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Struts: Essential Skills Paperback – Jul 29 2004

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From the Back Cover

Fundamentals Made Easy--Covers Struts 1.2

Create powerful Web applications with Struts, the dynamic application framework built for online Java programming. Through hands-on examples you’ll quickly learn Struts basics--working in the MVC architecture, handling user input, and using Struts actions and tag libraries. Then, you’ll find coverage of the Struts Validator framework, Tiles, and Eclipse--the most popular Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Start taking advantage of the all the powerful development features available in Struts right away.

Designed for Easy Learning:

  • Modules--Each concept is divided into logically organized modules (chapters), ideal for self-paced learning
  • Critical Skills--Each module opens with the specific skills covered in the module
  • Mastery Checks--End-of-module reviews test knowledge using short-answer, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions
  • Ask the Experts--Q&A sections throughout are filled with bonus information and helpful tips
  • Progress Checks--Quick self-assessment sections check your progress
  • Annotated Syntax--Example code annotated with commentary that describes the programming techniques being illustrated

Steven Holzner is an award-winning author of more than 80 computing books, and a former contributing editor for PC Magazine. He is an expert in Struts, Java, and online programming.

About the Author

Steven Holzner (Ithaca, NY) is an award-winning author of 82 computer books and hands-on expert in a variety of topics including Struts, Java, JavaScript, Perl and Visual Basic. He's been a contributing editor for PC Magazine; over 1.5 million copies of his books have sold and they've been translated into 17 languages around the world. He's written a number of computing bestsellers and Computer Book of the Month club selections. Steven has written extensively on Java and Struts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great tutorial, not much of a reference though Aug. 15 2004
By Lasse Koskela - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've been playing with Struts ever since 1.0 came out. However, I haven't worked with Struts on anything more than simple applications, which made this book sound like a perfect match for my needs. Especially as it covers Struts 1.2 (beta).

Mister Holzner does a great job explaining certain things that many other resources seem to omit, assuming that the reader can figure it out on her own (often by reading source code). In general, the book's contents feels like a good match for the book's stated target audience.

The negative remarks I wrote down while going through the chapters included a lot of tiny issues like not explaining all attributes (even with a one-sentence mention) of the action mappings in a Struts configuration file. Also, it was weird to be taught how one uses "javac" -- the book clearly states that working knowledge of Java is assumed.

Furthermore, many example code snippets in the book use horrible package and class names such as "ch03.ch03_05", which makes it unnecessarily difficult to keep track of which file is which. Also, the decision to employ a custom taglib, <ch03:toppings/>, just to set up a list of items for testing when a simple scriptlet would do?

Regardless of me whining about the smaller issues, I'd say "Struts: Essential Skills" is a great learning resource for Struts. It's far from sufficient as a reference, but I've never seen as effective a Struts tutorial than this.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Can the examples be any more Confusing??? July 28 2005
By Erik Weibust - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book must have been rushed to market. Normally, I buy a tech book and count the examples to get me through the more complicated material. I find it easier to simply read the code sometimes vs spending my time reading what the author has to say. Well, with Struts Essentials that isn't an option. The examples are horribly confusing.

For each sample app the author just used a naming scheme of chapter number and then he adds an incrementing number at the end of the chapter name to get the class/file name.

The index page would be ch04_01.jsp. An Action class would be A form would be And a results jsp page would be ch04_04.jsp.

What a bad idea. So then try to imagine learning how to tie the Struts concepts together with writing a struts-config.xml. It's very ugly and so very confusing.

Insult to injury, I've found a number or errata but there isn't anywhere on the books site to let the author/publisher know.

Buy a different book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book on Struts Oct. 11 2005
By Just a person - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book cut through the mysteries of Struts for me. Very helpful and clear. It's written step by step, with code that increments, and that worked perfectly for me.
Good instructional, but obsolete version, doesn't follow conventions Sept. 7 2014
By David McClelland - Published on
Format: Paperback
Be aware this is written for Struts 1.1, which nobody uses anymore. The writing, introduction of concepts and general pace of information and labs is better than the 7 other books I have given up on in disgust. However, very quirky non-standard class naming impedes building good practices into the learning curve and diverges from any real development (more likely maintenance, right?) on real-world applications.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not Ready For Prime Time Sept. 7 2005
By DJB - Published on
Format: Paperback
The number of complaints I have for this book are many: important details missing, typographical errors in the CODE, poor naming conventions for classes, code snippets lack comments, code examples lack filenames (making browsing the book for example code nearly impossible), and the lack of a complete useful example. The only saving grace for this book is that I can't name the perfect Struts book (every book I have looked at has serious flaws).