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To the author: Topics that are not related to the exam

 
Nicholas Cheung
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Hi Kathy and Bert,

I have passed SCWCD 1.4 beta already, however, I am very interested in HF Servlets and JSP, and I would like to know the % of the topics that are not related to the exam.

Nick
 
Bert Bates
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Hi Nicholas,

As you know, Bryan and Kathy and I helped created the objectives for the exam, and the exam itself. In fact, Bryan was in charge of these activities (so you can blame him for stuff ). Anyway, when we were building the objectives, we were trying to create an exam that would determine whether the candidate had a good foundation in the technologies. As luck would have it ( ), HF books tend to have the same goal, i.e., provide the reader with a solid foundation in the technology.

So the goal of HFS is to give the reader a solid foundation in Servlets and JSPs, but these are really huge topics. I'd say that 80% of the book is aligned with the exam, and that's OK because IMHO the exam does a pretty good job of testing on the fundamentals. For instance, I'd say it's a way better and cleaner test than the current SCJP exam, which has evolved into being tricky and maybe a little out of touch.

Another way to look at it is that we're big believers that tech books ought to have a focus. We never pretend that one of our books "is the only book you'll need to be expert on a topic". So it was a little challenging for us because you could argue that HFS has two goals:

1 - prepare the reader for the SCWCD
2 - give the reader a solid foundation

Our decision was that because the exam was well conceived, those goals were closely aligned, and we could, in fact, attack both goals and still have a focused book.

A couple of examples of topics in the book that are either not on the exam, or lightly treated in the exam are:

1 - struts - not on the exam
2 - intro to HTTP - lightly on the exam
2 - intro to HTML - not really on the exam

Wow, this one's tougher to answer than I thought

I guess the summary would be, the book is closely aligned with the exam, and they both do a good job of focusing on the fundamentals.

- Bert
 
Nicholas Cheung
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Thanks Bert.

How details does the book discuss on Struts?

Nick
 
Bert Bates
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Hi Nicholas,

Well you know that when you're reading a HF book topics can kind of blend together and reinforce each other... So we kind of tiptoe into Struts by talking about some of MVC's issues...

That said, I'd say we have about 14 pages concerning Struts. Certainly not the complete story, but we hope a good intro. Part of this intro includes a heavily annotated, complete (but tiny ), Struts application.

HTH,

Bert
 
Nicholas Cheung
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So, would the sample application covers a bit on validation framework, as well as the tiles?

Thanks Bert.

Nick
 
Terry Martinson
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Nicholas -
Struts Validation and Tiles are not covered in Head First. Head First has only an extremely high level view of Struts, which is perfectly appropriate for the focus of that book.

I have worked a lot with Struts and if you are interested in Struts books, my recommendations are:
1. Struts in Action by Ted Husted
2. Struts Survival Guide by Srikanth Shenoy (Be aware that this book has grammar/spelling errors all over the place. The information is great though if you can keep from getting frustrated about the use of English.)

TJ
 
Nicholas Cheung
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Thanks Terry.

I have the book Struts in Action, but just wanna know how HF S&J provided.

Nick
 
Kathy Sierra
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I think our Struts coverage is at the "cocktail party" level -- very high level, as Terry said, but enough to let you carry on a basic conversation about it and develop a very small, fairly trivial application using the Struts framework. For serious Struts development, you definitely need a separate book on Struts... but again, we'll at least get you to the stage where you do not have to have a blank look on your face when someone discusses Struts.

cheers,
Kathy
 
Nicholas Cheung
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Thanks for clarification, Kathy.

Nick
 
Richard Quist
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Dare I ask if Head First Struts is on the radar at all?

Thanks
 
Kathy Sierra
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Originally posted by Richard Quist:
Dare I ask if Head First Struts is on the radar at all?

Thanks


Nope, not on the radar at the moment. We're always looking for ideas on what to do next, though

...and now that there's finally someone else besides us doing HF books (Eric and Beth, the main authors of the patterns book), we can double the number of books we can put out in a year.

So I'll put that on the possibility list...

cheers,
Kathy
 
Nicholas Cheung
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If HF Struts is not in consideration, how about HF JSF, HF EJB 3.0?

Nick
 
Bert Bates
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We're watching Faces to see if it really takes off or not.

As far as EJB 3.0 goes - that will probably happen, but we think it will be a looong time before IT shops get around to upgrading to EJB 3.0, so don't hold your breath on that one.

As I said in a different post we have 6 books in progress, and once we feel like any of them are far enough along we'll let you know what's coming. We were late with the servlets book, and we don't want to disappoint people again
 
Nicholas Cheung
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Bert,

Just my own interests, ususally, you will write the book for, say SCWCD 1.4, after you write the exam content?

As Evelyn mentioned that SCJP Tiger is coming, are Kathy and you work on that as well?

Nick
 
Richard Quist
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Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:


So I'll put that on the possibility list...



Just wanted to say how much I (and I'm sure others as well) appreciate your taking the time to answer questions, consider ideas, etc.

Thank you all.
 
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