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Professional JSP Tag Libraries by Simon Brown

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 959

Author/s : Simon Brown
Publisher : Wrox
Category : J2EE and Distributed Computing
Review by : John Wetherbie
Rating : 8 horseshoes

This book is a great introduction and tutorial on writing JSP custom tags. It
takes a step-by-step and very detailed approach to the subject and has lots of
example code. Chapters build on the information presented in previous chapters,
so this is one of those books you really do want to read from start to finish. I
think you'll want to do this anyway...

The book can be divided, like Gaul, into three parts. The first part (Chapters
1-7) takes the reader from constructing simple tags through Body Tags and
finally to tags that cooperate with other tags to perform a task. The second
section (Chapters 8-10) discusses the situations that custom tags should be used
for and provides examples, design approaches for tags and tag libraries, and how
to validate and deploy your tags. The chapter on validation addresses validation
in the tag handler itself, in a TagExtraInfo class, and the use of the
TagLibraryValidator class to validate pages that import a tag library. The last
two chapters present a case study and brief overviews of Struts tags, Jakarta
Taglibs, and the Java Standard Tag Library (JSTL).

The book focuses on tag capabilities in JSP 1.2 but you can use most of what is
presented in JSP 1.1. In fact, the chapter on Body Tags re-visits an iteration
example from a previous chapter to demonstrate how tags that iterate over a
collection can be developed in JSP 1.1.
More info at
More info at
Simon Brown
sharp shooter, and author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 1913
Just a quick note to say that the following sample chapters from the book are available to download in PDF format from my website at
  • Chapter 5 : Iteration Tags
  • Chapter 8 : Tag Patterns (including a section on Tags vs. JavaBeans)

  • The website also contains links to download the example code and errata for the book.
    Cindy Glass
    "The Hood"

    Joined: Sep 29, 2000
    Posts: 8521
    Yep - John wrote such a good review that I think that we will make it "Book Review of the Month".
    OH - it might also have something to do with how well Simon WROTE the book .

    "JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
    I agree. Here's the link:
    subject: Professional JSP Tag Libraries by Simon Brown
    jQuery in Action, 3rd edition