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Tiles and Other Presentation
Struts is primarily intended to provide the controller for web applications. Some
developers immediately associate Struts with the Struts JSP tags, but any Struts
enthusiast will tell you that the Struts controller framework and API, not the tags,
comprise the heart of the framework. You can limit, augment, and even replace your
use of the Struts view rendering features and still gain many of the advantages
afforded by Struts.
The first half of this chapter focuses on Tiles. This framework, distributed and inte
grated with Struts, provides a robust approach for reusing pages and page layouts
across your application. If you've never used Tiles, you'll find recipes to get you
started along with some more advanced uses of Tiles. The second half of this chap
ter takes a step back and shows you how to use new ways of generating HTML
within the context of a Struts application.
The topics in this chapter, particularly the latter half, are broader in scope than most
of the recipes in this book. Entire books have been written about some of these tech
nologies, such as Java ServerFaces and XSLT, and it would be impossible to cover
them completely in a single chapter, let alone a single recipe. The recipes here will
help you get started using these technologies and will give you some insight and
understanding on the technology and its application.
14.1 Reusing a Common Page Layout with Tiles
You want to define a common layout for your application and use that layout
throughout your application without having to cut and paste HTML everywhere.
This is the Title of the Book, eMatter Edition
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