Web Frameworks

I found this free e-book which describes some web development frameworks for Java developers. These frameworks are like those of event driven GUI applications. However they sometimes have steep learning curves. Java provides some web technology. But it does not provide a web application framework. So these third party frameworks have come about to help you with the low level tasks.

Struts is the most well known framework. It is well documented and has a large following. A drawback of using struts are the big configuration files. You need to use a lot of XML markup files for forms and rendering. I hear that developers are moving away from this framework in general.

Java Server Faces (JSF) is another framework. It runs on an application server like WebSphere. It strives to decouple the components and the view. The most frequently used implementation of JSF is Apache's MyFaces. JSF uses a managed bean to store user info. The bean classes contains the logic. This technology is backed by big companies like the former Sun Microsystems. A few years back I did hear that JSF might not be appropriate for mission critical applications. Not sure whether this opinion has since changed yet.

Game Programming

I just started reading The Black Art of Java Game Programming. And I tell you what. I already have a good feeling about this book. Sure it was written in 1996 when Java 1 just came out. However by chapter 2 we are already learning about animation. Damn.

One thing that struck me as odd was that the authors of the book are young. Or more precisely they are still in school. One of these is an undergrad, and the other a grad. That does not mean they are junior. They seemed to be on the cutting edge of Java right when it came out.

This book does specialize in teaching you how to code network games. The authors believe that object oriented programming is the way to go for creating games. They are going to teach me a lot about AWT (since Swing has not been invented I guess).

Chapter 1 already got me into a lot of Java syntax. It also highly recommends you use arrays instead of lists for speed. Back in 1996, Java ran a lot slower than compiled C or C++. I also learned some basic stuff I was never taught in my Java college class. The import statement allows you to reference classes in packages. However you can still access those classes without an import by using the classes fully qualified name. I did not know that. I am excited about getting into the meat of this book. Who knows? I might be turning out some cool games in no time.

Java Enterprise Edition 6

I read an article on the good things coming in Java EE version 6. There is a new API for REST. There is a web profile, meaning you can use a scaled down version of the previously bloated enterprise edition. In the tools department, there is a new version of NetBeans being released.

Enterprise Java Beans has been updated. Things have gotten much simpler with it. The beans are "light". Complexities such as requirements for frameworks are gone. This is in line with the scaled down profile version of the Java EE.

Right now I am still concentrating on learning Java Standard Edition. Some Java friends keep asking me whether I am up to speed on Java EE. It might be time to start learning it. Looks like I will have access to a new updated version, which is actually simpler than previous ones.

Java Game Programming

I read a blog post about hiring for startups (or something like that). It was written very well. So I checked out the author's bio. Turns out he was one of the authors of an old book called The Black Art of Java Game Programming. When I say old, I mean it was published in the 1990's for Java 1.0.

Normally books like these get obsolete immediately. And this book seems to have code that became obsolete with Java 1.1. However a number of comments on Amazon indicate the book still has a lot of merits. Well it warrants a read by me even though the book might be 25 years old. I placed an order with Amazon today.

I will let you know what I learn. Things are looking good for my Java development. I took a college class last year. This year I plan to take a week off from work and complete the remaining chapter in my college class textbook. I had though I might learn some more HTML programming (including JavaScript) later this year. However I might change direction and get deeper into Java. If so you will be hearing about it with some more frequent posts on this blog. Stay tuned.