JSP Tag Libraries

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In this chapter

■    The web environment

■    Dynamic web servers

■    Tag-based programming

■    Web clients and WAP

The big picture

1.1 The JSP custom tags solution

Building data-driven, dynamic web sites is a problem as old as the Internet. Developers have progressed from Common Gateway Interface (CGI), server-side JavaScript, and web server plug-ins to Java servlets to build sites. As with any technology, something newer and greater, bigger and better is always just around the corner. Today’s newer and greater, bigger and better technology is JavaServer Pages (JSP) custom tags.

Although custom tags (and the servlet technology from which custom tags are derived) are much easier to develop and learn than some of their predecessors, they still require a solid understanding of the environment in which they run, namely, the Internet.

Since JSP custom tags represent a way to serve dynamic content in a web site, you’ll need a strong working knowledge of basic web concepts before you begin. Before exploring JSP custom tags, familiarity with the Web and developing dynamic web sites is strongly recommended. If you are thoroughly versed in this, you may skip to the next chapter where we discuss the basics of servlets and JSPs. If you are new to web development we suggest you read this chapter to obtain an overview of fundamental topics that will prove useful later in this book:

■    Basic Internet programming concepts such as HTTP

■    Existing techniques to extend a web server to serve dynamic content

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