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Jakarta Pitfalls by Bill Dudney and Jonathan Lehr

Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 944
<pre>Author/s : Bill Dudney and Jonathan Lehr
Publisher : Wiley Technology Publishing
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Salman Halim
Rating : 8 horseshoes
</pre>
This book goes over issues that plague developers when they are using the Jakarta technologies. These problems are usually the result of a lack of experience but can also be caused by there not being enough time to refactor code. The pitfalls are not farfetched and I did recognize a few in my current code!
The book covers three main Jakarta topics; specifically, they are: testing (Cactus and JUnit), Struts (ActionForms, Actions and TagLibs/JSPS) and Ant. One thing it covers for each of the categories is copy/paste code: avoiding code duplication by extracting common code into separate modules, something that may not happen to a developer EVERY situation but won't be too foreign.
The layout of the pitfalls is quite useable: the situation giving rise to each pitfall is explained, followed by a concrete example demonstrating the pitfall -- this helps clarify how this sort of thing COULD actually happen and isn't just a hypothetical problem the authors concocted. Following that is a description of the solution as well as a step-by-step procedure to FIX existing code that's fallen prey to same (this is nice). Then, finally, the broken example introduced earlier is fixed.
The code examples in this book are QUITE extensive and it is good that they are available online so one doesn't have to type them in! Some of the examples contain generic code that is immediately reusable by developers and so has practical rather than merely instructive use also.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 944
<pre>
Review by : Thomas Paul
Rating : 9 horseshoes
</pre>
I have to admit that I am a big fan of antipattern books. There are many ways to code an application but a few of those ways will cause problems in the long run both in debugging and maintenance. This book looks at four of the most popular Jakarta applications, JUnit, Cactus, Struts, and Ant, and shows the most common problems that you encounter when using these applications. The book gives a chapter each to Ant and the two testing applications JUnit and Cactus but the majority of the book is dedicated to Struts.
Each chapter looks at several programming mistakes and then discusses ways to revise your code to fix these mistakes and make your code more robust. The problems with certain coding styles are well explained with clear reasoning as to why you don't want to code a particular way. Corrective solutions are well documented with plenty of code samples to show both before and after images.
Although the chapters on testing and Ant are good, the heart of the book is the chapters on Struts. The authors discuss potential problems using Actions, ActionForms, and the Struts tag library. Some problems can just make your code more difficult to maintain while others can introduce intermittent bugs that are very difficult to diagnose. Anyone who is using Struts should absolutely read these chapters, as it will save you from making some simple mistakes that could cause a lot of long-term pain in your development.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
In the book review teams experience, is there a "got it in one " book on Struts, Ant, JSTL, JSP topics ?
If not could anyone recommend a collection of books to cover these topics ?
ANOTHER question for Frank mainly:
Have you come across better blogging books for the advanced technical user who'd like to keep up with better and far-reaching ways of blogging other than the one you reviewed below ?
Blogging : Genious Strategies for Instant Web Content
Thanks so much!
regards
[ October 06, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Book review is not easy. how many hours do you guys spend? :roll:


Groovy
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
In the book review teams experience, is there a "got it in one " book on Struts, Ant, JSTL, JSP topics ?
If not could anyone recommend a collection of books to cover these topics ?
ANOTHER question for Frank mainly:
Have you come across better blogging books for the advanced technical user who'd like to keep up with better and far-reaching ways of blogging other than the one you reviewed below ?
Blogging : Genious Strategies for Instant Web Content
Thanks so much!
regards
[ October 06, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]

These two questions would probably be good candidates for a couple of posts to Bunkhouse Porch.
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Thanks , I'll take your cue, Jason.

regards
[ October 06, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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