The Java EE 5 Tutorial

TagExtraInfo Class

Declaring Tag Variables for Tag Handlers discussed how to provide information about tag variables in the tag library descriptor. This section describes another approach: defining a tag extra info class. You define a tag extra info class by extending the class javax.servlet.jsp.tagext.TagExtraInfo. A TagExtraInfo must implement the getVariableInfo method to return an array of VariableInfo objects containing the following information:

The web container passes a parameter of type javax.servlet.jsp.tagext.TagData to the getVariableInfo method, which contains attribute-value tuples for each of the tag’s attributes. These attributes can be used to provide the VariableInfo object with an EL variable’s name and class.

The following example demonstrates how to provide information about the variable created by the iterator tag in a tag extra info class. Because the name (var) and class (type) of the variable are passed in as tag attributes, they can be retrieved using the data.getAttributeString method and can be used to fill in the VariableInfo constructor. To allow the variable var to be used only within the tag body, you set the scope of the object to NESTED.

package iterator;
public class IteratorTEI extends TagExtraInfo {
    public VariableInfo[] getVariableInfo(TagData data) {
        String type = data.getAttributeString("type");
        if (type == null)
            type = "java.lang.Object";
        return new VariableInfo[] {
            new VariableInfo(data.getAttributeString("var"),

The fully qualified name of the tag extra info class defined for an EL variable must be declared in the TLD in the tei-class subelement of the tag element. Thus, the tei-class element for IteratorTei would be as follows: