Question 1 :
How does Struts work?
Java Servlets are designed to handle requests made by Web browsers. Java ServerPages are designed to create dynamic Web pages that can turn billboard sites into live applications. Struts uses a special Servlet as a switchboard to route requests from Web browsers to the appropriate ServerPage. This makes Web applications much easier to design, create, and maintain.
Question 2 :
Is Struts compatible with other Java technologies?
Yes. Struts is committed to supporting industry standards. Struts acts as an integrator of Java technologies so that they can be used in the "real world".
Question 3 :
Who wrote Struts?
There are several active committers to the Struts project, working cooperatively from around the globe. Dozens of individual developers and committers contributed to the Struts 1.x codebase. All interested Java developers are invited to contribute to the project. Struts is a Apache Software Foundation project, with the mission to "provide secure, enterprise-grade server solutions based on the Java Platform that are developed in an open and cooperative fashion".
Struts was created by Craig R. McClanahan and donated to The Apache Software Foundation in May 2000. Craig was the primary developer of both Struts 1.x and Tomcat 4. Tomcat 4 was the basis for the official reference implementation for a servlet 2.3 and JSP 1.2 container.
Craig's current focus is as architect of the Sun Java Studio Creator (formerly Project Rave). Craig also serves as the Specification Lead for JavaServer Faces (JSR-127), and is the Web Layer Architect for the Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform as a whole.
Question 4 :
Why is it called Struts?
It's a reference to struts in the architectural sense, a reminder of the nearly invisible pieces that hold up buildings, houses, and bridges.
Question 5 :
Do I have to credit Struts on my own website?
You need to credit Struts if you redistribute your own framework based on Struts for other people to use. (See the Apache License for details.) But you do not need to credit Struts just because your web application utilizes the framework. It's the same situation as using the Apache HTTPD server or Tomcat. Not required if its just running your web site.
Question 6 :
Where can I get a copy of Struts?
The best place to download Struts is at struts.apache.org. The nightly builds are very stable, and recommended as the best place to start today.
Question 7 :
How do I install Struts?
To develop applications with Struts, you can usually just add the Struts JAR file to your Java development environment. You can then start using the Struts classes as part of your own application. A blank Struts application (in the webapps directory, open struts-blank.war) is provided, which you can just copy to get a quick-start on your own brainchild.
Since the full source code for Struts is available, we also provide complete instructions for compiling your own Struts JAR from scratch. (This is actually easier than it looks!)
Your Struts application can usually be deployed using a standard WAR file. In most cases, you simply deposit the WAR file on your application server, and it is installed automatically. If not, step-by-step installation instructions for various servlet containers are available.
Question 8 :
When do I need "struts.jar" on my classpath?
When you are compiling an application that uses the Struts classes, you must have the "struts.jar" on the classpath your compiler sees -- it does not have to be on your CLASSPATH environment variable.
Why is that an important distinction? Because if you are using a servlet container on your development machine to test your application, the "struts.jar" must not be on your CLASSPATH environment variable when running the container. (This is because each Web application must also have their own copy of the Struts classes, and the container will become confused if it is on the environment path as well.)
There are several general approaches to this issue:
* Use ANT for building your projects -- it can easily assemble classpaths for the compiler. (This is how Struts itself is built, along with Tomcat and most other Java-based projects).
* Use an IDE where you can configure the "class path" used for compilation independent of the CLASSPATH environment variable.
* Use a shell script that temporarily adds struts.jar to the classpath just for compilation, for example javac -classpath /path/to/struts.jar:$CLASSPATH $@
Question 9 :
Does Struts include its own unit tests?
Struts currently has two testing environments, to reflect the fact that some things can be tested statically, and some really need to be done in the environment of a running servlet container.
For static unit tests, we use the JUnit framework. The sources for these tests are in the "src/test" hierarchy in the source repository, and are executed via the "test.junit" target in the top-level build.xml file. Such tests are focused on the low-level functionality of individual methods, are particularly suitable for the static methods in the org.apache.struts.util utility classes. In the test hierarchy, there are also some "mock object" classes (in the org.apache.struts.mock package) so that you can package up things that look like servlet API and Struts API objects to pass in as arguments to such tests.
Another valuable tool is Struts TestCase which provides a useful harness for Action classes that can be used with JUnit or Cactus.
Question 10 :
If the framework doesn't do what I want, can I request that a feature be added?
First, it's important to remember that Struts is an all-volunteer project. We don't charge anyone anything to use Struts. Committers and other developers work on Struts because they need to use it with their own applications. If others can use it too, that's "icing on the cake". If you submit a patch for a feature that a Committer finds useful, then that Committer may choose to volunteer his or her time to apply the patch. If you just submit an idea without a patch, it is much less likely to be added (since first someone else has to volunteer their time to write the patch).
We are grateful for any patches, and we welcome new ideas, but the best way to see that something gets added to the framework is to do as much of the work as you can, rather than rely on the "kindness of strangers". Worst case, you can apply the patch to your copy of Struts and still use the feature in your own application. (Which is what open source is ~really~ all about.)
Question 11 :
Where can I get help with Struts?
The Struts package comes complete with a Users Guide to introduce people to the framework and its underlying technologies. Various components also have their own in-depth Developers Guide, to cover more advanced topics. Comprehensive Javadocs are included along with the full source code. For your convenience, these are bundled together as a self-installing application. The struts-documentation.war is the same bundle that is deployed as the Struts Web site.
The Strut's mailing list is also very active, and welcomes posts from new users. Before posting a new question, be sure to consult the MAILING LIST ARCHIVE and the very excellent How To Ask Questions The Smart Way by Eric Raymond. Please do be sure to turn off HTML in your email client before posting.
Question 12 :
What's the difference between Struts and Turbine? What's the difference between Struts and Espresso?
If you are starting from scratch, packages like Turbine and Espresso can be very helpful since they try to provide all of the basic services that your team is likely to need. Such services include things like data persistence and logging.
If you are not starting from scratch, and need to hook up your web application to an existing infrastructure, then "plain vanilla" Struts can be a better choice. The core Struts framework does not presuppose that you are using a given set of data persistence, presentation, or logging tools. Anything goes =:0)
Compared to other offerings, Struts endeavors to be a minimalist framework. We try leverage existing technologies whenever we can and provide only the missing pieces you need to combine disparate technologies into a coherent application. This is great when you want to select your own tools to use with Struts. But, if you prefer a more integrated infrastructure, then packages like Turbine or Espresso (which uses Struts) are perfectly good ways to go.
* < http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg03206.html >
* < http://email@example.com/msg00495.html >
* < http://jakarta.apache.org/velocity/ymtd/ymtd.html >
Question 13 :
Why aren't the Struts tags maintained as part of the Jakarta Taglibs project ?
Development of both products began about the same time. Leading up to the release of 1.0, it was thought better to continue to develop the taglibs alongside the controller. Now that 1.0 is out, the JavaServer Pages Standard Taglib is in active development. Once work on JSTL stabilizes, the Struts taglibs will be revisited. Tags which are not linked directly to the framework may be hosted at Jakarta Taglibs instead.
Question 14 :
Are the Struts tags XHTML compliant ?
If you use an
Question 15 :
Will the Struts tags support other markup languages such as WML ?
Struts itself is markup neutral. The original Struts taglibs are only one example of how presentation layer components can access the framework. The framework objects are exposed through the standard application, session, and request contexts, where any Java component in the application can make use of them.
Markup extensions that use Struts are available for Velocity and XLST, among others. A new Struts tag library for Java Server Faces is also in development.
For more about using WAP/WML with Struts see the article WAP up your EAserver.
Question 16 :
What about JSTL and JavaServer Faces ?
JSTL, the JavaServer Standard Tag Library, is a set of JSP tags that are designed to make it easier to develop Web applications. JavaServer Faces (JSF) is a specification for a new technology that promises to make it easier to write MVC applications, both for the Web and for the desktop.
The inventor of Struts, Craig McClanahan, is the specification co-lead for JavaServer Faces (JSR 127), and architect of the reference implemenation as well as Java Studio Creator. Both JSTL and JSF are complementary to Struts.
The mainstay of the Struts framework is the controller components, which can be used with any Java presentation technology. As new technologies become available, it is certain that new "glue" components will also appear to help these technologies work as well with Struts.
Struts originally came bundled with a set of custom JSP tags. Today, several extensions are available to help you use Struts with other popular presentation technologies, like XSLT and Velocity. Likewise, extensions for JSTL and JSF are now available as well.
The JSTL reference implementation is available through the Jakarta Taglibs site. A JSTL taglibs for Struts, Struts-El , is available and distributed with Struts beginning with the 1.1 release.
The JSF specification and reference implementation is available through Sun's The JSF specification and reference implementation is available through Sun's Java ServerFaces page. An early-release JavaServer Faces taglib for Struts, Struts-Faces, is also in early release and available through the nightly build. The Struts Faces taglib is expected to work with any compliant JSF implementation, including MyFaces.
Question 17 :
Is there a particularly good IDE to use with Struts
Struts should work well with any development environment that you would like to use, as well as with any programmers editor. The members of the Struts development team each use their own tools such as Emacs, IDEA, Eclipse, and NetBeans.
Question 18 :
Why was reload removed from Struts (since 1.1)?
The problem with ReloadAction was that Struts was trying to act like a container, but it couldn't do a proper job of it. For example, you can't reload classes that have been modified, or (portably) add new classes to a running web application (even if the container supported it).
Meanwhile, as Struts 1.1 was being developed, work progressed on things like Tomcat's reload command via the Manager webapp. This feature allows you to quickly reload-on-demand, complete with saving and restoring your session). It started to make even less sense for Struts to half-implement a feature that containers are implementing fully.
A more minor point is that freezing the configuration information at application startup time allows Struts to safely access the mapping information without bothering with synchronization. The "startup-only" strategy creates a modest but real improvement in performance for all users.
So, ReloadAction is not supported since Struts 1.1 for two reasons:
* It never did let you reload everything that you would really want to -- particularly changed classes -- so many people ended up having to reload the webapp anyway.
* Containers are starting to offer reload-on-demand features which does the same thing as the Struts ReloadAction, only better.
* Not supporting ReloadAction lets Struts avoid doing synchronization locks around all the lookups (like figuring out which action to use, or the destination of an ActionForward) so applications can run a little faster.
Of course, if someone came up with an implementation that solved these problems without creating any others, we would not be opposed to including a new ReloadAction.
Question 19 :
What is a modular application? What does module-relative mean?
Since Struts 1.1, the framework supports multiple application modules. All applications have at least one root, or default, module. Like the root directory in a file system, the default application has no name. (Or is named with an empty string, depending your viewpoint.) Developing an application with only a default module is no different from how applications were developed under Struts 1.0. Since Struts 1.1, you can add additional modules to your application, each of which can have their own configuration files, messages resources, and so forth. Each module is developed in the same way as the default module. Applications that were developed as a single module can added to a multiple module application, and modules can promoted to a standalone application without change. For more about configuring your application to support multiple modules, see Configuring Applications in the User Guide.
But to answer the question =:0), a modular application is a Struts application that uses more than one module. Module-relative means that the URI starts at the module level, rather than at the context level, or the absolute-URL level.
* Absolute URL: http://localhost/myApplication/myModule/myAction.do
* context-relative: /myModule/myAction.do
* module-relative: /myAction.do
The Struts Examples application is a modular application that was assembled from several applications that were created independently.
Question 20 :
Why are some of the class and element names counter-intuitive?
The framework grew in the telling and, as it evolved, some of the names drifted.
The good thing about a nightly build, is that everything becomes available to the community as soon as it is written. The bad thing about a nightly build is that things like class names get locked down early and then become difficult to change.