Java Web - JSP & Servlets Book Reviews for Nerds

Java Web - JSP & Servlets Book Reviews

My book reviews section is a different from what you typically see, I only list and review books that are worth reading. All the books reviewed here are sitting on my bookshelves.

What about the books that suck?

I come across many stinkers, to be sure. I just spare the authors the criticism and you the time – why talk about a crappy title?


The Art of Java Web Development

I wish I had this book 3 years ago! The goal of this book is to illustrate the differences between some very popular web frameworks that the Java developer can choose from.

I would have loved to have seen this book 3 years ago when I was faced with this question – which framework is best? Ultimately there is no definitive winner, but this book goes a long way to shedding light on the issue. The process is simple; a web application (e-commerce website) is built using each of the frameworks … enough said.

Along the way you also learn about design patterns and important open source tools like the Jakarta Commons and Junit.

SAMS Teach Yourself JavaServer Pages 2.0

Not for a beginner to Java or the web, but a good book for those who know the older standards like JSP 1.x or Servlets and want to learn the latest methods for building web applications with Java.

I think the book would make a handy reference since it is relatively small and the information is presented in a terse fashion. I liked the light discussions on MVC (model view controller design pattern) and the pros and cons of using Servlets alone, JSP alone and JSP and Servlets together. This is basic stuff, but still essential to any book on the subject.

This book covers all the key additions to the JSP and Servlet specification including great things like Servlet Filters and session listeners.

Not the best book on the subject, but still very good for experienced developers, especially when you consider the low price.

Core Servlets and Java Server Pages 2nd Edition

Probably the best guide on the subject. If you want to learn about Servlets and JSP, get this book.

Java for the web with Jsp servlets

Kick ass J2EE book. Not the most exciting author, but he covers the material exceptionally well. If you want to learn Java web, you should get this book. The coverage of Servlets and JSP are the best I’ve seen, you just have to follow along and you’ll be amazed how quickly and easily you’ll learn.

What I like best is that the fundamentals are not passed-over, the explanations and examples are thoughtful and well presented. I did not go into the EJB parts of the book since I don’t ever use EJB (and most people shouldn’t).

The book is now a couple of years old (published 2002) but I think is still a great buy because the huge value that this book provides in the coverage of the fundamental mechanisms of Servlets and JSP.

Head First Servlets & JSP

O’reilly’s Head First series of books has raised the bar – these books are great. This is the most thorough introduction to JSP and Servlets on the market. The authors have figured out the stumbling blocks that many students come across and have dealt with them nicely.

The book is meant as a study guide for those interested in passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam and as such, it goes into great detail.

If you buy this book, plan to take some time going through it; this is no quick start guide. It is structured in such a way that it is difficult to find a quick examples of how to do things … they are in there but buried in the text.

If you want to get up and running really quick, I would go for another book like Core Servlets and Java Server Pages, but if you really want to gain a deep understanding of Servlets and JSP, this is the book and I highly recommend it.

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