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Learning Java web development first, instead of console/client apps?

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I am wondering if it is that much harder to learn Java by starting with web apps, rather than other console-type apps. Sure, there is a lot of hullabaloo over GUI design in Java and such, and many seem to use Java as a server-side programming language anyway.

I need to learn the key concepts of Java, but don't know if I will be in over my head if I want to learn how to build basic database-driven web applications (an inventory system is what I am keen on using for a first project). As I look at learning resources, there are many other technologies at play with web development such as JSP, JSF, beans, etc. I obviously need to learn the core stuff, but won't I be using core stuff anyway?

On a related question I saw regarding .NET development, one person said that ASP.NET knowledge would not mean less C# knowledge because they both come into play with web development on that framework.

Netbeans builds the dev server right in, so I don't have to mess with the extra setup or integration issues to get started - no worries there. I just wonder if that is too big a bite for starters?

I appreciate any thoughts/concerns/suggestions.
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I would think that if you need to learn the key concepts, that is what you ought to do, and forget about these other things until later.
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I found the Java language easy to learn (I was proficent in both C/C++ and VB) but the techno-buzz and the cumbersome number of java products made it a hard time.
Once you know Java, you face Chaos:
- may I learn how to make Applets sing and dance?
- How about Swing / AWT? Not to mention SWT from Eclipse...
- Obviously, I need to learn every construct of the Java languaje, now.
- Object relational mapping: Hibernate, Entity EJB, OJB, ...
- What IDE is better: Eclipse, NetBeans, ...
- plus other 1024 random questions.
That's what I advice:
- Learn how to make console Java apps. Learn the basics. Avoid reading a line on Applets. If you are not going to make any desktop apps, jump the AWT / Swing chapters.
- Skip streams / files. Skip socket programming.
- Learn OOP in Java. Learn JDBC. Learn the basic APIs: java.util, the Wrapper classess, etc.
- Buy a book on servlets / JSP.
- Learn an Object - Relational mapping package. Hibernate is relatively easy to learn.
- Focus on MVC: Struts is easy to learn.
- From here, go to JSF and Spring.

I know it's a stupid advice, but don't get stressed. You will need at least two years to master all that stuff. So take it easy...
The only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you. Or this tiny ad:
Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
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