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JavaServer Faces by Hans Bergsten

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Building a View from Many JSP Files

In the preceding chapters, we’ve worked with the different areas of the sample application as separate pages. Besides making it easier to explain the features one by one without overwhelming you with unrelated details, this approach also make sense for developing a real application, because you can work with smaller files that are easier to grasp and debug. At some point, though, you need to put all the pieces together. There are two ways to build up a JSF view from multiple JSP files: statically include all pieces into one file when the JSP page is transformed into a servlet and compiled, or dynamically include the files each time the main file is requested.

The JSP include directive (<%@ include file="..." %>) supports the static include option. It includes the contents of the specified file, whether it’s a file with just plain markup elements or a file with JSP elements. Because the include is processed when the page is transformed into a servlet, the name of the file to include must be entered as a static value. When a JSP file is included this way, it shares the page scope (and all other scopes) and all scripting variables with the including file. The included file is rarely a syntactically complete JSP or HTML page; I recommend that you use a different file extension to highlight this fact. Any extension will do, but .jspf and .htmlf are good choices (“f” stands for “fractional” or “fragment”). The container is not required to detect changes ...

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