Wicket In Action Book Review

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  1. Wicket In Action Book Review (19 messages)

    When you buy a book on a framework, you’re largely making a leap of faith that your hard-won cash purchased a resource capable of teaching you the basics about the topic, how to apply the topic in the real world and, finally, last for several years as a reference source. Wicket In Action, written by project committers Martijn Dashorst and Eelco Hillenius, is an excellent introduction to Apache Wicket and provides a significant direction applying the framework to business problems. While Wicket has a large number of code examples available for download and a collection of reference documentation, the examples are terse and best used to illustrate using a single component. The user-contributed documentation is sometimes out of date with current framework development and can be terse and hard to follow. Wicket In Action serves to round out the available framework documentation and provide new users with a rapid on-ramp to development. The book starts by describing problems encountered in web application development. While we’ve heard these problems before, the authors take a different spin on it, presenting the problem space in much the same way ORM frameworks are positioned – the impedance mismatch between the protocol and the business problem you’re trying to solve creates most of the difficulty in developing web applications. The explanation fits well into Wicket’s strong points, but it wouldn’t be much of a book otherwise. Wicket In Action does a great job explaining all of the core concepts, including models, components and input handling. The authors’ insight into models is excellent and very approachable for people new to Wicket or looking to expand their understanding. The introductory chapter on components was good, with coverage of labels, links and repeaters, but it isn’t deep enough to be considered reference material. Later component-heavy chapters, such as the chapters on forms and AJAX, make up for this with a large number of code examples and exploratory diagrams. The final section of the book addresses into the peripheral areas of the framework. The chapter on leveraging Hibernate and Spring is thorough without going into painful detail on either framework. The only information presented about Spring, for instance, is exactly what you need to know to use it with Wicket. Wicket In Action also provides excellent of coverage of internationalizing your application and how that works with resources like images and stylesheets. The final chapter discusses how to deploy your Wicket application into production and does a great job rounding out the book. Testing, logging and environment configuration wrap up the book, as well as a section on optimizing your application for search engines. That’s the good. While I’d like to stop the review here, there are a few areas I felt could use improvement. DropDownChoice, ChoiceGroup and RadioGroup didn’t see much detail in the chapter on forms. These components are frequent causes of confusion for new developers. Also, the section on displaying feedback to the user could have been expanded to a full chapter. Wicket’s feedback mechanism is surprisingly rich and the book only presents the basics in chapter six. Despite these narrow shortcomings, Wicket In Action still weighs in at around 400 pages, rich with code examples and graphics. I highly recommend Wicket In Action to developers new to the framework. The tutorial and conversational tone of the writing makes the book very approachable. I also recommend this book to developers with prior exposure to Wicket to help explore areas they’ve previously left untouched. Nick Heudecker is the principal at System Mobile, a San Jose-based software development company specializing in web application development.

    Threaded Messages (19)

  2. MEAP?[ Go to top ]

    Unless you know something I don't, I assume this is the early access version you are talking about? Regarding DropDownChoice, there may be more added yet. I notice that there is a reference to DataTables being introduced in chapter X, but there is no such intro.
  3. Re: MEAP?[ Go to top ]

    You're right. I reviewed an early access copy but the ebook is available today. The treeware version should be on shelves on 29 August.
  4. Thank you Wicket!!![ Go to top ]

    As the owner of a small development shop, I'd want to say I continue to be very proud of the decision we made last year to ditch struts and adopt Wicket. We struggled in pain to convince ourselves to go with the "standard" and switch to JSF but finally our intuition won. The first prototype project we developed from the ground up was very small and limited exploring the breads of the framework. But we all looked at each other and said: something smells good and refreshing about this framework. Today, we never look back! For the book, it was a great help. There were couple of other books available last year; but even in its primitive form last year, it was the best. I am pleased that the reviewer was bringing up exactly the two negatives I found with the book: little coverage of feedback and the dropdown/checkboxes/radio group. Nevertheless, the framework and the book were the best things that happened to our company in the fall of last year... Thank you Wicket team! Thank you Elco! Medhat
  5. any video training?[ Go to top ]

    wish there was a youtube video telling internals of these frameworks. (reading through book is tough).
  6. Re: any video training?[ Go to top ]

    Chapter 2 should get you started. After that, nothing beats the actual source and a debugger. :-)
  7. Re: any video training?[ Go to top ]

    Chapter 2 should get you started. After that, nothing beats the actual source and a debugger. :-)
    Oh absolutely!! In fact, right now I am setting break points in the Linux kernel to discover the best way of listing all the files in a particular directory, me and you are *HARDCORE TO THE MAX!!* Although, I would have to admit, for those people who only have a measly 24 hours in their day, it is probably best to start with the books/docs and only venture into the source code in cases where the documentation is not sufficient.
  8. Re: any video training?[ Go to top ]

    Chapter 2 should get you started. After that, nothing beats the actual source and a debugger. :-)


    Oh absolutely!! In fact, right now I am setting break points in the Linux kernel to discover the best way of listing all the files in a particular directory, me and you are *HARDCORE TO THE MAX!!*

    Although, I would have to admit, for those people who only have a measly 24 hours in their day, it is probably best to start with the books/docs and only venture into the source code in cases where the documentation is not sufficient.
    Nah. Java frameworks are much easier to get into than the Linux kernel, and those fancy Java IDEs are there to help us out. Try it, it's not as bad as you think :-)
  9. Re: any video training?[ Go to top ]

    Try it, it's not as bad as you think :-)
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I have had my head buried in all kinds of Java source code over the years. The only source code I have really struggled with was Tomcat. However, it is one thing to say that it is relatively easy to find your way around most open source Java, it is another to say that the source code is the best place to start when trying to learn a new tool or framework. I have looked at the Wicket source code out of curiosity a couple of times, but I have never really needed to. Certainly I wouldn't do it learn the basics. It would be like viewing a painting with your nose pressed against the canvas :).
  10. Re: any video training?[ Go to top ]

    Certainly I wouldn't do it learn the basics. It would be like viewing a painting with your nose pressed against the canvas :).
    Sure, I agree. However, Hari asked for a video about the internals of Wicket. And in that case, I think nothing beats exploring on your own.
  11. Good book, not a fan of the framework[ Go to top ]

    I read an earlier version of this book and I thought it was very good. It goes over a lot of essential information in good detail that is hard to find by googling.
  12. Thanks[ Go to top ]

    Thank you, Wicket developers, for the finest web framework of the 21 century. Without you Howard Lewis Ship, his slave Jesse Kuhnert, and the other Tapestry folks would be pushing their over-engineerd Tapestry into our throats not minding our soffucation. Howard's philosophy of code before you think, violating CS 101, has resulted in so many incompatible version of Tapestry, even within major releases. Again, Wicket developers, thanks for saving us from the harsh world around us. You rock! Regards, Jan
  13. Re: Thanks[ Go to top ]

    Dude, stop trolling. At least appreciate that HLS and JK put a lot of their spare time into the project that they believe in. Imho Tapestry is a lot nicer than many alternatives out there, and it is good to have choice anyway. And though you can disagree with specific choices in the framework, I find it admirable that HLS and other team members after years of activity still have the energy to keep improving the framework the way they see fit.
  14. Re: Thanks[ Go to top ]

    Thank you, Wicket developers, for the finest web framework of the 21 century. Without you Howard Lewis Ship, his slave Jesse Kuhnert, and the other Tapestry folks would be pushing their over-engineerd Tapestry into our throats not minding our soffucation. Howard's philosophy of code before you think, violating CS 101, has resulted in so many incompatible version of Tapestry, even within major releases.
    Again, Wicket developers, thanks for saving us from the harsh world around us. You rock!

    Regards,

    Jan
    I couldn't agree more, working with Tapestry seems to take a toll on you, no consistency is the biggest drawback of Tapestry. The framework is over-engineered with some concept that is weird. Any way I don't want to start a debate and if some one is happy with Tapestry go and use it.
  15. Thanks for the review Nick.
  16. Right on![ Go to top ]

    Great review! My sentiments exactly regarding this book. It is a big help and gives just enough information to be really helpful without being overwhelming. I have been receiving all the MEAP versions and it has really shaped up nicely. Go Wicket!
  17. Another +1 for wicket[ Go to top ]

    I have been using wicket for a fairly major project and I have found it to be simply awesome. It is the first web framework I have ever used that doesn't seem to get in my way. I have looked at the latest incarnation of Tapestry and while I am not quite so militant in my anti-tapestry views as a previous poster, I still feel like wicket is the better choice. In fact, I am getting a little tired of this annotation based injection mechanism that seems to be all the rage at the moment, I don't see why inheritance needs to be avoided at all costs and 'magic method' style conventions, while useful in a language like Ruby are a waste of good compile time checking in Java. Many of Tapestry's problems seem to stem from the 'managed framework' aspect that the Tapestry guys seem to cling to obsessively. Wicket demonstrates that if you allow the developer to create and manage their own objects, you don't need all the extra fluff. In wicket, I create a new web page with the constructor, in the same way I would create a JButton or a StringBuilder.... how refreshing!! Anybody who is regularly involved in using Java to develop web applications owes it to themselves to check out wicket, and by the sounds of things, this book would be a good place to start :). If I have my way, I will never use another web framework.
  18. The mailing list is a big plus[ Go to top ]

    The developers and others are very helpful there and answer questions very quickly.
  19. Thanks![ Go to top ]

    All I have to say is: THANKS !!! I have several projects in production right now with excellent results. Hibernate + Spring + Wicket + Tomcat simple rocks.
  20. Re: Wicket In Action Book Review[ Go to top ]

    I throughly recommend anyone to check out Wicket from both looking at the live examples and the book; especially if you are looking to move away from a Struts app. Introducing Wicket where I work has sparked the passion back into web development into my colleagues after cringing when any web development is on the task list. You can create complex user interfaces in a small amount of time writing minimal code using intuitive OO principles and abstracting the HTTP protocol.