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From "Attila Szegedi" <>
Subject Re: wrapping XML document as JavaBeans?
Date Wed, 03 Oct 2001 10:20:36 GMT

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Geir Magnusson Jr." <>
To: <>
Sent: 2001. október 3. 11:49
Subject: Re: wrapping XML document as JavaBeans?

> No lynching :)  That's neat - I am curious about what 'holds' the XML.  Will
> go look...

In a nutshell, Freemarker core does not use reflection on Java objects as its data model;
instead it expects the objects to implement several interfaces. I.e. when an expression is
to the left of a dot (say, "field" in ""), the engine expects that expression to
evaluate to an instance of TemplateHashModel interface so it can call the "TemplateModel get(String)"
method on it with the right-hand side of the dot operator. In a similar fashion, when an expression
is used in a <list expr as item> construct, it expects expr to evaluate to TemplateListModel,
and when an expression is to be evaluated as a literal (say, it's string representation is
to be written to the output or used for comparison) then it is expected to implement TemplateLiteralModel.
There is also a TemplateMethod model for resolving "expr(arglist)". And of course, any class
is free to implement multiple interfaces at once.

This concept is powerful in that you can have classes implementing these interfaces with whatever
semantics you need - reflection support essentially boils down to being only one special case
of possible semantics. XML support is just another implementation of these interfaces with
its own semantics. As you can see, Freemarker sports somewhat different concept than Velocity,
WebMacro, or Tea (that support method-call-on-objects semantics exclusively) so it's an interesting
complement in the template engine world to them.

> geir


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