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From "Asleson, Ryan" <>
Subject Dynamic Expressions for Struts-EL and JSTL
Date Thu, 02 Sep 2004 13:37:12 GMT


I'm using the Struts-EL and JSTL custom tag implementations in my Web app.

I want to use the c:out tag to output dynamic data.  The tricky part is I
want to dynamically build the EL expression at runtime by building up a
String that should be evaluated.  I don't want to output the String, I want
the String to be evaluated by the expression engine and then that written
out.  An example follows below.

//Assume that after this line runs, expr has a value of 
//This is the expression I want evaluated
String expr = "formBean." +

pageContext.setAttribute("expr", expr);

<c:out value="Expression Value is: ${expr}" />

The c:out tag above renders the text Expression Value is:  .

This isn't what I want -- I want it to evaluate the
down to an expression, and then spit out the value of that expression
(basically, formBean.getProperty().getValue() ).

Interestingly, if I "hard code" the expression, it works:

<c:out value="${}"/>

The only problem is I need to dynamically change this expression at runtime.

Can this be done?  If so, how?  I'm hoping so otherwise I'll have a mountain
of new code to write.  Also, is there a more elegant way to do what I show
in the example above, like using tags instead of scriptlets?  I don't care
if I use Struts-EL tags, JSTL tags, or both.

Thank you very much!!

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