Is it possible to combine dynamic Javascript menu systems with Struts?

Ted Husted

The challenge with doing this is that the JSP tags run on the server (as the page is being generated), while the JavaScript runs on the client side. To integrate the two, you need your tags (and other JSP code) to dynamically generate the JavaScript functions themselves -- sort of having a program write a program -- so that the JavaScript is customized to your particular need on this particular page. A very trivial example is the way that the <html:form> tag deals with the "focus" attribute. If you specify it, a dynamically generated bit of JavaScript is created to set the input focus, which includes the name of the field you want initial focus assigned to. For a more comprehensive scenario, consider that for most menuing systems you will need to configure the list of available options into a JavaScript array or something. You could use the <logic:iterate> tag to render the elements that get set in the array's initialization expression.

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