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taglib book

Tony Yan
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Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 170
Hi,
I wonder if anyone can tell me which are good jsp custom tag books. I guess simon brown's wrox book is one (well that's the one I could found solely for that). I read the free chap. 6. pretty good but could be added with more examples. Are there any others you can recommend?
And, does it pay to learn JSTL at this stage? It seems still in early developing.
Thanks!


Tony Yan<br /> <br />IBM Certified Developer XML and Related Technology<br />Sun Certified Web Component Developer For J2EE Platform<br />Sun Certified Programmer For Java 2 Platform
Shawn Bayern
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Joined: May 06, 2002
Posts: 160
Originally posted by Tony Yan:
Hi,
I wonder if anyone can tell me which are good jsp custom tag books. I guess simon brown's wrox book is one (well that's the one I could found solely for that). I read the free chap. 6. pretty good but could be added with more examples. Are there any others you can recommend?

I recommend Simon's book and the one by Schachor, et al. ("JSP Tag Libraries"), published by Manning.
And, does it pay to learn JSTL at this stage? It seems still in early developing.

This isn't correct. The JSTL 1.0 standard is released, and compliant implementations of this standard are already available (from Sun as part of the Web Services Pack, and separately from the Jakarta project as the "Standard Taglib," which is one offering from Jakarta Taglibs). Other vendors, like Caucho (which produces Resin) are working on their own implementations.
So JSTL's status is absolutely the opposite of early development; it's a finalized standard released from the Java Community Process (just like the Servlet API, JSP, and so forth).
Hope that helps,


Shawn Bayern<br />"JSTL in Action" <a href="http://www.jstlbook.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.jstlbook.com</a>
Tony Yan
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Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 170
Dear Shawn:
Thanks for the info. From looking at these two books' TOC, it seems to me that the Manning book covers from easy to hard with some real case studies. The Wrox book probably has the same thing but the TOC at wrox.com is too simplified. I like the WAP part of the Manning book since I may have to do it in the near future.
Thanks again.
BTW: the review at Javaranch on the Manning book is pretty good.
Simon Brown
sharp shooter, and author
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Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 1913
    
    6
Hi Tony,
Apologies about the TOC at wrox.com - have you taken a look at my version which is taken from the introduction to my book? It can be found here.
Just to provide some context, I see custom tags as a fantastic mechanism for wrapping up common, reusable presentation-based functionality for use on JSP pages and as such, I tried to steer away from covering topics like how to access databases and instead wanted to provide a solid foundation for anybody wanting to develop custom tags.
For this reason, chapters 1 to 7 cover all of the tag "basics" - simple tags, tag attributes, tag body content, introducting scripting variables, iterating with tags, body tags (chapter 6) and cooperating tags. However, rather than just have tutorials on how to implement the functionality, there are alternatives to choose and commentary covering some of the best practices, rules of thumb and recommendations on which alternative is most applicable for the job.
The book then steps up a gear to cover what, IMHO, isn't often covered online and in print. This includes topics like custom tags vs. JavaBeans, common uses for tags/tag patterns (chapter 8), and also the principles around good design that relates tags back to OO and component-based development.
Then there's some quite advanced material on how to best handle exceptions, how the container can pool tag handler instances and what this means for us as developers. Another area that isn't often covered is that of tag validation - things like TagExtraInfo classes and the new JSP 1.2 TagLibraryValidator. Following on from this is deployment, discussing the several ways in which tags can be deployed into the container. Finally, to wrap off we have a case study that makes extensive use of custom tags and a chapter introducing some of the 3rd party tag libraries that are available.
The only big area that I unfortunately didn't get time to cover was that of how to test custom tags. Hopefully the TagUnit project will rectify that.
All in all, I went for a slightly different approach. Please do check out the detailed contents and feel free to e-mail me (simon at javaranch.com) if you have any questions.
As for the JSTL - it's definitely worth learning as it will ultimately make building JSPs much easier.
Cheers
Simon
[ July 31, 2002: Message edited by: Simon Brown ]
 
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