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, j2eesig.org, 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, Nerdbooks.com, and then I bought it.
Instead of rewriting the review I left for the book on Amazon.com 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 ch0X_X.xxx. 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 = ch04_2.java, an Action = ch04_3.java, a POJO = ch04_4.java, 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.