Chapter 23. Using the JSTL
JavaServer Page’s custom tags and tag handlers are designed to help you invent your own tags. While this is a powerful tool for Java web developers, developing custom tags entails a steep learning curve and can be time consuming. Luckily, some hard-working volunteer software developers have developed a bunch of highly useful tags for you. This tag collection is called the JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL). The JSTL specification arises from the Java Community Process (JSR-052) and the Apache Jakarta Project has developed a JSTL implementation, the Standard 1.0 taglib.
The JSTL has very broad functionality. It includes tags that:
Set object attributes for web applications (
Output text to web pages (
Iterate over collections of data (
Format numbers, dates, and currencies using different international styles (e.g.,
Transform XML (
Interact with databases using SQL (e.g.,
Allow you to embed function calls in JSP code and template text (e.g.,
fn:substring( )). This functionality is available only with JSP 2.0 and JSTL 1.1 (see Recipe 23.14).
The EL was once part of JSTL 1.0 but ...