's quite antiquated.

I echo Bear's suggestion, with a particular note to *not* learn Velocity first--it's really, really simple to use, and if you ever need it you can pick it up in a few days.

I'd also steer clear of JSF, but that's partially just opinion.
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Thank You David!

I will follow your and Bear's advice. I ll go with JSP/JSTL first.
Now, the question is from where to start...which is the best book that can help me start working on JSP pages in a few days.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61424
    
  67

The Head First book seems popular. Whatever you use, make sure it's up to date, focusing on JSTL/EL and not scriptlets.
Mark E Hansen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2009
Posts: 645
deepak thakur wrote:Thank You David!

I will follow your and Bear's advice. I ll go with JSP/JSTL first.
Now, the question is from where to start...which is the best book that can help me start working on JSP pages in a few days.

I like the In Action books from Manning publications. I went through JSTL in Action and it was quite informative.
Good luck with your project!
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Bear,

Yes, I have read Head First .. its a fabulous book for understanding Servlets and JSP concepts. It doesn't cover JSP in detail though (it's my personal opinion). To be precise, I am looking for practical examples, a full web page as opposed to just the code snippets.
Since I have very less exposure of front end, so I am curious to know how it glues together with html/xhtml. Later on I'd like to use either struts (not sure about 1.x or 2.x yet) or spring.
I also intend to take the help of AJAX and JQuery but only after I get comfortable with JS.
To be very honest, I have never created a web site on my own. So, I am in a kind of brainstorming stage at the moment. I'd like to use spring core and hibernate/jpa for database interaction.

I am getting valuable information from this forum and very good responses from you guys and I hope I'll continue to get tips and advice as I progress through my quest for developing a website.
Thank you.


Thanks Mark for you wishes! I will definitely try JSTL in Action.
William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke
Rancher

Joined: Mar 22, 2000
Posts: 12805
    
    5
My advice is to get Tomcat installed (as an application from the zipped download, not a service) on your work machine and experiment with the JSP and servlet examples it comes with. Examining and modifying working code to watch what happens is the fastest way to get started IMHO.

Bill
Kevin Eddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2010
Posts: 74
I'd recommend using Netbeans for learning servlet's and jsp's. It's got some wizards for creating projects. You can focus on the code without having to worry about configuring your deployment descriptor etc. It integrates nicely with tomcat or glassfish. When you get into javascript, Head First has an awesome book. I read it all the way through. Then of course a JQuery book follows. JQuery makes Ajax real easy. You'll also want Firefox and firebug....essential for developing css.
David Newton
Author
Rancher

Joined: Sep 29, 2008
Posts: 12617

I'd strongly recommend *against* using an IDE when just starting out.

It adds another layer of complexity, does too much work thus not allowing you to actually *learn* what's going on, and fosters over-reliance on the tools, and under-reliance on the brain. (Of course, I wouldn't recommend Notepad, either, but a plain text editor with Java and JSP/HTML/XML highlighting is sufficient.)

In my opinion beginners should *not* use wizards or *anything* that takes away from direct knowledge of what's happening "under the covers".
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
David Newton wrote:I'd strongly recommend *against* using an IDE when just starting out.

It adds another layer of complexity, does too much work thus not allowing you to actually *learn* what's going on, and fosters over-reliance on the tools, and under-reliance on the brain. (Of course, I wouldn't recommend Notepad, either, but a plain text editor with Java and JSP/HTML/XML highlighting is sufficient.)

In my opinion beginners should *not* use wizards or *anything* that takes away from direct knowledge of what's happening "under the covers".


I completely agree with David.
This is exactly what Kathy Siera also tells in her Head First books. Well, she recommends using a text editor as it helps one remember so many things, puts a lot of pressure on the brain which aids in learning. On the contrary, some IDE's like Netbeans do most of the work and you don't actually get a chance to understand stuff which is quintessential for development. Setting the environment, taking care of web.xml and related configurations is very important too. I had always used eclipse, however, I started using Netbeans while I was going through Sun's Java EE tutorial on webservices. I developed some sample applications both REST and SOAP based using that IDE but to be very honest, I still do not know the basic concepts (what happens behind the scenes) as the IDE did most of the job. Put it some other way, I am not able to develop webservices if I don't have access to Netbeans. Then I started started reading SOA Architecture using Java WS (Mark E Hansen). But somehow it was quite overwhelming for me and I left it in the middle. I am still looking for a good book. I wish there was a book from Head First for webervices too LOL!.

Coming back to our original topic, the project's directory structure (not the war file) in Netbeans is very different from what is expected and it confuses a learner/beginner. For example, the directory structure for a web app has a 'lib' folder inside WEB-INF but the structure that the wizard creates in netbeans has libraries in different folders under that project (or referenced some where else).
It has many other folders too which are actually not a part of war file.
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Kevin Eddy wrote:I'd recommend using Netbeans for learning servlet's and jsp's. It's got some wizards for creating projects. You can focus on the code without having to worry about configuring your deployment descriptor etc. It integrates nicely with tomcat or glassfish. When you get into javascript, Head First has an awesome book. I read it all the way through. Then of course a JQuery book follows. JQuery makes Ajax real easy. You'll also want Firefox and firebug....essential for developing css.


Thank you Kevin.
Netbeans is a very good IDE, I've been using it lately but it hasn't proved a very good tool (for me) while learning as I wan't to understand other aspects of the web application too.
Head First, oh yeah, they have published some very good books. I've read Head First Servlets and JSP and Head First SQL. Awesome books!! I've got Head First Javascipt and Head First AJAX too but haven't read em yet. Wish they had published books on all the major areas of Java development

Thanks again for providing some useful info.
Kevin Eddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2010
Posts: 74
deepak thakur wrote:Then I started started reading SOA Architecture using Java WS (Mark E Hansen).


Do you mean Mark D Hansen?
I have that book and plan on going through it myself.

David is right. The IDE can take care of things by hiding some aspects of development. But for me, I found it useful to start with. I'm by no means a Java God so I needed it to start.
Mark E Hansen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2009
Posts: 645
Well, I was pretty sure it wasn't me, but then I figured I wasn't the only one on the planet with my name
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Kevin Eddy wrote:
deepak thakur wrote:Then I started started reading SOA Architecture using Java WS (Mark E Hansen).


Do you mean Mark D Hansen?
I have that book and plan on going through it myself.

David is right. The IDE can take care of things by hiding some aspects of development. But for me, I found it useful to start with. I'm by no means a Java God so I needed it to start.


oops. my apologies. yes, it is Mark D Hansen. Seems to be a really long day for me :confused:
deepak thakur
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 23, 2010
Posts: 8
Mark E Hansen wrote:Well, I was pretty sure it wasn't me, but then I figured I wasn't the only one on the planet with my name

I am sorry Mark, you are not the culprit. By the way, it doesn't really hurts to be an author of a book and that too of one of the most eluded technologies (for me so far).
 
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subject: JSTL/JSF/Velocity