Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Review - Pro Jakarta Velocity

 Pro Jakarta VelocityPro Jakarta Velocity
by Rob Harrop

5 out of 5 stars

I have always been a strong supporter of Velocity. I even wrote an article for JavaRanch about Velocity back in March. Velocity is an open source template framework designed to simplify the task of generating content such as web pages, email, or any other text-based output. The Velocity documentation available from Apache is short, low on examples, and leaves holes (even if it is fairly good compared to some other open source projects). This book fills in the gaps and gives excellent coverage of the many features that are available with Velocity.

The book starts with an introduction to Velocity and then explains how to install and configure it. The author then discusses the Velocity Template Language, examines its shortcomings, and demonstrates how to get around them. Best practices are covered early in the book. Although Velocity is normally thought of as a web-based framework, the author doesn't let us forget that it can be used for both stand-alone and web applications and gives us detailed chapters on both. Velocity tools are well covered including Anakia, which can be used to transform XML. The Velocity architecture is explained as well as ways to extend that architecture.

The examples are well thought out and give good coverage of the features of Velocity. The most interesting part of the examples is how little work it is to integrate Velocity into a well-designed framework. The author shows how Velocity fits into both Struts and Spring, demonstrating that Velocity is not meant to replace these frameworks but rather to simplify content generation in any framework. I can strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in Velocity. For anyone not interested in Velocity, the question is, why not?

This earned 5 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Apress.

The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.


Anonymous said...

I'm also a strong supporter of Velocity and I wrote a little application named VeloGUI which is a Swing application launched by Java Web Start where you can test some velocity code and see the merged result without commpiling anything !
Give it a try, it's free ;-)

France Arnulfo

Tom P. said...

VeloGui is actually mentioned in the book. It is described as "a nifty little utility."

Anonymous said...

It's great that VeloGUI was mentioned in the book !
I'll put this book on my Christmas wish list ;-)

Franck Arnulfo