JSP Tag Libraries

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■    How tag-based techniques like custom JSP tags work.

This chapter is not meant to replace a book dedicated to any of these topics. It will, however, explain the fundamentals of Internet development and discuss existing web development platforms that explain the basis for using JSP custom tags and the environment in which they function.

We finish this chapter with a brief discussion of alternative web clients, such as WAP phones/devices, and we cover the growing trend to extend web development to nontraditional devices, such as phones and pagers, and how this has created an even greater demand for custom tags.

Before learning JSP custom tags, you may be asking yourself “Why should I?” There is, after all, no shortage of technologies available to anyone who wishes to build a dynamic web application. The question is best answered by reading through this chapter and learning about web development techniques, their shortcomings, and how JSP custom tags compare to these techniques. You’ll learn how JSP custom tags offer a way to create flexible web solutions that fit several bills: they are built on industry standards, they enjoy Java’s cross-platform feature, and they solve one of the most troubling problems of web development—cleanly separating business logic from presentation logic. We’ll discuss this separation in detail in section 1.3.4. We present a discussion of the benefits of using JSP custom tags in chapter

1.2 HTTP review

We begin this chapter with a brief discussion of Internet fundamentals and basic web development that provides a grounding for exploring the complexities of JSP custom tag development.

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