Tapestry Weaves Web Apps With Servlets

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A 2006 Duke’s Choice Award winner at JavaOne 2006, Tapestry provides a website development framework that builds upon the standard Java Servlet API.

Tapestry is one of the Apache Software Foundation’s many useful projects. Apache’s work goes well beyond its signature web server and the vaunted mod_perl module, and Tapestry is one example.

Developers who have been in the web game for several years likely have worked with Java at some point. Java Servlets offer a lot of power for web applications, and companies like BEA and IBM have crafted Java frameworks for various implementations.

Tapestry picked up the Open Source award at the most recent JavaOne. The judges cited its ability to work with any servlet container or application server as a strength of the project.

For application development, Tapestry noted it brings true object-oriented development to Java web applications. Each web application gets divided into a set of web pages, each of which is constructed from components. The project described more about this:

This provides a consistent structure, allowing the Tapestry framework to assume responsibility for key concerns such as URL construction and dispatch, persistent state storage on the client or on the server, user input validation, localization/internationalization, and exception reporting. Developing Tapestry applications involves creating HTML templates using plain HTML, and combining the templates with small amounts of Java code using (optional) XML descriptor files.

The Tapestry approach resembles the concepts we covered in Computer Programming As Art. Four principles comprise the keys to the project: simplicity, consistency, efficiency, and feedback. Think of efficiency as high cohesion, consistency as low coupling, and simplicity and feedback as conceptual integrity here.

Presently, Tapestry 4.0.2 is the most current stable release. A snapshot of 4.1 may be downloaded, and Tapestry creator Howard Lewis Ship is at work on version 5. Developers who work in Eclipse may obtain a plugin for Tapestry from the Spindle project.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Tapestry Weaves Web Apps With Servlets
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