Finally I’m Learning Struts…

I am one of a handful of Java developers in this world that hasn’t “really” learned Struts yet. Yes, I’ve seen numerous presentations at my local User Group , JavaMUG, on Struts. And I’ve read dozens of articles/tutorials on various java-related sites/blogs.

Well, times are a changing…. In a beautiful coincidence, and both in the same month…. The J2EE SIG I co-lead,, had “Intro to Struts” on the schedule, and I started at a new client doing work on a Struts-based application.

After a bit of panic I start searching for a book on Struts. I wanted something recent; covering Struts 1.2. The book I choose was Struts Essential Skills. I read the review on Amazon, and then flipped through it at the greatest book store in the world,, and then I bought it.

Instead of rewriting the review I left for the book on I’ll just put a link to the review here, and give a quick comment on the book.

I will advise against buying the Struts Essentials book. The examples are almost impossible to follow. Every class/jsp file in the example apps are named So think how this looks. When working through the examples in a chapter, say ch 4. The files look like this: index.jsp = ch04_1.jsp, an ActionForm =, an Action =, a POJO =, and finally a results.jsp = ch04_5.jsp.

Then try to imagine how hard it is to take these horribly named files and tie them together when looking at a web.xml and struts-config.xml. It’s very annoying. I hate to say it, but maybe I should thank the author for making the examples so hard to follow because I’ve had to work extra hard to understand the relationships and I think I actually have picked things up.

I also need to add that the last chapter in the Head First Servlets and Jsp book does an AWESOME job giving both a high level description on Struts and walking the reader through a simple example. The Head First authors do a kick-ass job making very technical things easy to understand. I can’t recommend the books enough to people.

7 replies on “Finally I’m Learning Struts…”

After being involved with Apache Cocoon for a few years, I got a job as a “corporate developer” — which meant using Struts/JSP. Using Struts after being exposed to things like Cocoon was like trying to use a hammer to cut bread.

That being said, congratulations on picking up a skill that makes it easy to get a job 😛

If you use struts, be sure to use tiles as well. 🙂

I’m using them on my current project. I’ve used struts/tiles on several projects in the past, also…

Take care,

Howdy Tony…

Thanks for stopping by. I heard a great phrase at a local user group meeting, “resume driven development”. I think using Struts definitely falls under that category.


Hey Frank… Just about everyone that is using Struts has told me that Tiles are a must. I’m still “digesting” this app I’m fixing, but it IS using Tiles. I’m sure I’ll have lots to say in the coming weeks…


Favorite Java Book…

After my last post, writing negatively about a Java book, I felt it would be nice to write a positive post about a Java book. Here goes… I’m writing about my single, favorite Java book of all time! That would…

Howdy Tugdual…

I would absolutely rather be learning JSF, but the project I’m working on was already done in Struts.

I have a long list of deliverables. When I work through the list I might have the opportunity to convert the app to JSF.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *