This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
Since <html:xxx> tags are tied to a property of the ActionForm, you can set a default for any <html:xxx> tag by setting the corresponding property in your ActionForm bean. For example, if you put the following statement in your Action class:
The default value in your <html:select property="birthPlace" > tag will be "Japan", provided "Japan" is one of the available options.