Professional Java XML Programming with servlets and JSP

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9781861002853: Professional Java XML Programming with servlets and JSP

Meta-programming, or writing programs that customize, guide and modify other programs, is not a very new idea (LISP programmers have been doing it for decades) - but XML gives it a profoundly new twist.

XML greatly increases the ability of the user to exercise control over computer programs, by editing easily understandable text files. These programs know as little as possible about what they are actually being used to do. Instead, their structure and behavior are described with XML in domain-specific languages, and the programs "interpret" the descriptions.

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Review:

Aimed at developers with some previous Java experience, Professional Java XML Programming with Servlets and JSP shows how to combine two of today's hottest technologies to create highly customizable, data-driven Web applications. Besides a leading-edge tour of several important Java APIs, this book also contains an effective, in-depth tutorial for really understanding XML.

This main objective is to introduce a complete "application frameworks" for Java that uses servlets, JSPs, JDBC (for databases), and XML for customizing Web pages without changing source code. (This strategy lets anyone familiar with XML, SQL, and/or JSPs design new Web pages.) The "soft" or "generic" approach advocated here goes well beyond the basics and will help you rethink how Web applications work. The authors present the basics of each API as they build their solution. There are a variety of easy-to-understand sample servlets here--from a simple phone number database to an e-commerce shopping cart, and a servlet that incorporates JavaMail to send e-mail.

After a challenging guide to languages, grammars, and parsers (the underlying theory behind XML), the authors return to the practical side of things with excellent coverage of several current tools for XML, like Sun's Java parser and the Simple API for XML (SAX).

Even if you don't rely on the authors' solution completely for your own projects, this challenging and intelligent text shows off some useful possibilities for servlets combined with XML. For any Java programmer, the tour of basic servlet development and leading-edge XML support makes for an attractive choice for learning about these two very promising technologies. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Java servlet basics, 3-tiered architectures, JDBC and servlet APIs, sample custom framework for servlets, HTML basics, database connection pooling, language, grammars and parsers, context-free and context-sensitive grammars, XML and SGML basics, XHMTL vs. HTML, XML documents, XML namespaces, entities and DTDs, elements and attributes, the XML Document Object Model (DOM), the Simple API for XML (SAX), Sun's Java XML toolkit, JSPs and JavaBean basics, JavaMail APIs, XSLT and XPath.

From the Publisher:

Once .ini files and Notepad are replaced with .xml files and a validating XML editor, the possibilities for controlling programs from text files increase immeasurably, perhaps introducing a new way of programming and a new relationship between the user, the programmer and the program. The theme of the book is this collection of new possibilities; its goal is to help bring about the new relationship.

The book is in three parts. The first part is about Java, with no XML in sight. It covers the basic plumbing of a distributed Web application written in Java. The second part is about XML and XSLT, with very little Java. Our task here is to summarize both standard XML and XSLT and discover good programming practices.

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