Rectangle 27 3

If you think text/x-c++ and text/plain should be in same Use this

file * -ib | awk -F'[;/.]' '{print $(NF-1)}' | sort -n | uniq -c
35 directory
  3 html
  1 jpeg
  1 octet-stream
  1 pdf
 32 plain
  5 png
  1 spreadsheet
  7 symlink
  1 text
  1 x-c++
  3 x-empty
  1 xml
  2 x-ms-asf
  4 x-shellscript
  1 x-shockwave-flash
file * -ib | awk -F'[;/.]' '{print $1}' | sort -n | uniq -c

  6 application
  6 image
 45 inode
 40 text
  2 video

Change the {print $1} part according to your need to get the appropriate output.

bash - Linux:How to list the information about file or directory(size,...

linux bash shell unix
Rectangle 27 350

Definition of Context::

Different invoking methods by which you can get context

  • or this (when in the activity class)
TextView TV=new TextView(this);

this -> refers to the context of the current activity.

Ok, so the class derived from the Activity IS a context itself. That is why by passing this to the newly created views, we pass the context.

I wonder if it's a good design decision to have the context accessible from so many different places? One static getContext() in the application would have been enough in my opinion.

getApplicationContext()
getContext()
getBaseContext()

Just to expand the last piece with creating a textview: In some cases it may be necessary to call SomeActivityName.this. IN a thread for an instance, this refers to teh thread and not the activity

What is 'Context' on Android? - Stack Overflow

android android-context
Rectangle 27 349

Definition of Context::

Different invoking methods by which you can get context

  • or this (when in the activity class)
TextView TV=new TextView(this);

this -> refers to the context of the current activity.

Ok, so the class derived from the Activity IS a context itself. That is why by passing this to the newly created views, we pass the context.

I wonder if it's a good design decision to have the context accessible from so many different places? One static getContext() in the application would have been enough in my opinion.

getApplicationContext()
getContext()
getBaseContext()

Just to expand the last piece with creating a textview: In some cases it may be necessary to call SomeActivityName.this. IN a thread for an instance, this refers to teh thread and not the activity

What is 'Context' on Android? - Stack Overflow

android android-context
Rectangle 27 471

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 463

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 459

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 458

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 456

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 448

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 448

Kickoff example returning String as plain text

Indeed, the keyword is "ajax": Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. However, last years it's more than often Asynchronous JavaScript and JSON. Basically, you let JS execute an asynchronous HTTP request and update the HTML DOM tree based on the response data.

Since it's pretty a tedious work to make it to work across all browsers (especially Internet Explorer versus others), there are plenty of JavaScript libraries out which simplifies this in single functions and covers as many as possible browser-specific bugs/quirks under the hoods, such as jQuery, Prototype, Mootools. Since jQuery is most popular these days, I'll use it in the below examples.

Create a /some.jsp like below (note: the code doesn't expect the JSP file being placed in a subfolder, if you do so, alter servlet URL accordingly):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>SO question 4112686</title>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
        <script>
            $(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() { // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
                $.get("someservlet", function(responseText) {   // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response text...
                    $("#somediv").text(responseText);           // Locate HTML DOM element with ID "somediv" and set its text content with the response text.
                });
            });
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <button id="somebutton">press here</button>
        <div id="somediv"></div>
    </body>
</html>

Create a servlet with a doGet() method which look like this:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String text = "some text";

    response.setContentType("text/plain");  // Set content type of the response so that jQuery knows what it can expect.
    response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8"); // You want world domination, huh?
    response.getWriter().write(text);       // Write response body.
}

Map this servlet on an URL pattern of /someservlet or /someservlet/* as below (obviously, the URL pattern is free to your choice, but you'd need to alter the someservlet URL in JS code examples over all place accordingly):

@WebServlet("/someservlet/*")
public class SomeServlet extends HttpServlet {
    // ...
}

Or, when you're not on a Servlet 3.0 compatible container yet (Tomcat 7, Glassfish 3, JBoss AS 6, etc or newer), then map it in web.xml the old fashioned way (see also our Servlets wiki page):

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>com.example.SomeServlet</servlet-class>
</servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>someservlet</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>/someservlet/*</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Now open the http://localhost:8080/context/test.jsp in the browser and press the button. You'll see that the content of the div get updated with the servlet response.

With JSON instead of plaintext as response format you can even get some steps further. It allows for more dynamics. First, you'd like to have a tool to convert between Java objects and JSON strings. There are plenty of them as well (see the bottom of this page for an overview). My personal favourite is Google Gson. Download and put its JAR file in /WEB-INF/lib folder of your webapplication.

Here's an example which displays List<String> as <ul><li>. The servlet:

Do note that jQuery automatically parses the response as JSON and gives you directly a JSON object (responseJson) as function argument when you set the response content type to application/json. If you forget to set it or rely on a default of text/plain or text/html, then the responseJson argument wouldn't give you a JSON object, but a plain vanilla string and you'd need to manually fiddle around with JSON.parse() afterwards, which is thus totally unnecessary if you set the content type right in first place.

Map<String, String>
<option>

with

<select id="someselect"></select>
List<Product>
<table>
Product
Long id
String name
BigDecimal price

Here's an example which does effectively the same as previous example, but then with XML instead of JSON. When using JSP as XML output generator you'll see that it's less tedious to code the table and all. JSTL is this way much more helpful as you can actually use it to iterate over the results and perform server side data formatting. The servlet:

@Override
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    List<Product> products = someProductService.list();

    request.setAttribute("products", products);
    request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/xml/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
}

The JSP code (note: if you put the <table> in a <jsp:include>, it may be reusable elsewhere in a non-ajax response):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<%@page contentType="application/xml" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<data>
    <table>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
            <tr>
                <td>${product.id}</td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.name}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>
            </tr>
        </c:forEach>
    </table>
</data>
$(document).on("click", "#somebutton", function() {             // When HTML DOM "click" event is invoked on element with ID "somebutton", execute the following function...
    $.get("someservlet", function(responseXml) {                // Execute Ajax GET request on URL of "someservlet" and execute the following function with Ajax response XML...
        $("#somediv").html($(responseXml).find("data").html()); // Parse XML, find <data> element and append its HTML to HTML DOM element with ID "somediv".
    });
});

You'll by now probably realize why XML is so much more powerful than JSON for the particular purpose of updating a HTML document using Ajax. JSON is funny, but after all generally only useful for so-called "public web services". MVC frameworks like JSF use XML under the covers for their ajax magic.

You can use jQuery $.serialize() to easily ajaxify existing POST forms without fiddling around with collecting and passing the individual form input parameters. Assuming an existing form which works perfectly fine without JavaScript/jQuery (and thus degrades gracefully when enduser has JavaScript disabled):

<form id="someform" action="someservlet" method="post">
    <input type="text" name="foo" />
    <input type="text" name="bar" />
    <input type="text" name="baz" />
    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />
</form>

You can progressively enhance it with ajax as below:

$(document).on("submit", "#someform", function(event) {
    var $form = $(this);

    $.post($form.attr("action"), $form.serialize(), function(response) {
        // ...
    });

    event.preventDefault(); // Important! Prevents submitting the form.
});

You can in the servlet distinguish between normal requests and ajax requests as below:

@Override
protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
    String foo = request.getParameter("foo");
    String bar = request.getParameter("bar");
    String baz = request.getParameter("baz");

    boolean ajax = "XMLHttpRequest".equals(request.getHeader("X-Requested-With"));

    // ...

    if (ajax) {
        // Handle ajax (JSON or XML) response.
    } else {
        // Handle regular (JSP) response.
    }
}

The jQuery Form plugin does less or more the same as above jQuery example, but it has additional transparent support for multipart/form-data forms as required by file uploads.

If you don't have a form at all, but just wanted to interact with the servlet "in the background" whereby you'd like to POST some data, then you can use jQuery $.param() to easily convert a JSON object to an URL-encoded query string.

var params = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.post("someservlet", $.param(params), function(response) {
    // ...
});

The same doPost() method as shown here above can be reused. Do note that above syntax also works with $.get() in jQuery and doGet() in servlet.

If you however intend to send the JSON object as a whole instead of as individual request parameters for some reason, then you'd need to serialize it to a string using JSON.stringify() (not part of jQuery) and instruct jQuery to set request content type to application/json instead of (default) application/x-www-form-urlencoded. This can't be done via $.post() convenience function, but needs to be done via $.ajax() as below.

var data = {
    foo: "fooValue",
    bar: "barValue",
    baz: "bazValue"
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "someservlet",
    contentType: "application/json", // NOT dataType!
    data: JSON.stringify(data),
    success: function(response) {
        // ...
    }
});

Do note that a lot of starters mix contentType with dataType. The contentType represents the type of the request body. The dataType represents the (expected) type of the response body, which is usually unnecessary as jQuery already autodetects it based on response's Content-Type header.

Then, in order to process the JSON object in the servlet which isn't being sent as individual request parameters but as a whole JSON string the above way, you only need to manually parse the request body using a JSON tool instead of using getParameter() the usual way. Namely, servlets don't support application/json formatted requests, but only application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data formatted requests. Gson also supports parsing a JSON string into a JSON object.

JsonObject data = new Gson().fromJson(request.getReader(), JsonObject.class);
String foo = data.get("foo").getAsString();
String bar = data.get("bar").getAsString();
String baz = data.get("baz").getAsString();
// ...

Do note that this all is more clumsy than just using $.param(). Normally, you want to use JSON.stringify() only if the target service is e.g. a JAX-RS (RESTful) service which is for some reason only capable of consuming JSON strings and not regular request parameters.

Important to realize and understand is that any sendRedirect() and forward() call by the servlet on an ajax request would only forward or redirect the ajax request itself and not the main document/window where the ajax request originated. JavaScript/jQuery would in such case only retrieve the redirected/forwarded response as responseText variable in the callback function. If it represents a whole HTML page and not an ajax-specific XML or JSON response, then all you could do is to replace the current document with it.

document.open();
document.write(responseText);
document.close();

Note that this doesn't change the URL as enduser sees in browser's address bar. So there are issues with bookmarkability. Therefore, it's much better to just return an "instruction" for JavaScript/jQuery to perform a redirect instead of returning the whole content of the redirected page. E.g. by returning a boolean, or an URL.

String redirectURL = "http://example.com";

Map<String, String> data = new HashMap<>();
data.put("redirect", redirectURL);
String json = new Gson().toJson(data);

response.setContentType("application/json");
response.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
response.getWriter().write(json);
function(responseJson) {
    if (responseJson.redirect) {
        window.location = responseJson.redirect;
        return;
    }

    // ...
}

need to parse the json on the last example.

@kuhaku: nope. If you read post from top to bottom, you'll learn why.

This answer has been my lifeline for the last month or so lol. Learning a bunch from it. I LOVE the XML example. Thanks for putting this together! One noob question though if you have time. Is there a reason for putting the xml folder in WEB-INF ?

java - How to use Servlets and Ajax? - Stack Overflow

java ajax jsp servlets
Rectangle 27 1122

Read all text from a file

Here's a compact, robust idiom for Java 7, wrapped up in a utility method:

static String readFile(String path, Charset encoding) 
  throws IOException 
{
  byte[] encoded = Files.readAllBytes(Paths.get(path));
  return new String(encoded, encoding);
}

Java 7 added a convenience method to read a file as lines of text, represented as a List<String>. This approach is "lossy" because the line separators are stripped from the end of each line.

List<String> lines = Files.readAllLines(Paths.get(path), encoding);

In Java 8, BufferedReader added a new method, lines() to produce a Stream<String>. If an IOException is encountered while reading the file, it is wrapped in an UncheckedIOException, since Stream doesn't accept lambdas that throw checked exceptions.

try (BufferedReader r = Files.newBufferedReader(path, encoding)) {
  r.lines().forEach(System.out::println);
}

The first method, that preserves line breaks, can temporarily require memory several times the size of the file, because for a short time the raw file contents (a byte array), and the decoded characters (each of which is 16 bits even if encoded as 8 bits in the file) reside in memory at once. It is safest to apply to files that you know to be small relative to the available memory.

The second method, reading lines, is usually more memory efficient, because the input byte buffer for decoding doesn't need to contain the entire file. However, it's still not suitable for files that are very large relative to available memory.

For reading large files, you need a different design for your program, one that reads a chunk of text from a stream, processes it, and then moves on to the next, reusing the same fixed-sized memory block. Here, "large" depends on the computer specs. Nowadays, this threshold might be many gigabytes of RAM. The third method, using a Stream<String> is one way to do this, if your input "records" happen to be individual lines. (Using the readLine() method of BufferedReader is the procedural equivalent to this approach.)

One thing that is missing from the sample in the original post is the character encoding. There are some special cases where the platform default is what you want, but they are rare, and you should be able justify your choice.

The StandardCharsets class define some constants for the encodings required of all Java runtimes:

String content = readFile("test.txt", StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

The platform default is available from the Charset class itself:

String content = readFile("test.txt", Charset.defaultCharset());

Note: This answer largely replaces my Java 6 version. The utility of Java 7 safely simplifies the code, and the old answer, which used a mapped byte buffer, prevented the file that was read from being deleted until the mapped buffer was garbage collected. You can view the old version via the "edited" link on this answer.

Technically speaking, it's O(n) in time and space. Qualitatively, due the immutability requirement of Strings, it's pretty hard on memory; temporarily there are two copies of the char data in memory, plus the room for the encoded bytes. Assuming some single-byte encoding, it will (temporarily) require 5 bytes of memory for each character in the file. Since the question asks specifically for a String, that's what I show, but if you can work with the CharBuffer returned by "decode", the memory requirement is much less. Time-wise, I don't think you'll find anything faster in the core Java libs.

Possible typo? NIO has a Charset (not CharSet) class called java.nio.charset.Charset. Is this what CharSet should have been?

Note : after exercising a bit that code, I found out that you can't reliably delete the file right after reading it with this method, which may be a non issue in some case, but not mine. May it be in relation with this issue : bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4715154 ? I finally went with the proposition of Jon Skeet which doesn't suffer from this bug. Anyways, I just wanted to give the info, for other people, just in case...

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: I also bumped on this problem. Amazing that the bug has been marked "Will Not Fix". This essentially means that FileChannel#map is, in general, unusable.

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: The bug has been deleted from the Oracle / Sun Bug Database: "This bug is not available." Google cached the site at webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bugs.sun.com/

How do I create a Java string from the contents of a file? - Stack Ove...

java file file-io io
Rectangle 27 1121

Read all text from a file

Here's a compact, robust idiom for Java 7, wrapped up in a utility method:

static String readFile(String path, Charset encoding) 
  throws IOException 
{
  byte[] encoded = Files.readAllBytes(Paths.get(path));
  return new String(encoded, encoding);
}

Java 7 added a convenience method to read a file as lines of text, represented as a List<String>. This approach is "lossy" because the line separators are stripped from the end of each line.

List<String> lines = Files.readAllLines(Paths.get(path), encoding);

In Java 8, BufferedReader added a new method, lines() to produce a Stream<String>. If an IOException is encountered while reading the file, it is wrapped in an UncheckedIOException, since Stream doesn't accept lambdas that throw checked exceptions.

try (BufferedReader r = Files.newBufferedReader(path, encoding)) {
  r.lines().forEach(System.out::println);
}

The first method, that preserves line breaks, can temporarily require memory several times the size of the file, because for a short time the raw file contents (a byte array), and the decoded characters (each of which is 16 bits even if encoded as 8 bits in the file) reside in memory at once. It is safest to apply to files that you know to be small relative to the available memory.

The second method, reading lines, is usually more memory efficient, because the input byte buffer for decoding doesn't need to contain the entire file. However, it's still not suitable for files that are very large relative to available memory.

For reading large files, you need a different design for your program, one that reads a chunk of text from a stream, processes it, and then moves on to the next, reusing the same fixed-sized memory block. Here, "large" depends on the computer specs. Nowadays, this threshold might be many gigabytes of RAM. The third method, using a Stream<String> is one way to do this, if your input "records" happen to be individual lines. (Using the readLine() method of BufferedReader is the procedural equivalent to this approach.)

One thing that is missing from the sample in the original post is the character encoding. There are some special cases where the platform default is what you want, but they are rare, and you should be able justify your choice.

The StandardCharsets class define some constants for the encodings required of all Java runtimes:

String content = readFile("test.txt", StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

The platform default is available from the Charset class itself:

String content = readFile("test.txt", Charset.defaultCharset());

Note: This answer largely replaces my Java 6 version. The utility of Java 7 safely simplifies the code, and the old answer, which used a mapped byte buffer, prevented the file that was read from being deleted until the mapped buffer was garbage collected. You can view the old version via the "edited" link on this answer.

Technically speaking, it's O(n) in time and space. Qualitatively, due the immutability requirement of Strings, it's pretty hard on memory; temporarily there are two copies of the char data in memory, plus the room for the encoded bytes. Assuming some single-byte encoding, it will (temporarily) require 5 bytes of memory for each character in the file. Since the question asks specifically for a String, that's what I show, but if you can work with the CharBuffer returned by "decode", the memory requirement is much less. Time-wise, I don't think you'll find anything faster in the core Java libs.

Possible typo? NIO has a Charset (not CharSet) class called java.nio.charset.Charset. Is this what CharSet should have been?

Note : after exercising a bit that code, I found out that you can't reliably delete the file right after reading it with this method, which may be a non issue in some case, but not mine. May it be in relation with this issue : bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4715154 ? I finally went with the proposition of Jon Skeet which doesn't suffer from this bug. Anyways, I just wanted to give the info, for other people, just in case...

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: I also bumped on this problem. Amazing that the bug has been marked "Will Not Fix". This essentially means that FileChannel#map is, in general, unusable.

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: The bug has been deleted from the Oracle / Sun Bug Database: "This bug is not available." Google cached the site at webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bugs.sun.com/

How do I create a Java string from the contents of a file? - Stack Ove...

java file file-io io
Rectangle 27 1116

Read all text from a file

Here's a compact, robust idiom for Java 7, wrapped up in a utility method:

static String readFile(String path, Charset encoding) 
  throws IOException 
{
  byte[] encoded = Files.readAllBytes(Paths.get(path));
  return new String(encoded, encoding);
}

Java 7 added a convenience method to read a file as lines of text, represented as a List<String>. This approach is "lossy" because the line separators are stripped from the end of each line.

List<String> lines = Files.readAllLines(Paths.get(path), encoding);

The first method, that preserves line breaks, can temporarily require memory several times the size of the file, because for a short time the raw file contents (a byte array), and the decoded characters (each of which is 16 bits even if encoded as 8 bits in the file) reside in memory at once. It is safest to apply to files that you know to be small relative to the available memory.

The second method, reading lines, is usually more memory efficient, because the input byte buffer for decoding doesn't need to contain the entire file. However, it's still not suitable for files that are very large relative to available memory.

For reading large files, you need a different design for your program, one that reads a chunk of text from a stream, processes it, and then moves on to the next, reusing the same fixed-sized memory block. Here, "large" depends on the computer specs. Nowadays, this threshold might be many gigabytes of RAM.

One thing that is missing from the sample in the original post is the character encoding. There are some special cases where the platform default is what you want, but they are rare, and you should be able justify your choice.

The StandardCharsets class define some constants for the encodings required of all Java runtimes:

String content = readFile("test.txt", StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

The platform default is available from the Charset class itself:

String content = readFile("test.txt", Charset.defaultCharset());

Note: This answer largely replaces my Java 6 version. The utility of Java 7 safely simplifies the code, and the old answer, which used a mapped byte buffer, prevented the file that was read from being deleted until the mapped buffer was garbage collected. You can view the old version via the "edited" link on this answer.

Technically speaking, it's O(n) in time and space. Qualitatively, due the immutability requirement of Strings, it's pretty hard on memory; temporarily there are two copies of the char data in memory, plus the room for the encoded bytes. Assuming some single-byte encoding, it will (temporarily) require 5 bytes of memory for each character in the file. Since the question asks specifically for a String, that's what I show, but if you can work with the CharBuffer returned by "decode", the memory requirement is much less. Time-wise, I don't think you'll find anything faster in the core Java libs.

Possible typo? NIO has a Charset (not CharSet) class called java.nio.charset.Charset. Is this what CharSet should have been?

Note : after exercising a bit that code, I found out that you can't reliably delete the file right after reading it with this method, which may be a non issue in some case, but not mine. May it be in relation with this issue : bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4715154 ? I finally went with the proposition of Jon Skeet which doesn't suffer from this bug. Anyways, I just wanted to give the info, for other people, just in case...

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: I also bumped on this problem. Amazing that the bug has been marked "Will Not Fix". This essentially means that FileChannel#map is, in general, unusable.

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: The bug has been deleted from the Oracle / Sun Bug Database: "This bug is not available." Google cached the site at webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bugs.sun.com/

How do I create a Java string from the contents of a file? - Stack Ove...

java file file-io io
Rectangle 27 1116

Read all text from a file

Here's a compact, robust idiom for Java 7, wrapped up in a utility method:

static String readFile(String path, Charset encoding) 
  throws IOException 
{
  byte[] encoded = Files.readAllBytes(Paths.get(path));
  return new String(encoded, encoding);
}

Java 7 added a convenience method to read a file as lines of text, represented as a List<String>. This approach is "lossy" because the line separators are stripped from the end of each line.

List<String> lines = Files.readAllLines(Paths.get(path), encoding);

The first method, that preserves line breaks, can temporarily require memory several times the size of the file, because for a short time the raw file contents (a byte array), and the decoded characters (each of which is 16 bits even if encoded as 8 bits in the file) reside in memory at once. It is safest to apply to files that you know to be small relative to the available memory.

The second method, reading lines, is usually more memory efficient, because the input byte buffer for decoding doesn't need to contain the entire file. However, it's still not suitable for files that are very large relative to available memory.

For reading large files, you need a different design for your program, one that reads a chunk of text from a stream, processes it, and then moves on to the next, reusing the same fixed-sized memory block. Here, "large" depends on the computer specs. Nowadays, this threshold might be many gigabytes of RAM.

One thing that is missing from the sample in the original post is the character encoding. There are some special cases where the platform default is what you want, but they are rare, and you should be able justify your choice.

The StandardCharsets class define some constants for the encodings required of all Java runtimes:

String content = readFile("test.txt", StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

The platform default is available from the Charset class itself:

String content = readFile("test.txt", Charset.defaultCharset());

Note: This answer largely replaces my Java 6 version. The utility of Java 7 safely simplifies the code, and the old answer, which used a mapped byte buffer, prevented the file that was read from being deleted until the mapped buffer was garbage collected. You can view the old version via the "edited" link on this answer.

Technically speaking, it's O(n) in time and space. Qualitatively, due the immutability requirement of Strings, it's pretty hard on memory; temporarily there are two copies of the char data in memory, plus the room for the encoded bytes. Assuming some single-byte encoding, it will (temporarily) require 5 bytes of memory for each character in the file. Since the question asks specifically for a String, that's what I show, but if you can work with the CharBuffer returned by "decode", the memory requirement is much less. Time-wise, I don't think you'll find anything faster in the core Java libs.

Possible typo? NIO has a Charset (not CharSet) class called java.nio.charset.Charset. Is this what CharSet should have been?

Note : after exercising a bit that code, I found out that you can't reliably delete the file right after reading it with this method, which may be a non issue in some case, but not mine. May it be in relation with this issue : bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4715154 ? I finally went with the proposition of Jon Skeet which doesn't suffer from this bug. Anyways, I just wanted to give the info, for other people, just in case...

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: I also bumped on this problem. Amazing that the bug has been marked "Will Not Fix". This essentially means that FileChannel#map is, in general, unusable.

@Sbastien Nussbaumer: The bug has been deleted from the Oracle / Sun Bug Database: "This bug is not available." Google cached the site at webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bugs.sun.com/

How do I create a Java string from the contents of a file? - Stack Ove...

java file file-io io
Rectangle 27 54

->setBody("Did you request a password reset for your account?\r\n\r\nIf yes, click here:\r\nhttp://www.website.com", 'text/plain');

php - Adding line breaks to a text/plain email - Stack Overflow

php email swiftmailer plaintext
Rectangle 27 15

The trouble with "context"

The term "context" is sometimes used to refer to the object referenced by this. It's use is inappropriate because it doesn't fit either semantically or technically with ECMAScript's this.

"Context" means the circumstances surrounding something that adds meaning, or some preceding and following information that gives extra meaning. The term "context" is used in ECMAScript to refer to execution context, which is all the parameters, scope and this within the scope of some executing code.

Set the ThisBinding to the same value as the ThisBinding of the calling execution context

which clearly indicates that this is part of an execution context.

An execution context provides the surrounding information that adds meaning to code that is being executed. It includes much more information that just the thisBinding.

So the value of this isn't "context", it's just one part of an execution context. It's essentially a local variable that can be set by the call to any object and in strict mode, to any value at all.

javascript - How to access the correct `this` inside a callback? - Sta...

javascript callback this
Rectangle 27 15

The trouble with "context"

The term "context" is sometimes used to refer to the object referenced by this. It's use is inappropriate because it doesn't fit either semantically or technically with ECMAScript's this.

"Context" means the circumstances surrounding something that adds meaning, or some preceding and following information that gives extra meaning. The term "context" is used in ECMAScript to refer to execution context, which is all the parameters, scope and this within the scope of some executing code.

Set the ThisBinding to the same value as the ThisBinding of the calling execution context

which clearly indicates that this is part of an execution context.

An execution context provides the surrounding information that adds meaning to code that is being executed. It includes much more information that just the thisBinding.

So the value of this isn't "context", it's just one part of an execution context. It's essentially a local variable that can be set by the call to any object and in strict mode, to any value at all.

javascript - How to access the correct `this` inside a callback? - Sta...

javascript callback this
Rectangle 27 233

Solution #1 (Plain Text only and requires Firefox 22+)

Works for IE6+, FF 22+, Chrome, Safari, Edge (Only tested in IE9+, but should work for lower versions)

If you need support for pasting HTML or Firefox <= 22, see Solution #2.

<div id='editableDiv' contenteditable='true'>Paste</div>
function handlePaste (e) {
    var clipboardData, pastedData;

    // Stop data actually being pasted into div
    e.stopPropagation();
    e.preventDefault();

    // Get pasted data via clipboard API
    clipboardData = e.clipboardData || window.clipboardData;
    pastedData = clipboardData.getData('Text');

    // Do whatever with pasteddata
    alert(pastedData);
}

document.getElementById('editableDiv').addEventListener('paste', handlePaste);

Note that this solution uses the parameter 'Text' for the getData function, which is non-standard. However, it works in all browsers at the time of writing.

<div id='div' contenteditable='true'>Paste</div>
var editableDiv = document.getElementById('editableDiv');

function handlepaste (e) {
    var types, pastedData, savedContent;

    // Browsers that support the 'text/html' type in the Clipboard API (Chrome, Firefox 22+)
    if (e && e.clipboardData && e.clipboardData.types && e.clipboardData.getData) {

        // Check for 'text/html' in types list. See abligh's answer below for deatils on
        // why the DOMStringList bit is needed. We cannot fall back to 'text/plain' as
        // Safari/Edge don't advertise HTML data even if it is available
        types = e.clipboardData.types;
        if (((types instanceof DOMStringList) && types.contains("text/html")) || (types.indexOf && types.indexOf('text/html') !== -1)) {

            // Extract data and pass it to callback
            pastedData = e.clipboardData.getData('text/html');
            processPaste(editableDiv, pastedData);

            // Stop the data from actually being pasted
            e.stopPropagation();
            e.preventDefault();
            return false;
        }
    }

    // Everything else: Move existing element contents to a DocumentFragment for safekeeping
    savedContent = document.createDocumentFragment();
    while(editableDiv.childNodes.length > 0) {
        savedContent.appendChild(editableDiv.childNodes[0]);
    }

    // Then wait for browser to paste content into it and cleanup
    waitForPastedData(editableDiv, savedContent);
    return true;
}

function waitForPastedData (elem, savedContent) {

    // If data has been processes by browser, process it
    if (elem.childNodes && elem.childNodes.length > 0) {

        // Retrieve pasted content via innerHTML
        // (Alternatively loop through elem.childNodes or elem.getElementsByTagName here)
        var pastedData = elem.innerHTML;

        // Restore saved content
        elem.innerHTML = "";
        elem.appendChild(savedContent);

        // Call callback
        processPaste(elem, pastedData);
    }

    // Else wait 20ms and try again
    else {
        setTimeout(function () {
            waitForPastedData(elem, savedContent)
        }, 20);
    }
}

function processPaste (elem, pastedData) {
    // Do whatever with gathered data;
    alert(pastedData);
    elem.focus();
}

// Modern browsers. Note: 3rd argument is required for Firefox <= 6
if (editableDiv.addEventListener) {
    editableDiv.addEventListener('paste', handlepaste, false);
}
// IE <= 8
else {
    editableDiv.attachEvent('onpaste', handlepaste);
}

The onpaste event of the div has the handlePaste function attached to it and passed a single argument: the event object for the paste event. Of particular interest to us is the clipboardData property of this event which enables clipboard access in non-ie browsers. In IE the equivalent is window.clipboardData, although this has a slightly different API.

handlepaste

The first checks for the existence of event.clipboardData and checks whether it's types property contains 'text/html' (types may be either a DOMStringList which is checked using the contains method, or a string which is checked using the indexOf method). If all of these conditions are fulfilled, then we proceed as in solution #1, except with 'text/html' instead of 'text/plain'. This currently works in Chrome and Firefox 22+.

If this method is not supported (all other browsers), then we

  • Save the element's contents to a DocumentFragment
waitForPastedData
waitforpastedata

This function first polls for the pasted data (once per 20ms), which is necessary because it doesn't appear straight away. When the data has appeared it:

  • Saves the innerHTML of the editable div (which is now the pasted data) to a variable
  • Restores the content saved in the DocumentFragment
  • Calls the 'processPaste' function with the retrieved data
processpaste

Does arbitrary things with the pasted data. In this case we just alert the data, you can do whatever you like. You will probably want to run the pasted data through some kind of data sanitising process.

Saving and restoring the cursor position

In a real sitution you would probably want to save the selection before, and restore it afterwards (Set cursor position on contentEditable <div>). You could then insert the pasted data at the position the cursor was in when the user initiated the paste action.

Thanks to Tim Down to suggesting the use of a DocumentFragment, and abligh for catching an error in Firefox due to the use of DOMStringList instead of a string for clipboardData.types

Interesting. I thought I'd tried this in the past and it hadn't worked in some browser, but I'm sure you're right. I would definitely prefer moving the existing content into a DocumentFragment rather than using innerHTML for several reasons: first, you keep any existing event handlers; second, saving and restoring innerHTML is not guaranteed to create an identical copy of the previous DOM; third, you can then save the selection as a Range rather than having to faff around with adding marker elements or calculating text offsets (which is what you'd have to do if you used innerHTML).

Ah, well that explains why my event handlers were disappearing! I might just add them back afterwards though, because extracting to a documentFragment is a pain in IE.

There is indeed a flash of no content (FONC?), which will obviously be worse if the processing of the pasted content takes some time. Btw, why is extracting to a DocumentFragment a pain in IE? It's the same as in other browsers, unless you use a Range and extractContents() to do it, which is no more concise than the alternative in any case. I've implemented an example of your technique, using Rangy to keep things nice and uniform across browsers: jsfiddle.net/bQeWC/4.

@Martin: The jsFiddle demo I posted in the comments may help.

It seems that it doesn't work anymore on Firefox 28 (at least) for Windows. It never goes out of the waitforpastedata function

JavaScript get clipboard data on paste event (Cross browser) - Stack O...

javascript cross-browser clipboard
Rectangle 27 14

The trouble with "context"

The term "context" is sometimes used to refer to the object referenced by this. It's use is inappropriate because it doesn't fit either semantically or technically with ECMAScript's this.

"Context" means the circumstances surrounding something that adds meaning, or some preceding and following information that gives extra meaning. The term "context" is used in ECMAScript to refer to execution context, which is all the parameters, scope and this within the scope of some executing code.

Set the ThisBinding to the same value as the ThisBinding of the calling execution context

which clearly indicates that this is part of an execution context.

An execution context provides the surrounding information that adds meaning to code that is being executed. It includes much more information that just the thisBinding.

So the value of this isn't "context", it's just one part of an execution context. It's essentially a local variable that can be set by the call to any object and in strict mode, to any value at all.

javascript - How to access the correct `this` inside a callback? - Sta...

javascript callback this
Rectangle 27 14

The trouble with "context"

The term "context" is sometimes used to refer to the object referenced by this. It's use is inappropriate because it doesn't fit either semantically or technically with ECMAScript's this.

"Context" means the circumstances surrounding something that adds meaning, or some preceding and following information that gives extra meaning. The term "context" is used in ECMAScript to refer to execution context, which is all the parameters, scope and this within the scope of some executing code.

Set the ThisBinding to the same value as the ThisBinding of the calling execution context

which clearly indicates that this is part of an execution context.

An execution context provides the surrounding information that adds meaning to code that is being executed. It includes much more information that just the thisBinding.

So the value of this isn't "context", it's just one part of an execution context. It's essentially a local variable that can be set by the call to any object and in strict mode, to any value at all.

javascript - How to access the correct `this` inside a callback? - Sta...

javascript callback this