Originally posted by Jona
[font=trebuchet ms]..I'd heard that Java has open-source applications to parse XML and is very unique in that area, but perhaps I misunderstood.
you did not misunderstand...there are ton of open source parsers available out there which you can use to parse XML using Java, just go to w3c.org or xml.org you will see their tools section is full of tools written in java or integrating with Java. As a matter of fact you can use Java classes right inside of your PHP code..
I'd have to have a compiler to write applications. How does that apply to the Web, though? A request is sent to the server, it runs a .jar/.aspx application based on one of the supported languages, and the output of the application is what is printed on the web page? How exactly does that work? [/font]
When you use Java(jsp or servlets) in a web server,the web server is typically a servlet engine, so it knows that you are trying to access jsp/servlet code. Tomcat is the most popular free open source servlet engine out there(you can configure your apache web server to pass on the jsp requests to tomcat).
When a request is processed by a servlet engine, and the first time when a jsp is accessed its compiled( to a servlet) and then its served.After that its lightening fast.
I think one can see that with the programming languages there is a natural progression towards the best programming language.
C was evolved to C++, then C++ was evolved to Java( has its own handicaps), Now C# is supposed to be the next step(most of us are skeptical because MS usually doesn't do anything to help the industry)
C++ syntax is almost look alike to that of Java syntax.
And C# is for sure 99% Java programming language...
You have 2 options,if you like to be part of the open source community(ocourse java definitly has its advantages over MS technologies) go for Java otherwise ASP is your technology
P.S if you want to look into JSP's look straight into Struts...