- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Objectsource Llc (Feb 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0974848808
- ISBN-13: 978-0974848808
- Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.5 x 1.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,471,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The book was best value for my money It manages to do justice to Struts and its best practices in a short 225 page and costs just 14.95. The book deserves its subtitle "Basics to Best Practices".
Doesnt matter if you are a beginer or an expert in Struts - You will find this book useful.
The book starts off with an excellent introduction to MVC and how Struts fits into MVC. It then explains the basics of Struts very well and develops a hands-on application in Struts.
The fun starts from Chapter 4 onwards.
Chapter 4 covers advanced Struts concepts and presents some interesting ideas about Struts Action design.
Chapter 6, 9 and 10 were killer stuff. I have three other Struts books with me, yet I found these chapters totally novel concepts found nowhere else.
For example, Chapter 6 explained how to modify the Struts BaseTag, CheckboxTag to handle some scenarios where they dont work out-of-the-box. It provided a thorough coverage of Struts Form submissions with Image Buttons. I was doing it wrong all these time!!. Chapter 6 also covered JSTL and how to use Struts-EL. Probably the crown jewel(s) from Chapter 6 are:
a) How to handle editable List based Forms
b) How to handle Multi page read only lists (by integrating the popular Pageer Taglib from jsptags.com with Struts)
c) A high-performance page traversal framework mechanism
Chapter 7 covers Tiles. Coverage of Tiles elsewhere I read on the net try to cover every feature in Tiles - many of which confuse me. This book sticks to just one way of using Tiles - which I think is the best way to use Tiles.
Chapter 9 is about Exception handling with Struts. I have one word to say "Fantastic" !!! The coverage of Exception handling alone is probably worth the price of the book. It provides a solid framework to handle Exceptions in Struts, log them in a centralized manner and report and alert in a production environment. I plan to use this framework AS IS in the project I am currently working on. Most other books on Struts limit their exception chapter to explaining differences between Checked v/s Unchecked exceptions and telling how the <global-exception> tags work in the struts-config.xml.
Chapter 10 is for folks who want to customize Struts and reap its benefits in design and development of production systems.
It presents three of four examples of how Struts can be effectively customized.
The best among them was how to how to handle duplicate form submissions in a generic manner. We all have to deal with duplicate form submissions in daily life and handle them on usecase basis by using the Synchronizer tokens. The technique illustrated here no doubt relies on the Sync token but uses it a very ingenious manner, presents a generic Action class. I liked this technique.
Other techniques I liked are that the chapter provides a Dispatch Action like functionality for Image based form submission. The DispatchAction in Struts is great, unfortunately I can use it only under certain restrictions. One of them is that the all of the buttons have to have the same name. This technique removes that restriction and opens a world of possibilities for designing cleaner applications while providing enhanced user experience.
If you architect, design and develop Struts based applications for your living, do yourself a favor - Go buy this book. I bet you will not have it in your book shelf but in your hand everyday.
Since I knew Struts already, I skimmed through the initial introductory chapters. I found some good advice that no other Struts book/online materials offered me so far. Here are some I found (in)valuable:
1) Action Chaining
2) The right way to use Image Buttons for Form Submission
3) Some good JSTL and Struts-EL stuff
4) A great Page Traversal framework.
5) Using Pager Taglib with Struts
6) An expert treatise of Exception Handling that goes far beyond "Here is how you confugure exception in struts-config.xml" and tells
a) When to use Struts declarative exception handling and when not to
b) How Struts exception handling complements Servlet exception handling
c) How to log exceptions in a customer-support friendly way so that they can be cross referenced?
d) How to prevent duplicate logging?
e) Strategies for centralized logging
f) Reporting exceptions
7) Customizing Struts to get some real benefits out of it such as:
a) How to fill the gap between ImageButton and DispatchAction, that's so missing
b) Controlling duplicate form submission in a generic manner rather than dealing with it in a per form basis
c) A pageflow controller
d) A <html:cancel> like functionality when images are used for the cancel button