My views about the book SCWCD by Charles Lyons:
1)After reading HFSJ, i had doubts about few topics. This book cleared my doubts very well.
2)Very good coverage of API's, in fact i didn't look back at the API documentation after reading this book as this book became my reference to the API.
3)Good book to refer even after the exams (no noise, no fluff).
4)well, takes time to read,(going through HFSJ is a breeze, but this book takes time to finish, i just cant point to a single reason , maybe language is bit terse, maybe the no nonsense approach slows me down,maybe the pages are information packed,....).
5)Ah, didn't like the approach used for the custom tags chapter. Reason being that, only partial code had been provided in the chapter and the author expects you to view the complete program from the downloadable code. Don't like the constant juggling between PC and book.The calender example at the end of chapter on tag files is hard to digest.Plus i think the best material for custom tags is provided by SCWCD exam study kit which provides simple explanation and lots of 'complete' examples.
6)lots of questions at the end of each chapter. And they really test your knowledge about the chapter contents.Plus the book replicates the exam approach where code is often shown in a exhibit.
7)The chapter on application deployment(chapter 9) is very useful. All the information regarding deployment descriptor is presented in the chapter in entirety. Its good to find all information in one place.
8)The book overall does not have errors. However i have doubt about the business delegate pattern diagram , where the delegate object is shown in ejb container whereas it should be in the presentation tier(according to the HFSJ and SCWCD exam study kit). Correct me if i am wrong.
9)While viewing the documentation ,we don't get an idea about which methods are there on exam and which are not.The author does a good job about pointed out , what is there and what is not there in the exam, all over the book. its clearly pointed out as a heading: Not an exam objective. Very useful!!
10)Lastly(actually not a point worth mentioning )
, the book is damn cheap.(I had got the discounted Asian edition).