Chapter 2. HTTP Servlet Basics

This chapter provides a short tutorial on how to write and execute a simple HTTP servlet. Then it explains how to deploy the servlet in a standard web application and how to configure the servlet’s behavior using an XML-based deployment descriptor.

Unlike the first edition, this chapter does not cover servlet-based server-side includes (SSI) or servlet chaining and filtering. This is because those techniques, as useful as they were and despite the fact they were implemented in the Java Web Server, have not been officially endorsed by the servlet specification (which came out after the first edition of this book was published). SSI has been replaced by new techniques for doing programmatic includes. Servlet chaining has been decreed too inelegant for official endorsement, although the basic idea seems likely to reappear in Servlet API 2.3 as part of an official general-purpose pre- and post-filtering mechanism.

Note that the code for each of the examples in this chapter and throughout the book is available for download in both source and compiled form (as described in the preface). However, for this first chapter, we suggest that you deny yourself the convenience of the Internet and take the time to type in the examples. It should help the concepts seep into your brain. Don’t be alarmed if we seem to skim lightly over some topics in this chapter. Servlets are powerful and, at times, complicated. The point here is to give you a general overview ...

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