Apache Struts 2 Documentation > Home > Guides > Plugin Developers Guide > SiteMesh Plugin
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About SiteMesh
SiteMesh is a web-page layout and decoration framework and web application integration framework to aid in creating large sites consisting of many pages for which a consistent look/feel, navigation and layout scheme is required.

The Sitemesh plugin allows Sitemesh templates to access framework resources.

The framework stores all its value stack information as request attributes, meaning that if you wish to display data that is on the stack (or even the ActionContext), you can do so by using the normal tag libraries that come with the framework. That's it!

Features

  • Can use Struts tags in Sitemesh decorator templates
  • Sitemesh decorators can be written in FreeMarker as well as Velocity and JSP

Usage

From 2.2+ the new com.opensymphony.sitemesh.webapp.SiteMeshFilter filter and Struts org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.listener.StrutsListener context listener must be added to web.xml, like:

<filter>
    <filter-name>sitemesh</filter-name>
    <filter-class>com.opensymphony.sitemesh.webapp.SiteMeshFilter</filter-class>
</filter> 
...
<listener>
    <listener-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.listener.StrutsListener</listener-class>
</listener> 

FreeMarker and Velocity Decorators

The plugin provides an extension of the SiteMesh Velocity and FreeMarker servlets. These servlets provide the standard variables and Struts Tags that you used to create views in your favourite template language.

FreeMarker

From 2.2+ the recommended way to use Freemarker with Sitemesh is through the org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.FreemarkerDecoratorServlet servlet, which can be configured like this in web.xml:

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.FreemarkerDecoratorServlet</servlet-class>
    <init-param>
 	<param-name>default_encoding</param-name>
 	<param-value>UTF-8</param-value>
    </init-param>
    <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
</servlet> 

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>*.ftl</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping> 

Velocity

From 2.2+ the recommended way to use Velocity with Sitemesh is through the org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.VelocityDecoratorServlet servlet, which can be configured like this in web.xml:

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.VelocityDecoratorServlet</servlet-class>
    <init-param>
 	<param-name>default_encoding</param-name>
 	<param-value>UTF-8</param-value>
    </init-param>
    <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
</servlet> 

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>*.ftl</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping> 

Full integration with SiteMesh 2 + Freemarker 2.4.2 + Velocity 1.3 , including Struts 2 Tags, ValueStack, and FreemarkerManager statics.

Such configuration is available as from Struts 2.2.0, please refer to WW-3296 for me details.

    <filter>
        <filter-name>struts-prepare</filter-name>
        <filter-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.filter.StrutsPrepareFilter</filter-class>
    </filter>

    <filter>
        <filter-name>sitemesh</filter-name>
        <filter-class>com.opensymphony.sitemesh.webapp.SiteMeshFilter</filter-class>
    </filter>

    <filter>
        <filter-name>struts-execute</filter-name>
        <filter-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.filter.StrutsExecuteFilter</filter-class>
    </filter>

    <filter-mapping>
        <filter-name>struts-prepare</filter-name>
        <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
    </filter-mapping>

    <filter-mapping>
        <filter-name>sitemesh</filter-name>
        <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
        <dispatcher>REQUEST</dispatcher>
        <dispatcher>FORWARD</dispatcher>
        <dispatcher>INCLUDE</dispatcher>
    </filter-mapping>

    <filter-mapping>
        <filter-name>struts-execute</filter-name>
        <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
    </filter-mapping>

    <servlet>
        <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
        <servlet-class>org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.FreemarkerDecoratorServlet</servlet-class>
        <init-param>
            <param-name>default_encoding</param-name>
            <param-value>UTF-8</param-value>
        </init-param>
        <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
    </servlet>

    <servlet-mapping>
        <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
        <url-pattern>*.ftl</url-pattern>
    </servlet-mapping>

    <servlet>
        <servlet-name>JspSupportServlet</servlet-name>
        <servlet-class>org.apache.struts2.views.JspSupportServlet</servlet-class>
        <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
    </servlet>

    <listener>
        <listener-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.listener.StrutsListener</listener-class>
    </listener>

Example

Here is an example of how to configure the filter chains in web.xml:

<filter>
    <filter-name>struts-prepare</filter-name>
    <filter-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.filter.StrutsPrepareFilter</filter-class>
</filter>

<filter>
    <filter-name>struts-execute</filter-name>
    <filter-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.filter.StrutsExecuteFilter</filter-class>
</filter>


<filter>
    <filter-name>sitemesh</filter-name>
    <filter-class>com.opensymphony.sitemesh.webapp.SiteMeshFilter</filter-class>
</filter>

<filter-mapping>
    <filter-name>struts-prepare</filter-name>
    <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
</filter-mapping>

<filter-mapping>
    <filter-name>sitemesh</filter-name>
    <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
</filter-mapping>

<filter-mapping>
    <filter-name>struts-execute</filter-name>
    <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
</filter-mapping>

<listener>
    <listener-class>org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.ng.listener.StrutsListener</listener-class>
</listener>

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.FreemarkerDecoratorServlet</servlet-class>
    <init-param>
        <param-name>default_encoding</param-name>
        <param-value>UTF-8</param-value>
    </init-param>
    <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
</servlet>

<servlet>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-velocity</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>org.apache.struts2.sitemesh.VelocityDecoratorServlet</servlet-class>
    <init-param>
        <param-name>default_encoding</param-name>
        <param-value>UTF-8</param-value>
    </init-param>
    <load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
</servlet>

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-freemarker</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>*.ftl</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

<servlet-mapping>
    <servlet-name>sitemesh-velocity</servlet-name>
    <url-pattern>*.vm</url-pattern>
</servlet-mapping>

Settings

This plugin doesn't support any global settings.

Installation

This plugin can be installed by copying the plugin jar into your application's /WEB-INF/lib directory. No other files need to be copied or created.