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about instance variables in Classic Tag handler?

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i have created a tag "lastModified" with an optional attribute named "format".

i am using the tag with and without attribute in different JSP depending on the my requirement.

for e.g
if i it is called with the attribute value "MM/dd/yyyy" for the first time, and
second time it is called attribute.

now for the second time does the instance variable declared for the "format" attribute still contains the old value "MM/dd/yyyy" or will it be set to null automatically by the container or do i need to set it to null,

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