The rest of any Web application generated by JackBe is stitched together with many of these functions.
If you remember doing programming when memory was expensive, you’ll appreciate the lengths JackBe’s creators went to squeeze out bytes. The pages, for instance, are specified by a single call to the Z function with a single string as a parameter.
There are also more specific functions for common problems. MY, for instance, takes a number and formats it with a dollar sign and two digits of precision. PN finds the parent node of a particular part of the document tree.
The result is a Web page that is more of a program than marked-up text. I think that JackBe is just beginning to explore how this can save features. The JackBe developers tell me that they’re constantly revising and extending the libraries to offer new widgets, and I predict that they’ll roll out some interesting ones. You can also extend the routines yourself, often in an object-oriented way, by defining new routines for jobs like event handlers.
The server-side of the JackBe development process runs in a Java servlet container. You install it by dropping in a WAR (Web Application Archive) file and then starting up the IDE by entering the URL for the file into IE.
Nonetheless, I found the package incomplete in a few small ways. The project creation wizard, for instance, requires you to fill in many paths for files instead of doing it for you. This led me to mangle part of my Tomcat servlet container when I put in a wrong path.