Mani Jagathesan

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Recent posts by Mani Jagathesan


I don't recall getting any questions on custom classic tags.

But, that may be because I took the test last Friday, 03/31. Or, perhaps, the few questions on custom classic tags were not difficult and hence I don't recollect. Sorry, I couldn't be of much help here.

I do recollect question patterns that I had on a combination of EL/Java Beans and a few on taglib.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for nice messages.

Ponnus: There is a link in this forum that will point you to all the resources.

If you go down to Rancher Notes, Frederic's Notes is the first one.

Good luck!

Hi all,

I am happy to inform that I passed the exam with 89%.

Having read the Head First series for Java, I thought I would get a copy of HFSJ to just understand the concepts of web programming and I wasn't serious about the exam when I bought the book. It was easy to follow and the amount I grasped urged me to take the test! HFSJ is an excellent book to understand the concepts.

My exam prep resources:

1. HFSJ - this was my primary resource for the preparation i.e., to understand the concepts.

2. I used the book by Hanumant Deshmukh, Jignesh Malavia and Matthew Scarpino for design patterns - SCWCD Exam Study Kit (Java Web Component Developer Certification). This book also has a good example on using dynamic attributes.

I also did all the questions from this book. The questions on include mechanisms (directive & standard action), Java beans, EL, tags, tag handlers form this book gave me more practicse.

3. Mock exams - HFSJ mock exam at the end of the book and the ones from and I got 69% in HFSJ and 89% in the real exam. I found the HFSJ quite tough.

A drawback about the mock exam - it is for 1.3 and does not cover EL etc,. I would suggest you practise on EL & tags as much as possible. Expect about 7-8 questions on EL in the real exam.

4. Specs - is a must.

5. Frederic Esnault's notes: Fantastic notes to do some cramming and revise quickly. He has put in all the important points from HFSJ and some of his own. Great job Frederic!

Feed back on HFSJ

A couple of notes I thought will make this book even better..

1. I thought a sample DD and TLD file will be helpful, may be in an appendix. With so much material to understand and retain, at one point of time I was confused about the location of <taglib>..</taglib> location.

2. Design patterns: It may help to have sub-topics where the principles of a pattern should be clearly distinguished from the scenarios where it can be applied. Scenarios could be examples. The SCWCD book has a sub-topic "Points to remember" which is nothing but what words/phrases to look for in the exam. This was very helpful.

3. May be more chapter wise mock exam questions on EL, taglib and how to use EL with Java beans.

My sincere thanks to Bryan Basham, Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates for the wonderful book HSFJ. Frederic, many thanks for your notes and answering my questions on the forum. Thanks to all the ranchers in this forum for their tips, questions, insights etc,.

Thanks again & good luck!


Hi Guys,

Can some one please clear this for me?

Q9. HFSJ says a TLD file may exist in any sub-dir of web-inf.

However, the spec (JSP 7.3.1, pg 1-160) says "When deployed directly into a web appln, the tag library descriptor files must always be in the WEB-INF dir or some sub-dir of it. TLD files should not be placed in /WEB-INF/classes or /WEB-INF/lib."

Doesn't the 2nd part of this make this option invalid in the answers?

I also noticed that HFSJ also had the same answer in the chapter wise mock exam and in the deployment chapter it says the same.

However, the above marked statment from spec leaves me a little confused.

Q55. The valueBound() is fired after each of the setAttribute() and valueUnbound() is fired soon after the removeAttribute().

But, what happens when the third setAttribute("key", "x") is executed? How does this log the output to be UB?

setAttribute("key", new X() ); log output is B
setAttribute("key", new X() ); log output is B
setAttribute("key", "x"); how is it UB here?
removeAttribute("key"); log output is UB


Thanks for your help.

In one of the mock exams, I had this question.

Consider the following description of a tag in a TLD:

<description>Replaces emotions such as , , and with images. /description>

Which of the following statements regarding the above tag are correct?

Select 2 correct options.

a. It is an empty tag.
b. It may be used as an empty tag. < -- Correct
c. It must have a body.
d. It must implement BodyTag interface. < -- Correct
Explanation:Since the body-content is tagdependent, it must implement the BodyTag interface.
e. It may take an attribute named 'name'. But if present, its value must be dynamic.

My doubt: SimpleTags can also have <body-content> of tagdependent. I thought the only way we could tell what interface it implements is by actually looking at the class.

I thought, the second answer option for this question will be option C as tagdependent treats body-content as plain text.

Can the experts help me out please?


Do you mind telling which mock exams you practised with?

15 years ago

Do you think the JDiscuss and (even though it is 1.3, it is applicable) mock exams along with HFSJ will be good enough for the real exam? Or, do you suggest Whizlabs etc,?

Do you think the mock exams you specified are good enough to practise before the real exam?

Thanks for your input.
Would it be enough to take the free mock exams by and other than the HFSJ mock exam or is it advisable to give other mock exams - from Whizlab etc,. that we have to pay for?

Opinions of people who have cleared the exam will really help.


Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant to ask for any tips on doing well in the real exam.

Your notes are very helpful. I plan to give the mock exams from, and the HFSJ mock exam. I will let you know if I need more help.

Thanks again.
I tried a mock (one of the 'difficult') tests from and the result was not encouraging. I am going through your notes (links in your signature) and they are very helpful, to the point.

Any tips would be very helpful.


Yes, that was very helpful. Thanks very much.