JSP Tag Libraries

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These third-party libraries might take care of some of the tedious tasks associated with alternative clients, such as identifying devices, their attributes (screen size, color, etc.), and general content formatting for a particular device.

1.6 Summary


You should now be able to see how previous extension mechanisms have fallen short of providing a fast, easy-to-use, and well-designed approach to building dynamic web applications. These goals are especially important in light of the growing trend toward alternative web clients (such as WAP, PDA, and Voice) and the likely additional development efforts and complexity required for their support.


After our cursory look at extension techniques, we will focus more closely on the extension techniques that relate to this book, namely, those offered by Java. In our quest to learn about JSP custom tags, we’ll take one more crucial side trip to learn the basics of the technologies on which custom tags are built: Java servlets and Java-Server Pages. These technologies are the focus of our next chapter.

Web development with Java


To learn more about the present, we must take a look at the past. In this case, we will study Java’s evolution as a web development leader—servlets to JSP to JSP custom tags—which stands on the shoulders of the previous two technologies. The servlet API outlined here is used heavily by both JSP and custom tags. Equally important are the deployment techniques which are identical for any of the Java extension techniques. A working knowledge of the servlet API and JSP basics will be crucial to understanding the rest of this book.

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