4.4. Summary of Key Approaches
If separation of HTML from Java code is a goal, then neither a pure servlet nor a pure JSP approach is desirable. Although a hybrid approach does allow a clean separation, you may have to create custom JSP tags to take full advantage of this capability. This approach does not support WML output unless you duplicate all of the HTML generation code. Even though the custom JSP tags hide the Java code from the page author, you still end up with Java code somewhere producing HTML programmatically.
Web frameworks typically build on the hybrid approach, including proprietary value-added features and conveniences. Frameworks have the advantage of defining a consistent way to structure the overall application, which is probably more important in terms of software maintenance than any value-added features. The primary disadvantage of frameworks is that you could be locked into a particular approach and vendor.
The XSLT approach achieves the maximum attainable separation of presentation from underlying data. It also supports multiple browsers and even WML targets. XSLT transformation does incur additional processing load on the web tier. This must be carefully weighed against benefits gained from the modular, clean design that XSLT offers.
Table 4-1 summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to Web application development.
Table 4-1. Different web technologies
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