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Take the Next Step with Java Server Pages
on March 19, 2003
Last year I built a website that used Java Server Pages to dynamically generate most of the pages. It worked well, but was very kludgy. JSPs invariably mix the HTML display code with some of the internal data logic. Through a judicious use of the
Model-View-Controller paradigm, I was able to reduce this mixing. But a minimal amount was still inevitable. This is a common experience with JSPs. You end up with files containing java code and HTML. Ugly and brittle. Plus, it calls upon two areas of expertise. A separation of the two would be much more
robust, and allow people with skills in only one of these areas to still contribute to the development.
In answer to this, Sun has been refining its Standard Tag Library. Specifically, it now has an expression language that is a programming language in its own right and is comprehensively described in this book, which bears Sun's official impramateur. Programmers versed in other languages can quickly absorb this. Thru it, you can easily write code to access Java Beans and other java programs. Plenty of clear examples are provided.
Of interest to several will be how to use STL to hook up to back end SQL databases; transferring from them into webpages and transmitting user changes back into the databases.
The author also covers the important case of interacting with XML, which is now a de facto standard for data interchange. Nor does he neglect describing issues of internationalisation. Practical for those who have to support several languages.
The sum of all these is to make this book very useful for those of you needing to build JSPs in business applications. I do wish I had this book last year!