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To Authors : Writing a JSF book

Varun Khanna
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Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
A bit off topic, but can you share how much of effort does it requires to write a book? What were the main obstacle you guys faced?

And with the technology being new, I would be really interested in knowing from where did you guys gathered the resources and content for writing the book apart from the Sun's specs.

Did you guys ran examples and stuff to do prove of concept before penning the concept down.

Thanks


- Varun
Cay Horstmann
author
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Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 114
    
  10
First off, we both really wanted to write the book. We both were frustrated with the limitations of JSP, envied the ease of use of ASP.NET and loved the promise of "Swing for the web". That made the pain much more bearable.

David managed to get onto the expert group, so he had a bit more insight. It was rather awkward that he couldn't share it until it became public, but that couldn't be helped.

Then we asked ourselves: If we were recent converts to Java with limited web development experience, in which order would we want to learn the material?

We did NOT want to trace the evolutionary history of CGI scripts -> servlets -> JSP -> JSF. (After all, when you learn Java, you don't first learn C and C++.)

That gave us a table of contents (which changed a few times as the spec got more complex). For example, you will note that there is no JSF-specific coding until the second half of chapter 6 (when we get into custom converters and validators).

Then we wrote examples and more examples. And rewrote them many times. And kept notes of all the grief we ran into. We prefer working from our own experience rather than simply rephrasing the official spec.

David wrote a couple of articles for JavaWorld, and I posted early drafts on corejsf.com. That gave us a lot of feedback.

Once the first public beta came out, we went into crunch mode and wrote up all our notes. Then we rewrote each other's chapters.

It turned out to take longer than expected. There was one major spec change that caused quite a bit of reorganization (i.e. value bindings), but perhaps that was just as well. A couple of books had jumped the gun and obsolete upon publication.

The hardest thing was to work from the application programmer's point of view. The official spec and Hans Bergsten's book are more focused on the underlying plumbing. Sure, the people who implement a new JSF implementation, and the wizard-level programmers who need to achieve special effects, really need to know the plumbing. But we tried very hard to present JSF as a useful and organic whole, just like a Java book focuses on Java language features and not the virtual machine.

Cheers,

Cay


Author of Java 8 for the Really Impatient
Varun Khanna
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Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
Thanks Cay for providing deep insight into the process which resulted in such a wonderful outcome for whole community !!!

Thanks again and all the very best
[ December 15, 2004: Message edited by: K Varun ]
Varun Khanna
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
Hey David/Cay,

Are you guys planning to write /or already in the process of writing
a book on Advanced JSF or related stuff?

Thanks,
[ December 17, 2004: Message edited by: K Varun ]
Cay Horstmann
author
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Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 114
    
  10
Well, actually, we haven't. But it's certainly worth thinking about. What topics would you like to see covered?

Cheers,

Cay
Varun Khanna
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Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
The current book is doing a good job of teaching the basic JSF.

Now, if you look into any forum/discussion/ articles etc. there is still a lot of confusion regarding Struts <-Vs-> JSF.
Though I believe you have covered this topic in your book (haven't gone through as we are developing our application from scratch) how about dedicating a small book over this topic.
I believe if JSF emerges, more and more of the existing Struts apps are going to migrate to/integrate with JSF and in that case the book can be of greater help.
I haven't worked on Struts, but I can see to many ideas floating around : some saying JSF is replacing Struts, some saying there isn't no comparison at all, some saying together they can make a deadly combo etc. etc.
How about clarifying all the doubts in a single bundle
Varun Khanna
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Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
.. and offcourse a Certification book
(I know it's too early to request for)
Ko Ko Naing
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Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by K Varun:
.. and offcourse a Certification book
(I know it's too early to request for)


A JSF Certification Book? Oh I don't think only JSF topic wouldn't be enough to make a cert for it... Maybe it could be added to SCWCD or as a part of a new cert... Well, I guess it is really really early for now... We cannot even ensure about the future of JSF...


Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0
Varun Khanna
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
My point was over just an optimistic thought.

Originally posted by Ko Ko Naing:


A JSF Certification Book? Oh I don't think only JSF topic wouldn't be enough to make a cert for it... Maybe it could be added to SCWCD or as a part of a new cert... Well, I guess it is really really early for now... We cannot even ensure about the future of JSF...


I agree.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: To Authors : Writing a JSF book
 
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