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JSTL: Practical Guide for JSP Programmers by Sue Spielman

 
Book Review Team
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<pre>Author/s : Sue Spielman
Publisher : Morgan Kaufmann
Category : Servlets, JSP and Tag Libraries
Review by : Matthew Phillips
Rating : 9 horseshoes
</pre>
This might be one of the most effective IT book I have ever read. It's short but comprehensive. All four libraries are covered and covered quite well.
The first few chapters provide an introduction to JSTL, including the reasons and a few brief examples. The chapter on the EL seemed to be the weakest chapter, but it was detailed enough to get a solid start with using it.
Each library has a pretty good sized chapter with coverage of all of the tags and their most common attributes. The code samples covered what you are most likely to do with the tags, although I would have like to see some uncommon uses as well.
The only negative was the sample code that I downloaded from the site. Although the book states that it was tested with Tomcat 4.1.20 and Tomcat 5.0. In both cases, I had problems with Tomcat validating the web.xml file. A few simple changes and the code was up and running, though.
Overall, this book provides a quick source of information for learning JSTL.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
 
Sue Spielman
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The small issue with the web.xml file has been corrected and is available with the download off of the publisher site. It will work with all versions of the SAX parser now. I'm glad you liked the book!
Sue
 
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<pre>Author/s : Sue Spielman
Publisher : Morgan Kaufmann Publishers
Category : Servlets, JSP and Tag Libraries
Review by : Thomas Paul
Rating : 9 horseshoes
</pre>
JSTL provides a set of common tag libraries for JSP programmers. This book explains the JSTL and it does it extremely well. In about 200 pages, the book covers what the JSTL is, what to use it for, how to use it, and gives plenty of examples.
The start of the book covers the basics of tag libraries and explains why we need JSTL. Next, the basics of JSTL and the expression language are covered. The one small flaw in the book is that the expression language could have been covered in a bit more detail. The rest of the book covers each of the tags (actions) broken up into the separate libraries. The core, XML, internationalization and formatting, and SQL actions are each given their own chapters. The author doesn't just cover the tags but also provides enough background information to insure that you can understand how the tags are used. For example, in the XML chapter, the author starts by explaining the different technologies around XML and then shows how the XML actions can be used to simplify the task of using XML in your JSPs. The SQL chapter explains why you would never want to use the SQL actions before she discusses the actions themselves. The book ends with a "quick reference" section.
Sue Spielman has a very easy writing style that makes reading her books a pleasure. Her book is short and complete, a very difficult combination to pull off.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
 
Andres Gonzalez
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Thomas, just a quick question. You rated this in amazon with 5 stars (or full stars), why with 9 here?
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Andres Gonzalez:
Thomas, just a quick question. You rated this in amazon with 5 stars (or full stars), why with 9 here?

There are no half stars in amazon. So the rating system on amazom has 5 options while the rating system at javaranch has 10 options. A 5 on amazon is a 9 or 10 on the ranch.
 
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