Michael McElwee

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since Nov 06, 2001
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Recent posts by Michael McElwee

I think the main benefits to Struts are:
It is a full-featured framework, designed to handle most of the common web-design problems you come across. Rather than coming up with your own custom approach, use one that is proven.
It is well-known. You can hire someone who knows Struts and they will be able to work on an existing Struts project with a very short learning curve. Compare this to your own custom framework, where the new hire would first have to learn your custom framework before he can contribute effectively.
This being said, Struts is not trivial to learn. There is a lot of functionality and a bit of a learning curve.
18 years ago
Struts works just fine on WebSphere 4.0. I have a project running on it now.
18 years ago
I just browsed through the online Chapter 12 for "Struts in Action", and I think it will help me a lot. I presently am handling user input validation using the validate method and I wanted to (1)find a better way to lift out the validation rules into a separate file for ease of maintenance/customizing and (2)to provide JavaScript to reduce round-trips and provide a better user experience. The chapter seems to address both of my concerns. I look forward to reading it in more detail.
18 years ago
Does it compare/contrast Tiles with Templates? I guess my concern is that I have already completed a fair amount of my project using Templates, so switching to Tiles could involve significant work. I am not opposed to that if there is some large benefit. Right now, they (Templates and Tiles) sound to me like different, equally-acceptable solutions. I have gotten decent with Struts, but I definitely do not consider myself an expert on this.
18 years ago
I am using Struts 1.1 for a current web project. To further break down the View into reusable, manageable pieces I am using Struts Templates, which I have found that I like a lot. Recently, I read a little bit about Struts-Tiles, which appears to perform the same thing as Struts-Templates. Which is the preferred approach, or is it just a matter of personal preference? Is this covered in the Author's new book?
18 years ago
I presently own the book "JSP and Tag Libraries for Web Development" by Wellington L.S. da Silva. What does your book (Professional JSP Tag Libraries) cover that I do not get from the book I already have? Also, how much does it cost? Thanks.
19 years ago
I will attempt to answer some of the questions/comments on this trail:
WebSphere Studio Application Developer is essentially the combination of VAJ and WebSphere Studio. It is now file-based (VAJ is repository based), allows you to swap out which JDK you use and is otherwise more flexible than VAJ/WebSphere studio were.
Why get certified in an IDE? Basically for the same reason that one would get certified in anything. If you have no work experience, a certification may give you some credibility. If you do have work experience, certification may help to set you apart from others without certification. Also, certifications, like degrees, are a lot more "provable" than work experience; unless, of course you give tests to the people you are interviewing. Even then, the certified person might be better off, as he is used to taking tests.
I don't view IDE certification any more or less valuable than certification in anything else. It is just proof that you've mastered a product (or at least mastered enough of it to pass a specific test).
With the new release of Websphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) now available, I would be reluctant to spend money on either the WebSphere Studio 4.0 or VAJ 4.0 exams. Unfortunately, one or the other are required for the IBM Certified Solution Developer exam. (I passed the VAJ 4.0 exam, but I took it when IBM was offering it for free.) On the plus side, it looks like WebSphere 4.0 exam will be current for at least a little while. Any ideas when WebSphere 5.0 is going to hit the market?
-Michael McElwee
Sun Certified Java Developer
IBM Certified Solution Developer
Microsoft Certified Solution Developer
IBM Certified Solutions Expert (DB2)
Does the book include information about Sun's new JAX pack? I am just beginning to get into SOAP, and I typically like to get a book to help me with a new subject. Thanks.
19 years ago
I believe there are already tools in the industry that you can buy that will do this. You may want to look at JProbe from Sitraka, which you can hook into a webserver like WebLogic in order to monitor Java Object performance. I have heard that JTest from Parasoft is good as well, but I don't know much about it.
I own a copy of "Mastering EJB". It is quite a good book. It only covers EJBs, however, not all of J2EE. You would still need something to help with JSPs, servlets, J2EE design patterns, etc.
In answer to the questions:
The 486 test does have Previous/Next buttons, and you can mark questions and go back to them later. It is a pretty standard IBM test format.
You do not buy the voucher from IBM. To sign up for/pay the actual UML test, go to www.2test.com. There, you basically pick the test you want and then have the choice of entering a voucher number or just hitting "next" to proceed to pay for it. Vouchers are typically used to offer free or discounted test rates. For example, IBM offers free vouchers for taking some of their tests occasionally (presently for VAJ4 and WebSphere4).
Well, I took the IBM UML test this Saturday, and I passed with an 86%.
Thanks to those that posted questions/answers on this forum. For those who are
looking to take the exam, I cannot tell you what is on the exam, but I can hopefully
help you with the following:

1. I had read the UML distilled book twice and the Larman Book once.
I have been programming in Java for a couple of years, but have not done a lot
with Design Patterns. I guess my point here is that you don't need tons of experience
to get through this. Read UML distilled for an understanding of UML diagramming and Larman's
book to get a feel for design pattern decisions.

2. I highly recommend taking/understanding IBM's ICE exams
before taking the real test. The actual test did not contain any of these questions
(for me, at least), but there was a signficant amount of overlap, and I would say that if you
can answer (and understand) the ICE exam questions, you should be OK on the real test.

3. Don't sweat the diagrams. Many people on this forum have complained about having to
analyze and scroll through a bunch of diagrams and not having enough time for the test.
Time management and some common sense will help here. Go through the test the first time
quickly, answering the ones without exhibits and briefly looking at the exhibits. Some of
the exhibits are duplicates (repeated in several questions). In some cases, I didn't really
need to look at the exhibits to answer the questions. By eliminating "dumb" answers, I often
got down to the final choice without needing to refer to a diagram. Your test may be different,
but looking at the possible answers to a question before looking at the exhibit(s) is probably
not a bad idea.

I hope that helps. If you have questions (other than what the exact test questions were),
please let me know. Thanks.

I don't believe the 486 test by itself gives you a certification. IBM gives out a "Solution Developer" certification for 3 tests: the Java 2 Cert you already have, the UML test, and some IBM tool (Visual Age for Java or WebSphere). I believe the UML test is a prereq. for some non-IBM certs. as well, but I am not sure about this.