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From "Henri Yandell" <flame...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Taglibs future
Date Fri, 13 Apr 2007 18:39:58 GMT
On 4/11/07, Kris Schneider <kris@dotech.com> wrote:
> Henri Yandell wrote:
> > The Taglibs project has been dead for years. I'm sure it's not going
> > to improve; taglibs are a pain to implement (especially if support is
> > targeting older JSP specs), JSTL replaced many and at the same time
> > JSP stopped being the obvious choice for web applications. It's
> > frustrating to both users and committers to have the project sitting
> > with doors apparently open, so I'd like to suggest a closing up of
> > shop.
> Using a similar argument - app servers are a pain to implement and Java
> stopped being the obvious choice for web applications - one could argue
> that Tomcat should pack it in. Obviously, I disagree that those are valid
> reasons for taking action. I'm also at a loss as to what having the "doors
> apparently open" implies. I can't recall many (any?) user questions posted
> to the list going unanswered. A few of the answers might amount to, "Yup,
> looks like a bug, but that taglib isn't currently under development", but
> they're still answers ;-).

Sorry - the complicated one wasn't meant to be a reason for shutting
down, rather a reason for why activity went away. I know that I found
taglibs a lot of fun at first, but then with multiple specs to support
it all became quite nitty gritty and releasing another taglib (I wrote
a couple more) wasn't a high itch.

Mostly it was that JSTL knocked the existing Taglibs out of the water,
and JSP then became uncool.

> For me, the biggest difference between Taglibs and a project like Tomcat is
> simply the community. That's the focus of Apache, right? So, the only
> justifiable reason for "closing up shop" would be the loss of community
> (dev and/or user). Unfortunately, that's a difficult argument to refute for
> Taglibs and I agree that the situation is unlikely to improve. My guess is
> that Tomcat and Geronimo are probably serving the community needs of the users.

+1. The user list used to be active (outliving the dev list activity
as you'd expect), but now we're increasingly into an inactive user
list, even with the fact that's its also been a bit of a jstl-help@
mailing list.

> I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're suggesting from a big-picture
> perspective. Do you think that the entire Taglibs project should go away or
> do you think that it should remain but only support three taglibs: Standard
> 1.1, Unstandard and RDC?

I'm causing trouble :) I've suggested a big picture perspective of all
of Jakarta going away. With respect to Taglibs, I don't think there's
any dev activity likely to happen apart from RDC. Standard 1.1.3 will
hopefully happen, but we'll have taken care of the major issues and I
suspect a 1.1.4 won't be very likely and there's no likelyhood on a

Though it is very tempting to sit down and talk about a 1.2. As
Glassfish's 1.2 is based on our 1.1 ource, it has all the bugs and we
might reach the point where people are complaining about bugs in 1.2
that we've fixed in 1.1. The 1.2 spec doesn't add that much, so would
it be worth the time required to grok that and release a 1.2.

Other than that, I doubt we'll see any activity. In my dreams I'd love
to see us coalesce the useful parts of the taglibs into a single JSTL
enhancing one, but that's a good chunk of work and I have to accept
that I've not worked on a production Java webapp in a good many years
- so lack of itch for me at least.

> > Here's what I'm thinking:
> >
> > 1) Standard Taglib 1.1.3 release. This is getting pretty close, so it
> > would be very nice to get a release out.
> Sure. I'm happy to do some more work on it.


There are three performance issues (17700, 32311, 31789) I've put
together an SPI style fix for. I've been testing it a bit when I have
time and it has bugs, but do you think that is worth doing or should
we avoid such major work?

> > 2) RDC Taglib needs to continue. It's not had a lot of activity
> > recently, but I'm presuming that Rahul is still active on this one and
> > that it would need to continue. My suggestion is that it joins Jakarta
> > Commons (either at jakarta.apache.org/commons or commons.apache.org if
> > Commons moves there). Its build system could be brought up to date
> > too.
> Can't really speak to that, but Rahul's already responded. I couldn't
> locate it, but I thought there was supposed to be some sort of generic "Web
> Components" project. Ring a bell for anyone else?

Yeah, it had general approval but the energy wasn't there to make changes.

> > 3) Others would be end of lifed - with a request going out to find out
> > which ones are strongly active. I would still like to coalesce many
> > into the sandbox'd Unstandard Taglib, ie) a single taglib with various
> > bits of value that JSTL did not replace (and making it JSP 2.0 or 2.1
> > specific); so I am interested in hearing which functionalities are
> > valuable.
> Kicking a useful Unstandard release out the door would be great. I'd be
> happy to work on that as well. Since Standard 1.1 is a JSP 2.0 taglib, it
> seems like it would make sense to target that as well.

If there was activity on unstandard, I'm sure I'd get involved. Just
as I said, haven't done much JSP for a while so I'm lacking on the
itch. It would be cool to end of life all of the other taglibs and
pick and choose the nice features (and hunt down user input), then
release something nice and tight.

I wonder if EL lets you call static variables yet... that's the only
tag in unstandard that I remember :)


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