tomcat-users mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Tim Moore" <>
Subject RE: Custom tag life cycle
Date Mon, 03 Feb 2003 17:30:14 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gary McGath [] 
> Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 9:14 AM
> To:
> Subject: Custom tag life cycle
> The webapp which I am developing (see for
> details) uses a moderately complex custom tag library, and 
> I've found the lifecycle of a TagSupport object to be very confusing.
> As I understand it, a TagSupport object may (but is not 
> guaranteed to) be reused for subsequent occurrences of the 
> same tag in a JSP.  This means that attribute variables can't 
> safely be initialized in the constructor, because they may 
> not get reinitialized for subsequent occurrences of the tag.  
> (Here I'm assuming that setter functions for attributes 
> simply set an instance variable.) 
> After some digging, I found that the recommended way to reset 
> attribute instance varaibles is to use the doEndTag method.  
> This probably doesn't work if a tag is nested within a tag of 
> the same name, but I can live with that.

Actually I believe that containers would be required to use two
different instances when tags are nested.  The instance can only be
reused for subsequent uses of the tag *after* the first one is closed.

But I would do the initialization in doStartTag rather than doEndTag.
The latter may not be called if an exception is thrown from within the
tag body.

> Doing this works fine in Tomcat.  However, I recently ported 
> my webapp to Resin and found that it doesn't work there.  
> Here's a cut-back excerpt from my JSP:
> <caltags:eventset>
>     <caltags:evtstartdate mode="date" length="m"/> -
>     <caltags:evtenddate mode="date" length="m"/> </caltags:eventset>
> The class which implements eventset includes the tag body 
> once for each event in the set.  The evtstartdate and 
> evtenddate tags are implemented by a class called DateTag, 
> which extends TagSupport. Under Tomcat, DateTag.setMode and 
> DateTag.SetLength get called once for each tag in each 
> inclusion of the tag body.  Under Resin, only two calls (one 
> for each of the date tags) are made to each of setMode and 
> setLength.  If I clear the mode and length fields when I call 
> doEndTag, then all occurrences of the date tags except the 
> first take on their default attributes, which is not the 
> behavior I want.
> Are both Tomcat and Resin within spec in implementing 
> different behaviors here?  If so, what is the correct point 
> in the lifecycle to reset attribute values in a TagSupport object?

The spec allows the container to assume that the attributes of a tag
handler will be retained across invocations, so if there are multiple
identical invocations, the setter methods do not need to be called

Here's what I'd recommend:

Initialize the mode and length instance variables to null at
construction time.

Do something like this in doStartTag:

String mode = this.mode;
if (mode == null) {
  mode = DEFAULT_MODE;

...and repeat for length.  Never modify the instance variables or call
their setters yourself -- let the container manage them.

Tim Moore / Blackboard Inc. / Software Engineer
1899 L Street, NW / 5th Floor / Washington, DC 20036
Phone 202-463-4860 ext. 258 / Fax 202-463-4863

To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

View raw message