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March 7, 2005

"Jakarta Struts Cookbook": Struts Recipes That Hone Your Skills While Solving Your Problems

Sebastopol, CA--Corporate IT has traditionally been slow to adopt open source technologies, with a few exceptions. Struts is one of them. In the short time that it's been around, Struts (now officially called Apache Struts) has grown into the most popular framework for building Java-based web applications. There are other excellent Java-based web application frameworks--some newer, and some that have benefited from lessons learned by Struts users and developers--but none of these others offer the broad range of features and functionality for which Struts is known.

Equally important to its success is the Struts community, notes Bill Siggelkow, author of Jarkarta Struts Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $44.95). One of the largest communities in the world of open source development, it actively supports fellow Struts users, drives Struts development, and has facilitated Struts' entry into the corporate world. "Architects and IT managers know that if they go with Struts, they'll have access to one of the largest developer communities around. If you're a developer, it's now common for employers to list Struts as a prerequisite skill."

Despite its popularity, Struts still provides developers with their fair share of challenges. Even figuring out how to get started developing with Struts is a common topic of conversation. In Jakarta Struts Cookbook, Siggelkow aims to provide developers with a single resource that shows how to apply Struts to specific problems that arise in web application development. "In the past, determining the best solution to a problem required reading and posting to the mailing list, reading books and online articles, and researching third party software," says Siggelkow. "With my cookbook, I wanted to provide a one-stop shop that allows developers to be more productive in their day-to-day jobs."

Jarkarta Struts Cookbook will save developers time and effort with ready-made solutions to everyday problems, but the book doesn't stop there. "For the developer wanting to learn more, the book explains each solution," says Siggelkow. "In many cases, the book provides not just one, but a number of alternative solutions, describing each alternative's advantages and disadvantages."

Moreover, Siggelkow's recipes encourage developers to break away from comfortable and familiar techniques they may have fallen into the habit of using. "As developers, we latch onto tools, patterns, and software that works for us. We're naturally wary of new approaches. It goes back to the old saying, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'" While sticking with tried-and-true approaches is safe, developers can miss out on many innovative, creative, and entertaining ways of working with Struts. "My aim with this book is to take away some of the anxiety when it comes to trying a new way of solving what may be an old problem," says Siggelkow.

The topics covered in the Jakarta Struts Cookbook include:

  • Tools and techniques for developing a Struts application
  • Configuring your Struts application
  • Creating your user interface with the tag libraries
  • Working with Struts actions and action forms
  • Validating input and handling errors
  • Integrating Struts with your business model
  • Applying security to your application
  • Internationalization
  • Testing and debugging
  • Using Tiles and other presentation approaches
  • The solutions presented in the book reflect the know-how of a multitude of experts, not just the author. As Siggelkow notes, "I did not write the book in a vacuum. All the solutions were based not only on my experience, but the experience and expertise of Struts developers around the globe." Completely up-to-date with the latest version of the Struts Framework (Struts 1.2), the Jakarta Struts Cookbook is ideal for independent developers, large development teams, and everyone in between who would like to use Struts to its fullest potential.

    Early praise for Jakarta Struts Cookbook:

    "This is the book to read for Struts 1.2. The cookbook even taught me a few things about Struts."
    -Ted Husted, Struts guru and author of Struts in Action

    "I thought this book had excellent coverage of Jakarta Struts. I can appreciate the fact that Bill has invested so many voluntary hours participating in user discussion on both the Struts user and developer mailing lists."
    -James Mitchell, software engineer and open source evangelist

    Additional Resources:

    Jakarta Struts Cookbook
    Bill Siggelkow
    ISBN: 0-596-00771-X, 507 pages, $44.95 US, $62.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O'Reilly

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