In Action, by Shawn Bayern; ISBN 1-930110-52-9
by: Songmuh Jong, send
by: Manning Publications Co., go
to the web site
Server with JSP 2.0 or above and a database server
development has come a long way and is very different
from the early days. One main interest in web development
is to provide server processing which hides the
details from the clients (browsers) yet provides
enough processing power to handle clients' requests.
Microsoft came up with Active Server Pages (ASP)
and the idea was developed into Java Server Pages
(JSP). However, JSP is very Java-centric and cannot
be used by web developers coming from different
a background. Thus Sun Microsystems developed the
JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL). Because
JSTL is now part of the JSP specification (2.0
or above), every web container has JSTL available
for every web developer. Just like ASP, the JSTL
tags can be readily used in any JSP page. More
important, any Java developer can create and define
new custom tags.
This book progresses from the basics (the JSTL history,
the design of web applications, and the background information
for JSTL, including XML and JSP) to JSTL details ( expression,
flow control, loops, text import, XML XPath, XML parsing,
database pages, formatting and internationalization), then
to examples (checkbox, dates, and error handling, a survey
page and a message board, and a case study to build a Yahoo-style
web portal), and finally to the programming APIs (modifying
properties, exposing data, importing text into a Reader,
encoding characters, advanced XML parsing and transformation,
JSTL configurations for database access and internationalization
and creating custom tags).
The author has a special writing style that makes the reading
logical, interesting and informative. For example, the background
chapter goes into details of XML and JSP, but keeps the scope
limited to the ones that are relevant for JSTL, and it ends
before the readers get bored. Another example is when the
author discusses the expression language. This is usually
a boring topic, but the author makes the transition smoothly.
The discussion of XPath is another example. Here the author
points out the differences between JSTL and XSLT--again in
a natural style.
Although the book does not discuss the web server and JSTL
installation, the author has published a web page on the
Manning book site to describe the installation of Tomcat
and JSTL (click on the Tomcat sidebar on the product web
site, see below). For people who do not have a database server,
the author includes a discussion of HSQLDB on the book web
site (click on the HSQLDB sidebar on the product web site,
see below). Sample chapters Controlling Flow With Loops (5),
Common Tasks (11) and JSTL Reference (Appendix A) are available
on the product web site (see below).
book is designed for any web developer who is interested
in using JSP and in extending its capability.
This book has done such a good job that I'm beginning to
consider the possibility of using JSP and JSTL for my next
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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