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From Glenn Nielsen <gl...@voyager.apg.more.net>
Subject Re: Confusion between JSTL and Jakarta Taglibs
Date Fri, 31 May 2002 16:31:33 GMT

Shawn Bayern wrote:

> [ I've mentioned this to Pierre and other folks privately, just to vet out
> the idea.  Pierre has some follow-up ideas that I agree with too; he'll be
> posting them soon. ]
> Prompted by recent messages on taglib-user, I searched other mail archives
> and noticed a widespread problem:  many users draw no distinction between
> JSTL and Jakarta Taglibs.  This is problematic (for both JSTL and Jakarta
> Taglibs) from a support and educational perspective.
> We probably should have a better roadmap at
> http://jakarta.apache.org/taglibs/ that describes the offerings from
> Jakarta Taglibs, for they're somewhat diverse and probably confusing to
> the average user.  We might also want to be clearer about which taglibs
> are under active development; we have the perhaps unfortunate situation
> that the "released" taglibs also overlap quite heavily with the ones that
> are no longer under active development, perhaps drawing prominence to
> frozen efforts.

There is nothing wrong with a taglib which doesn't have active development,
it may be a mature taglib that is completed.

> I suggest the following:
>  - We provide more elaborate introductory text at the main site's page.
>    For instance, in place of the sentence that's there now ("The goal of
>    this project is to..."), what about this:
>    This project is an open-source repository for JSP custom tag libraries
>    and associated projects, such as TagLibraryValidator classes and
>    extensions to page-creation tools to support tag libraries.
>    Jakarta Taglibs also hosts the development tree of the
>    reference implementation (RI) for the JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL).
>    This implementation is named the "Standard Taglib."

I'm ok with the above intro.

>  - We consider reorganizing the tag libraries once again.  I'm personally
>    in favor of promoting adoption of JSP 1.2, rather than taking a neutral
>    position that (I fear) makes us look out of date.  To this end, I'm
>    actually more in favor of the wording of Morgan's original message
>    about DBTags than Glenn's revision of it.  Following from this:
>     - I suggest we rename "JSP 1.2 Tag Libraries" to "Active Development
>       (JSP 1.2)" and "JSP 1.1 Tag Libraries" to "Frozen Libraries".

>     - We branch and migrate "JSP 1.1" taglibs that don't overlap with JSTL
>       to the "Active Development" group.
>     - We provide a statement about which Jakarta Taglibs offerings
>       are superceded by JSTL.  ("The following libraries are frozen,
>       having been superceded by JSTL:  Application, Page, ...")
>     - Perhaps we offer the Standard Taglib under a separate heading,
>       just to clarify the separation.
>     - Perhaps we remove all but taglibs under "Active Development" from
>       the column of links on the left side of the main page, providing
>       instead a separate page for those libraries that are frozen.
>       Offering the "XSL Taglib" from the main page, for example, is
>       only confusing to users; it offers nothing useful anymore.  (I
>       might, with the utmost respect for how useful the libraries were
>       before JSTL, say the same thing about Application, Page, and so
>       forth.)
> JSP 1.3 isn't too far away, and my feeling is that JSP 1.1 will (and in
> fact has already) become increasingly less relevant.

There are many who do not have a JSP 1.2 container and still use JSP 1.1.
Many of the JSP 1.1 taglibs are still very useful.  A strong -1 for calling
all JSP 1.1 taglibs frozen.  

I agree that XSL should be retired.  For JSP 1.1

xtags is a good replacement, for JSP 1.2 JSTL is.

We need to get all the existing taglibs to a final release so we can put
them to bed.  This project really needs to be more diligent in doing official
releases of various taglibs so that users know that they are using a completed
and stable taglib.

I propose the following categories:

Standard - for the JSTL and any taglibs which are dependent or designed to work
with JSTL.

JSP 1.3 - (When JSP 1.3 is released)

JSP 1.2 - taglibs designed for JSP 1.2 but can stand on their own.

JSP 1.1 - taglibs designed for JSP 1.1.

Within each of the above, taglibs will be categorized as either
released, beta, development, or archived.

On the main taglibs web page a good description of what each of the
above means should be included.



Glenn Nielsen             glenn@more.net | /* Spelin donut madder    |
MOREnet System Programming               |  * if iz ina coment.      |
Missouri Research and Education Network  |  */                       |

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