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October 19, 2004

"Head First Servlets & JSP": A Brain-Friendly Approach to Passing the Sun Certified Web Component

Sebastopol, CA--To imagine a world without Servlet and JSP (JavaServer Pages) technology is to imagine the almost unthinkable: a world with no place to buy retired Beanie Babies and no place to sell your first-edition Pet Rock. In short, a world without eBay. Servlet/JSP technology is the driving force behind most of the world's important sites, including eBay, notes Kathy Sierra, coauthor with Bryan Basham and Bert Bates of the new Head First Servlets & JSP (O'Reilly, US $44.95). "When you want to build a secure, complex web site that hooks into a large enterprise system, most will turn to Servlets and JSP, which is a key component of Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)," says Sierra.

"So the majority of Java developers today are expected to know at least something about building Servlets and JSPs," Sierra continues. "But while it used to be really simple to build and deploy Servlets (in 1999, for example), it has become increasingly complex and sophisticated. It's no longer trivial--there is a ton to learn! And of course if you make a mistake, the consequences can be significant: 'Oops, we just credited his account when we were supposed to debit it...' or worse, 'Oops, we just sent that lingerie order to the guy who actually ordered golf clubs--and now someone's wife is getting golf clubs when her husband meant to send her a lace camisole...'"

Head First Servlets & JSP brings Java developers up to speed on the technology. They'll know it so well, in fact, that they'll be able to pass the Sun Certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD) 1.4 exam. But word has it that the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam is hard. So hard, in fact, that some people have suggested that Basham, Sierra, and Bates--who, in addition to having written Head First Servlets & JSP, are developers for most of the Sun Java Certification exams including the new SCWCD for J2EE 1.4--have made the test intentionally difficult so that people studying for it would have to buy a book.

On the contrary, says Sierra: "When we were creating the book, so often we'd realize that we had to cover some really tricky thing at a deep level in order to get someone through a particular set of hard questions on the exam, and you'd hear one of us swearing, 'Who the *** put this stuff on the exam?!' And then we'd realize, 'Oh, yeah, that was us...' So, in the course of trying to help someone pass this exam, we realized that the book would have been much easier to write if the exam had been a lot easier. In fact, the book became two hundred pages longer than we originally expected."

This new exam is tough indeed--much tougher than the previous version of the SCWCD. But, maybe you don't care about the exam, you just need to use Servlets and JSPs in your next project. You're working on a deadline. You're over the legal limit for caffeine. You can't waste your time with a book that makes sense only AFTER you're an expert (or worse, one that puts you to sleep).

No problem. This book's brain-friendly approach drives the knowledge straight into your head (without sharp instruments). You'll interact with servlets and JSPs in ways that help you learn quickly and deeply. It may not be "The Da Vinci Code," but you'll see why so many reviewers call it "a page turner." Most importantly, this book will help you use what you learn. It won't get you through the exam only to have you forget everything the next day.

Head First Servlets & JSP will show you how to write servlets and JSPs, what makes the Container tick (and what ticks it off), how to use the new JSP Expression Language (EL), what you should NOT write in a JSP, how to write deployment descriptors, secure applications, and even use some server-side design patterns. Can't talk about Struts at a cocktail party? That'll change. You won't just pass the exam, you will truly understand this stuff, and you'll be able to put it to work right away.

Praise for Head First Servlets & JSP and the Head First approach:

"For our Servlet/JSP classes, we bought more than ten books, without finding any one really satisfying our teaching needs...Until we found the pedagogical gem you now hold in your hands! Head First books simply make us better teachers. Thank you so much for that!"
--Philippe Maquet, Senior Instructor at Loop Factory, Brussels

"It's fast, irreverent, fun, and engaging. Be careful--you might learn actually learn something!"
--Ken Arnold, coauthor (with James Gosling, creator of Java) of "The Java Programming Language"

"It's definitely time to dive in--Head First."
--Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems, Chairman, President, and CEO

Additional Resources:

Head First Servlets & JSP
Bryan Basham, Kathy Sierra, and Bert Bates
ISBN 0-596-00540-7, 853 pages, $44.95 US, $65.95 CA
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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