Okay, so Steve had this to say about my earlier posts...
In his taglib rants, Russell is looking at Velocity at a way to escape the confusing way that taglibs are being used. I don't see that helping though. Velocity has the same iterator and switch constructs built into it. Actually, the expression language in the JSTL is very close to Velocity syntax embedded in XML. In JSP 2.0, the expression language starts to look even more like Velocity. I don't think it's the tool, it is just having the disipline to use it correctly and write clean code.
Write clean code!?! I think that's pretty disingenuous... It doesn't address my main complaint at all, that XML isn't the correct way to put logic in dynamic web pages. The examples below were "clean" by tag standards, but they still suuuuuck.
It's the same argument against XSLT actually... there's been more and more logic popped into that spec until it's like it's own (horrible) programming language. I have an XLST book on my shelf that could kill a small child if it happen to fall. (Remind me to put it on a lower shelf). This is what's happening to the JSP spec. JSP is supposed to be a fast, easy and dynamic way to put HTML in a servlet. But it's gotten out of control. All these new tags and features aren't syntactic sugar, they're syntactic molasis and we're all getting caught up in it. (Wow. That was pretty good... I'll have to use that.)
The thoughts about Velocity are just a wish on my part to go back to simpler days, but in a controlled way. We've all learned that less logic on the pages is a good thing. Cool! So let's STRIP it out of there. I can't figure out why the JSP 2.0 specs are opposed to putting logic in the EL. It seems like everyone is getting caught up in the process of JSPs and not the goal, which is to make web sites faster and more maintainable.