Re: JSP Web-Development [newbie]

Chris Riesbeck <>
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 13:37:14 -0500
On 7/28/2010 12:31 PM, pmz wrote:

Dear Group,

1. At the beginning I'd like to apologize you for any mistakes or
misunderstood's, which might occur in message below, but I'm a quite
beginner in JSP so maybe some of my problems aren't really problems ;)
My Java knowledge is intermediate, but the structures of JSP or JSF or
any other frameworks is pretty bad, but I do not have any idea how to

Personally, I prefer JSTL over straight JSP, to reduce jumping back and
forth between HTML and Java syntax. So iteration over a collection is

     <c:forEach var="item" items="${myObj.thingies}">
        <li><c:out value="${item}" /></li>

instead of

   <% for (Object item : myObj.getThingies()) { %>
      <li><%= item %></li>
   <% } <%>

With more nesting, those separated braces get annoying fast.

2. I'm trying to build bit complex website based on JSP (which I've
done a lot in PHP, so the main idea of website engineering is quite
common for me), but I a bit confused about the architecture/structure
of a JSP webpage building. The problem is, I'm not able to imagine in
my mind, how the architecture (directory structure) should be found,
how do I divide the template files, the engine core, etc.

You can do almost anything, but don't put pages and other user-viewable
items under WEB-INF. WEB-INF is for libraries, class files, and XML
configuration files. So you could have

       jsp files
       css files

and other flatter or more nested structures as you choose.

3. What I've done in PHP, is quite simple structural solution, which
looked like following:

mainFile {
   switch( __mainArgument from _GET ) {
     case "myPlugin":
        include "";
     /// And so on, and so on

The problem is, that the switch() java statement is not supporting
Strings - okay - so I'm not able to such as above.

I don't know PHP so I don't know what mainArgument is, but if there's a
URL parameter thing for selecting what to include, e.g.,
/myApp?thing=myPlugin, then you could do something like that with this JSTL:

     <c:when test='${param.thing == "myPlugin"}'>
       <jsp:include page="myPlugin.jsp" />
       <jsp:include page="myDefault.jsp" />

Whether that's a good way to do this is not for me to say.

was wondering what about dynamic elements, which are visible in any
index.jsp (and \*\index.jsp) file? Let me show it on an example:

/// index.jsp
     [DEPEND ON \%s\index.jsp CONTENT HERE] [1]
     [DEFAULT CONTENT of \%s\index.jsp] [2]

The [2] position is quite simple, because it might be defined directly
in my file, but what if I include in [1] position a file, which is
also included in base index.jsp (ROOT)? There should be a submenu
display, which should display menu items regarding to the module

This may be a paradigm difference with PHP. In JSP, you don't do a lot
of including of other JSP files. That's mostly for common blocks of
HTML/JSP code, like a navigation bar.

Most of the dynamic content is created by the use of c:forEach and
c:choose and so on, along with Java object containers, like this:

   <p>Welcome, <c:out value="${user.fullName}" />!</p>

where user is a session attribute set up by a backend Java application.
JSP/JSTL/JSF are used for front-end display -- the view and controller
in model-view-controller. The more complex model logic is done in Java.

Google for Java JSTL best practices and you'll get sites like

Javaworld, IBM and Sun/Oracle are reliable sources.

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