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From "Mike Cannon-Brookes" <mcan...@internet.com>
Subject RE: Project merger / Lots of new tags?
Date Thu, 13 Apr 2000 02:22:31 GMT
<content snipped>

> > - We have a good roadmap of where we want to head / what tags
> we have slated
> > to develop in the Tasks section of the SourceForge project,
> might I suggest
> > you take a look and see how that fits with the Tomcat vision?
> (I think there
> > are about 25+ ideas listed there) I hunted around but could not
> find such a
> > roadmap / list of idea tags anywhere to Jakarta taglibs?
> >
>
> I will take a look.  We haven't got a roadmap defined yet, but
> that should be a
> short term objective.  Your list will probably make a good starting point.

I think we should get this finalised as soon as possible, using Joseph's
http://cupid.suninternet.com/~joeo/roadmap.html as some sort of starting
point?

> What we've done on Tomcat is created a STATUS.html file in the top-level
> directory, outlining areas of functionality that people might be
> interested in
> working on.  They can then sign up there with their EMAIL
> addresses, so that
> others interested in the same topic can correspond directly, or
> at least see
> that there is someone else interested in working on the same thing.

This sounds very useful, so as to stop duplication of effort from people
working on the same tags / tag libraries. Also I think it will serve as a
useful planning exercise to work out some of the basics of how the Jakarta
libraries are going to be put together?

The issues as I see them (in no particular order)
- Monolithic tags that do a lot (optionitis) or lots of small tags that are
very specific? (I prefer the latter)

- Lots of small focussed libraries or bigger more encompassing libraries?
(First leads to having to import lots of libraries, but is more memory
efficient I think)

- Should tags with output place it into a variable, or straight into the
page stream for some other tag to deal with? ie <my:tag ...
outputVarname="foo" /> or <my:createVar name="foo"><my:tag ..
/><my:createVar>

<snipped content>

> > - Future slated libraries include DB tags, EJB tags, File tags
> (the current
> > File tag is monolithic and deserves it's own library IMHO) and
> Utility tags.
> >
>
> That sounds good.
>
> One thing I'm not too concerned about is having different custom
> tag libraries
> with overlapping functionality.  I don't think it's really our
> place to decide
> whose version of a "for loop" tag is the right one - let people
> define their
> own.  What people use will probably dictate where future enhancements get
> focused.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this? People should create their own
'libraries' by pulling tags from all over? Or people should decide which
"loop" library to use?

> >
> > We also currently have planned to distribute the tags as a single jar
> > libraries AND deployable WAR including documentation, source
> and examples -
> > an idea you might want to consider as it keeps all the elements of the
> > library together and it readily viewable in any spec compliant
> container.
> >
>
> The "distributable" format of a Jakarta Taglibs library, as
> currently defined,
> includes four files:
>
> * {taglib}.tld -- The tag library descriptor suitable for dropping
>   in to your WEB-INF directory.

> * {taglib}.jar -- The tag library classes and resources themselves,
>   suitable for dropping in your WEB-INF/lib directory.

Aren't these two combined? At least with Orion (my preferred app server b/c
most of my apps cover the full J2EE gambit) the TLD goes inside the jar and
you just point to the jar file in your taglib statements? (either in the
page or in the web.xml file)

> * {taglib}-doc.jar -- A web application containing the documentation
>   for page developers who want to use the tags in this library (why
>   a webapp?  So you can do things that require processing for
>   your docs if you want).
>
> * {taglib}-examples.jar -- A web application containing examples
>   of the usage of your tags.

I think the above two should be combined into one WAR file? I see little
point in examples without docs or docs without examples? (especially as
neither file is likely to be large?)

Also, I believe there was an idea here floating around that the
documentation for any tag or any library could be created by performing an
XSL translation on the taglib file to create HTML documentation? Has
anything like this for Jakarta Taglibs been postulated? I think it's an
excellent way to easily create / update the docs.

> >
> > Well that's my pitch, how does it sit with you all?
> >
> > Let me know,
> >
>
> That sounds great!  You'll be welcomed.

So how should we start? I think we should finalise that 'roadmap' document
and then align ourselves with particular libraries, as well as deciding
answers to some of the q's raised above. Planning is boring (don't we all
know it?) but will lead to better libraries in the end IMHO.

Mike


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