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Cool New Features in JSP 2.0

Posted by horwat on June 12, 2003 at 3:52 PM PDT

Earlier this week I was able to attend the JSP 2.0 session and learn about
its cool new features. There are so many changes that it certainly warrants
the major version number upgrade.

Mark Roth, the "wizard"
of JSP, began his presentation with a funny
pink brains
and pacifiers analogy. The brains and pacifiers represented
the different user types. He had a table with brains and pacifiers that amused
me immensely. The table showed how the learning curve of JSP 2.0 is lower than
JSP 1.2.

One of the cool new features that's available in JSP 2.0 is an integrated expression
language. JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL) 1.0 introduced the concept of the EL but it was limited to only
the JSTL tags. With JSP 2.0 you can use the EL with template text. You even
get programmatic access via javax.servlet.jsp.el. This powerful feature has
now been truly unleashed.

JSP 2.0 also makes it much easier to write custom tags. You now get simple
tag extensions with a simpler tag handler API and you only have to implement
one easy doTag() method. Simple.

Another thing that I found really cool is the new concept of tag files. These
tag files allow you to quickly write simple tag extensions using only jsp syntax.
This really empowers page authors who may not be familiar with java development.
Now you only need to just drop a .tag file in /WEB-INF/tags and you're done.

There are many more new features available in JSP 2.0. Download
it and give it a whirl.