<pre>Author/s : Jonas Jacobi, John R. Fallows Publisher : Apress Category :J2EE Review by : Lasse Koskela Rating : 7 horseshoes</pre> First of all, let it be known that I have no working experience with JSF. As such, I could imagine it not being too pleasant a surprise to some readers that the authors start by recommending other, more basic JSF books because the content will dive right into the deep end. It would be quite alright--it is a "Pro" book, after all--except that the graphic on the back cover implies that no prior JSF knowledge is required. Probably not an issue with most readers, but still worth mentioning, I think.
Regarding the book's content, there's a quite robust structure in place where the authors begin by developing a couple of JSF components (a "deck" container and a date field) through chapters 2 and 3, after giving a run-through overview of JSF in chapter 1. Even though the examples are growing in somewhat large leaps, it is helpful to see the components develop rather than getting them "off the shelf"--otherwise chapters 6 and 7 where the authors show us how to Ajaxify the two JSF components (deck and date field) would've likely been too much information in too short a timeframe.
The examples are thorough and come with loads of readable code listings. In addition, many complex topics were further clarified with a good use of graphics.
The book's scope is a bit too scattered, I think. The authors have dedicated chapter 5 for a useful open source add-on called Weblets, which I consider a good decision. I do not, however, agree with the decision to allocate over a hundred pages for Mozilla XUL and Microsoft HTC. XUL, for example, is a nice technology and serves as a good example of an "alternative" render kit for the de facto HTML one. Still, I would've preferred seeing more complex Ajax techniques such as file uploads demonstrated with JSF instead of just talking about them.
To summarize, I consider the strengths of this book being the thorough examples developed through the chapters and the effective use of graphics to illustrate architectures, execution sequences, and class diagrams. On the negative side, the text was rather heavy and thus difficult to keep up with. Furthermore, some of the more "exotic" content should've been traded in for additional Ajax material, in my opinion. All in all, there's a bunch of information packed into these covers that you're not likely to find elsewhere in such a compact format. I'm giving this one 7 horseshoes. More info at Amazon.com More info at Amazon.co.uk
Book Review Team
Joined: Feb 15, 2002
<pre>Review by : Mark Spritzler Rating : 9 horseshoes</pre> When I first saw this title, I thought it was going to teach me how to do JSF and how to hook up JSF to make web pages that use Ajax, so I could create that great app I always wanted. But that is not what this book is about. I just wanted you to know up front.
So what is this book about? It shows you how to create your own custom JSF tags and create some really cool UI widgets. It expects you to have the basic JSF knowledge already, hence the "Pro" in the title. Since I had no JSF background, I had to read another book to get me up to speed.
This book teaches you all about the JSF phases and steps you need to take to create your cool widget. The book uses a Data Picker and a Deck component as their guides, both of which you can use in your own apps. The Deck component is really cool for that MS Outlook Toolbar look and feel. Anyway, I thought they did a great job, I feel confident that I could create my own JSF tags, and that there isn't any other book like it on the market.
If you really want to do some cool stuff, get this book.