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0.3. Organization

This book consists of 13 chapters and 5 appendices, as follows:

Chapter 1, "Introduction"

Explains the role and advantage of Java servlets in web application development.

Chapter 2, "HTTP Servlet Basics"

Provides a quick introduction to the things an HTTP servlet can do: page generation, server-side includes, servlet chaining, and JavaServer Pages.

Chapter 3, "The Servlet Life Cycle"

Explains the details of how and when a servlet is loaded, how and when it is executed, how threads are managed, and how to handle the synchronization issues in a multithreaded system. Persistent state capabilities are also covered.

Chapter 4, "Retrieving Information"

Introduces the most common methods a servlet uses to receive information--about the client, the server, the client's request, and itself.

Chapter 5, "Sending HTML Information"

Describes how a servlet can generate HTML, return errors and other status codes, redirect requests, write data to the server log, and send custom HTTP header information.

Chapter 6, "Sending Multimedia Content"

Looks at some of the interesting things a servlet can return: dynamically generated images, compressed content, and multipart responses.

Chapter 7, "Session Tracking"

Shows how to build a sense of state on top of the stateless HTTP protocol. The first half of the chapter demonstrates the traditional session-tracking techniques used by CGI developers; the second half shows how to use the built-in support for session tracking in the Servlet API.

Chapter 8, "Security"

Explains the security issues involved with distributed computing and demonstrates how to maintain security with servlets.

Chapter 9, "Database Connectivity"

Shows how servlets can be used for high-performance web-database connectivity.

Chapter 10, "Applet-Servlet Communication"

Describes how servlets can be of use to applet developers who need to communicate with the server.

Chapter 11, "Interservlet Communication"

Discusses why servlets need to communicate with each other and how it can be accomplished.

Chapter 12, "Internationalization"

Shows how a servlet can generate multilingual content.

Chapter 13, "Odds and Ends"

Presents a junk drawer full of useful servlet examples and tips that don't really belong anywhere else.

Appendix A, "Servlet API Quick Reference"

Contains a full description of the classes, methods, and variables in the javax.servlet package.

Appendix B, "HTTP Servlet API Quick Reference"

Contains a full description of the classes, methods, and variables in the javax.servlet.http package.

Appendix C, "HTTP Status Codes"

Lists the status codes specified by HTTP, along with the mnemonic constants used by servlets.

Appendix D, "Character Entities"

Lists the character entities defined in HTML, along with their equivalent Unicode escape values.

Appendix E, "Charsets"

Lists the suggested charsets servlets may use to generate content in several different languages.

Please feel free to read the chapters of this book in whatever order you like. Reading straight through from front to back ensures that you won't encounter any surprises, as efforts have been taken to avoid forward references. If you want to skip around, however, you can do so easily enough, especially after Chapter 5, "Sending HTML Information"--the rest of the chapters all tend to stand alone. One last suggestion: read Section 0.7, "Debugging" in Chapter 13, "Odds and Ends" if at any time you find a piece of code that doesn't work as expected.

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