Monday, November 28, 2005

Intro J2EE Books

So as a part of my new job I may, as time goes on, have a need to deal with the looming monster of J2EE in one way or another. We have a lot of Java code in the system, and while I don't actually work on it, there are definately going to be times when the part of the system I work on will intersect the part of the system I know virtually nothing about.

You see, despite the fact that I do, in theory, know Java, and in fact that I've been paid in the past to write both desktop Java applications and Java web applications, I really know very little about J2EE. Honestly, I don't even like the term J2EE. If people could just say "Java Web Applications" I'd be fine with it, but as soon as they try to use the term "Enterprise" to make something like a web page sound impressive I really start to glaze over.

Despite this, I do recognize that there are a lot of smart J2EE developers out there, and they have built a number of impressive systems using those technologies, and since I do have a need to interact with this stuff it's probably a good idea that I actually learn something about it. So this weekend I stopped at a book store and tried to find a decent looking intro J2EE book. So far, I've been largely dissappointed. I picked up a copy of "Core Servlets and Java Server Pages", which seems reasonable enough for the JSP and Servlet stuff, which I already know, but could probably use a reference on, but it's like 3 inches thick, and covers a bunch of useless "HTTP and HTML 1.0" crap that nobody who's been alive in the programming world over the past few years should need to see again.

Plus, it doesn't cover anything other than Servlents and JSP, plus a smidgen of things like JDBC. I mean I've got no freaking clue about EJBs, or any number of other acronyms that show up in the J2EE world, but I'm certainly not willing to go out and buy a 40 dollar book for each and every one of them, and from what I can see that's what you're buying into when you start picking up books in the J2EE space.

So does anyone have a good intro J2EE book they'd like to recommend to me? Something to get me to the point where I can be conversant in the terminology and know enough to poke around in some code without being totally lost, but where I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars and waste weeks of my time reading hundreds of pages of crap?