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JavaServer Pages
by Hans Bergsten, Hans Bergsten, Hans Bergsten

third edition
December 2003
664 pages

Reviewed by Valentin Crettaz, April 2004
  (9 of 10)

JSP lovers, don't look further: this book is for you!! The third edition of JavaServer Pages by Hans Bergsten is not just an update of the second edition. It contains plenty of fresh material and covers the new JSP 2.0 and Java Standard Template Library 1.1 specifications. JSTL provides a significant number of ready-to-use JSP tags for accessing databases, internationalizing page contents and for manipulating variables, URLs and XML streams. Together, JSP and JSTL make it very easy to quickly develop dynamic and attractive web sites.

This book represents an excellent and complete resource that is beneficial not only to Java developers but also to non-programmers who may now participate in the creation of dynamic web pages and custom tag libraries by means of the so-called tag files without writing a single line of Java code. Several chapters contain great material for learning the JSP-related objectives of the new Sun Certified Web Component Developer certification exam (1.4).

Furthermore, the author goes beyond the honorable task of technically describing JSPs by providing deep insights as to how JSP, servlets and the Struts framework fit together into the J2EE big picture. He also presents advanced subjects, such as performance issues in database access, page caching, JSP precompilation, error handling and authentication.

Finally, the book provides many appendices among which you will find an exhaustive reference of JSTL actions and JSP elements (including the Expression Language) as well as the JSTL and JSP APIs.

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second edition
August 2002
684 pages

Reviewed by Ajith Kallambella, October 2002
  (7 of 10)

If you have read the first edition of this book, you will notice the difference. More examples, lots of information of what has changed since then including JSP 1.2 spec changes and how the new technologies like XML and JSTL from Sun has changed the way programmers work with JSP.

The book offers more than a quick JSP tutorial. The readers will be introduced to "buddy" Java technologies like EJB, JDBC and of course plain Java servlets. All the examples have been tried on Apache Tomcat. The author also talks about web architecture and realizing the MVC pattern using JSPs. Naturally, you will find jars and jars full of beans and custom tags.

Speaking of custom tags, the readers should expect to get lost wandering through a plethora "ora" tags written by the author himself. It will make one wonder if they just bought a custom tag book wrongly titled as a JSP guide!. The author heavily relies on his own "ora" custom tag library to explain plain and standard concepts such as JDBC instead of teaching the readers to write code from scratch using Sun s JSP.

To summarize, this is a nice JSP book for beginners. But if you already know JSPs and have been working with them for a while, be ready for a perspective, and take things with a pinch of salt.

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1 edition
December 2000
572 pages

Reviewed by Carl Trusiak, February 2001
  (7 of 10)

The book is broken down into three sections: JSP Application Basics, JSP Application Development and JSP in J2EE and JSP Component Development. There is sufficient detail to assist a team through the development of a site using JSP's. I believe the intention on the layout is to segregate the tasks of developing the Presentation from the development of the applications logic. However, the breakdown of the three sections, make it difficult in my opinion to get a grasp on things. This stems from the fact that while JSP was developed so someone who knows little or no Java could still create effective dynamic pages with JSP. Personally, I don't feel JSP has achieved this yet. A person could read up to chapter 15 before realizing that ora isn't a standard JSP element or instruction. The book constantly makes forward reference, which unless you read things out of the intended order, leave you lost to the workings of the example they are on. After reading through the book completely, quite a few things clear up. I it will definitely be a well-used reference from my bookshelf.

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