I was looking for an API or (preferably) custom tag library to handle pagination and sorting of lists in JSP, when I came across the display tag library, and I have to admit that I’m very impressed.

This tag library is surprisingly easy and intuitive to use, while at the same time being extremely powerful, flexible, and configurable. It supports rendering tables based on a list of elements that can be supplied as a Collection, Enumeration, array, any object that has an iterator() method, etc. It supports both sorting and pagination. The look and feel can be configured using CSS, but in some cases the actual HTML code that is generated (for example for pagination controls) is configurable as well. Some options can be configured on a per-tag basis as well as in a properties file, which is useful to define a consistent look and feel for a site once.

But most of all, I was amazed by the quality of the documentation. The display tag library website is well organized and the documentation may very well be the best that I’ve seen for a project of this type. It certainly blows away many of the common open source projects, including Apache. It even comes with a very nice and complete collection of live examples.

Well, I know what I’ll use on my project. Nice work!