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From "Simon Kelly" <>
Subject Re: [OT] Learning Curve Management or Confusions of a Newbie
Date Fri, 07 Mar 2003 09:01:28 GMT
Jeff you are not alone in this.  I've been at this for six months and have
gone through pretty much the same set of problems.  The thing with what you
are suggesting (and this is only my opinion) is, "Who will do it *AND* look
after it?".  The trouble is (and I have found this through searching the
net) the shear volume of papers, documents, examples and postings (150+ per
day) that would have to be referenced and collected to make this of any use
to people.  And I have to say, I DO NOT want the job :-)



----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Smith" <>
To: "Struts Users Mailing List" <>
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 9:05 AM
Subject: [OT] Learning Curve Management or Confusions of a Newbie

I have to confess, I'm a newbie. I've been a C/C++ programmer for 20 years,
but after dinking around for a few months with ASP, VBScript, PHP and a few
other technologies, I decided that Java was the language to build my web
apps in.

A month ago I was completely cold. Didn't know the first thing about any of
this stuff. But I knew I wanted to learn it, so off I went, marching into
the high weeds. First I had to learn Java. Then came servlets and JSPs and
Tomcat. And along that path I also had to absorb Ant. And JUnit. And Log4J.
And then there was a bunch of time lost exploring NetBeans/Eclipse/WebSphere
before settling on JEdit as my environment of choice.

Then came Struts, and all the various taglibs. An experiment with Cayenne.
And Cactus. And god-knows what else I've explored.

And through it all, I am continually amazed at the strength and breadth of
the resources and support available. And equally frustrated by it. I can
never remember where I saw a particular bit of information. So when I
finally learn enough to understand what Ted was talking about in his
monograph on Connection Pooling, I can't remember where I saw it.

And when I want to learn enough about EJBs to figure out if I need to care
about them, or if they are relevant to my planned project, I have to wade
through another day of voluminous coverage before I have enough of a handle
on what they are to make some intelligent guesses about where to look next.

My point is that I believe the Apache/Java/Struts/... universe is quickly
reaching a point where its very breadth is becoming a barrier to entry for
people who don't have a couple of months to devote to bootstrapping

Is there any thought being given to creating a higher-level resource
interface that could serve as a single point of reference for all things
Apache? (I realize that "all things java" would be going way too far.) As a
simple solution, if every document in the Apache infrastructure had a meta
tag that listed the questions answered by the document, then a very
powerful, automated FAQ could be maintained. And such a system would make it
much easier (I believe) to find things quickly than simply searching the
site for key words.

This may not be the best (or only) solution, but I do believe that for all
the very specific support and discussions there are, there is really very
little over-view material to assist newcomers or people looking for
information outside of their core area.

Or maybe I'm the only one who feels overwhelmed by it all. :-)


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