Learn about JSP

JSP stands for JavaServer Pages and is a server-side web programming language that can be embedded within HTML and it is used to create dynamic web pages or web applications. JSP code is interpreted by the web server which then outputs a web page to the browsers that access it. JSPs can be compiled on-the-fly into Java Servlets by a JSP compiler.

JSP's Capabilities

JSP can be used on almost any platform using Apache Tomcat. JSP can be used for managing email, connecting to other web sites or servers, processing form information, storing information in a database, creating cookies in a web browser, and much more.

JSP's Syntax

Syntax is the wording and way that the language has to be used for it to work. PHP is very flexible so it is a great language for beginners to start learning how to program. JSP is very similar to a normal Java program. JSP variables are strongly typed. Here are some important things to learn about JSP:

  • Delimiters. Because JSP is often embedded with HTML you need to specify what part of the page is JSP and what part is just static HTML. To do this, you use <%! and %>.
  • Variables. Variables need to be given a type when they are first declared or assigned.
  • Comments. You can comment out multiple lines of code using this format: <%-- your comments --%>

JSP supports most of the same functionality that Java does including functions (blocks of code that can do specific things over and over) and objects (groups of functions that represent real-world objects like a book or a user). You can code JSPs in any text editor but there are many editors, such as Eclipse, that support syntax highlighting and other features. What does JSP code look like? Here is a sample:

<%@ page errorPage="myerror.jsp" %>
<%@ page import="com.foo.bar" %>

<html>
<head>
<%! int serverInstanceVariable = 1;%>

<% int localStackBasedVariable = 1; %>
<table>
<tr><td><%= toStringOrBlank( "expanded inline data " + 1 ) %></td></tr>

If you are interested to learn about JSP, we recommend reading the JavaServer Pages Documentation. For a gentler introduction, you can try JSPTut's tutorials, or read Sitepoint's Java and J2EE articles. We also recommend using a book from the library or one of the following:

If you are looking for some web hosting to use JSP on, check out our comparison of the best JSP hosting or use our Hosting Wizard to find web hosting that best meets your needs.

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