This book covers aspects of JSP from the java developers perspective. It includes examples using Java Patterns so that you can quickly build your own applications with JSP. The chapter on distributing your application by describing the WAR file structure was very useful. The examples are pitched at a high enough level for you to feel confident that you have a good grounding in JSP after reading the book. As all good JSP books there is considerable mention of servlets and examples are given to illustrate the servlet centric model. My only criticism is that perhaps there are too many examples that use scripting elements as opposed to JSP tags. Having said that there are many books on Tag development and it was probably right to focus on the basics first. The detailed description of bean scope was very clear and there are examples of using the RequestDispatcher class which are missing from many books on JSP.
This has turned out to be one of those books which I just cannot do without. It is clear and concise enough to act as an introduction to JavaServer Pages for someone who has had little or no exposure to the technology, with a nice logical layout and introduction to each topic. It is also, however a very good technical reference book and as well as covering all the features of JSP gives good guidance on how to implement a real world web-based application by discussing sensible architectural design choices and helping decide which is the most logical to implement based on the skill set of your developers, team size and application complexity etc.
After completing a small JSP development, half this book was 'revision' for what I had already done - but a good half of the book expanded my knowledge. I'm showing some of the technical nuggets of information to other JSP development staff and getting sharp intakes of appreciation.
Overall this is a good book. I'm new to web development but have worked with Java and distributed applications for about four years. I thought it started out really well and gave me an excellent introduction to JSP, although I would've liked a bit more information regarding security (even though this is rather container specific, I don't think a general discussion would have been out of place). My only criticism is that the quality peters out towards the end of the book when custom tag libraries are discussed. For example, there are far too many forward references, and although I admit it's a hard topic to make interesting, the three chapter coverage is dull, monolithic and slow. Despite this, I would recommend this book as there is so much other useful stuff in there, but perhaps (like me), others would be well advised to look elsewhere for a better intro to custom taglibs.