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Stripes: ...and Java web development is fun again (Pragmatic Programmers)

Author/s: Frederic Daoud
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Review by: Ulf Dittmer
Rating: 8 horseshoes

Web application frameworks are a dime a dozen these days, so any new one faces an uphill battle for adoption. This book explains why - when choosing a web framework next time - you might want to take a long, hard look at Stripes.

The book starts with a simple example that shows all major parts of Stripes in action, just to give the reader a feeling for how things are wired together (although there's not much wiring to do). For the remainder of the book, one application is developed from scratch (a web-mail front-end), adding features step by step, thereby making use of more and more of Stripes' features.

The major aspects of all web applications are handled early on: creating and handling forms using JSP and JSTL, form parameter to Java object binding, validation, error handling, implementing MVC, dealing with I18N, and how to reuse common layouts. Further chapters deal with unit testing with mock objects, integration with other frameworks like JPA and Spring, using Stripes as an AJAX back-end, and web application security. A chapter on how to tap into Stripes' inner workings shows how to customize its operation, in the event that should ever become necessary.

I found the author's style very approachable, explaining each new concept with examples of when it might (or might not) be advantageous to use. At each step a new version of the web mail application was at hand that demonstrated how the newly introduced concepts improved on the previous version (all the code is downloadable from the book's web site). Overall, I commend the author on the book. After reading it I have a good feeling for all the things Stripes can do to make developing web applications easier and - yes indeed- fun again.
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