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Professional Java XML Programming with servlets and JSP

Professional Java XML Programming with servlets and JSP
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Professional Java XML Programming with servlets and JSP
by Alexander Nakhimovsky, Tom Myers, Thomas J. Myers

Perfect Paperback: 700 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 1.65 x 9.12 x 7.26
Publisher: Wrox Press Inc
ISBN: 1861002858; 1st edition (December 1999) Aimed at developers with some previous Java experience, Professional Java XML Programming with Servlets and JSP shows how to combine two of today's hottest technologies to create highly customizable, data-driven Web applications. Besides a leading-edge tour of several important Java APIs, this book also contains an effective, in-depth tutorial for really understanding XML.

This main objective is to introduce a complete "application frameworks" for Java that uses servlets, JSPs, JDBC (for databases), and XML for customizing Web pages without changing source code. (This strategy lets anyone familiar with XML, SQL, and/or JSPs design new Web pages.) The "soft" or "generic" approach advocated here goes well beyond the basics and will help you rethink how Web applications work. The authors present the basics of each API as they build their solution. There are a variety of easy-to-understand sample servlets here--from a simple phone number database to an e-commerce shopping cart, and a servlet that incorporates JavaMail to send e-mail.

After a challenging guide to languages, grammars, and parsers (the underlying theory behind XML), the authors return to the practical side of things with excellent coverage of several current tools for XML, like Sun's Java parser and the Simple API for XML (SAX).

Even if you don't rely on the authors' solution completely for your own projects, this challenging and intelligent text shows off some useful possibilities for servlets combined with XML. For any Java programmer, the tour of basic servlet development and leading-edge XML support makes for an attractive choice for learning about these two very promising technologies. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Java servlet basics, 3-tiered architectures, JDBC and servlet APIs, sample custom framework for servlets, HTML basics, database connection pooling, language, grammars and parsers, context-free and context-sensitive grammars, XML and SGML basics, XHMTL vs. HTML, XML documents, XML namespaces, entities and DTDs, elements and attributes, the XML Document Object Model (DOM), the Simple API for XML (SAX), Sun's Java XML toolkit, JSPs and JavaBean basics, JavaMail APIs, XSLT and XPath.

Book Description: Meta-programming, or writing programs that customize, guide and modify other programs, is not a very new idea (LISP programmers have been doing it for decades) - but XML gives it a profoundly new twist.

XML greatly increases the ability of the user to exercise control over computer programs, by editing easily understandable text files. These programs know as little as possible about what they are actually being used to do. Instead, their structure and behavior are described with XML in domain-specific languages, and the programs "interpret" the descriptions.

From the Publisher: Once .ini files and Notepad are replaced with .xml files and a validating XML editor, the possibilities for controlling programs from text files increase immeasurably, perhaps introducing a new way of programming and a new relationship between the user, the programmer and the program. The theme of the book is this collection of new possibilities; its goal is to help bring about the new relationship.

The book is in three parts. The first part is about Java, with no XML in sight. It covers the basic plumbing of a distributed Web application written in Java. The second part is about XML and XSLT, with very little Java. Our task here is to summarize both standard XML and XSLT and discover good programming practices.

About the Author: Alexander Nakhimovksy & Tom Myers are the authors of JavaScript Objects.

Customer Reviews
Good concepts Bad Execution, March 2, 2001
Reviewer: javafreek from Irvine, CA USA

I bought this book on impulse based on the title alone. Unfortunately this was the first book I bought from this particular publisher. God, I hope the others are not this badly organized.

As a professional Java programmer who has used all of the tachnologies in this book, I find that there are some good concepts here in terms of high-level OO design. Unfortunately, the organization of the book requires you to read through a lot of superfluous verbiage to get to the meat.

The criticisms mentioned in other reviews are valid and I won't repeat them here, except to reiterate that the author's academic roots do shine through on this book. The tone is written as if you were sitting in a lecture hall with all the time in world to discuss these concepts and the code examples are not written for performance or high volume traffic on a web site. As a Java professional who writes almost exclusively on the server-side, I found this iritating. There isn't enough time to wade through this book to get what you need when a project is due.

An Internet Bubble Product!, November 22, 2001
Reviewer: Michael Bell from New York, USA

An Internet Bubble Product!

If you invested in a DOT COM company in 1999 and you did not sell your stocks on time, you may have lost 99% of your money. If you bought this book (published in 1999), you probably lost all your money, because the book is really, really H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E.

1. The book title is "Professional Java XML Programming with Servlets and JSP" but you will neither learn XML nor Servlets/JSPs. Wrox publication tried to place it in the XML space but there is no so much XML to learn about... The book contains 772 pages but only 185 pages discuss XML. The authors were busy discussing Servlets, JDBC, XSLT XHTML etc... I was looking in the Index section, maybe I could find a good Home Insurance, as well...

2. Strategically, the book discusses two main XML parsers, DOM and SAX. Unfortunately, the authors chose to dedicate a larger portion of their discussion to the SAX parser. Most companies are using the DOM parser because of its extended capabilities, such as the ability to store tag data in a tree structure, provides better searching and better performance. The SAX parser is flat and lacks such capabilities.

The Internet Bubble created an inflation of bad books. I hope that in the future, publishers would put more attention to quality rather than to quantity.

Very Confusing Book, December 27, 2000
Reviewer: Robert A Hansen from Waukesha, WI USA

I am a professional programmer with a background in C++ Windows programming who started learning JAVA a year ago. I bought this book with the intention of learning how to leverage XML in JAVA apps and servlets. I made it through the first chapter just fine and then all heck broke loose. I could not get the examples to work, the text became as clear as mud and I had to put the book down in disgust because every other chapter in the book lynchpins on knowledge from the previous one. This would not be a good buy in my humble opinion.

Certainly not for professional developers!, December 24, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Edison, NJ USA

After reading through this book, I was not sure if this book is focused on Java programming or XML or Servlets and JSP programming, although it claims to be about how to integrate all these technologies together. The book overall is not very well organized and it is tough sometimes to really make out what the authors are trying to convey. As for the example code, it is not difficult to make out that the authors are from academia and certainly are not developers who hack it out in the real world.

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