I have two books geared toward learning JSP. From what I've read, one motivating feature/benefit is that it is easier for web designers (they apparently don't, as a rule, know Java) to work with dynamic pages via EL/JSTL.

From what I've seen so far, learning EL/JSTL requires a basic understanding of Java. I have yet to see an example that doesn't have a Java class to reference. Since that is what I've seen, I wonder if someone can tell me that this is true or not.

To make the question clear: Do web designers have to get a grasp, on a very basic level, of how a Java class works (e.g. fields, setters, getters, args, constructors...)?

This question is really meant to help me decide whether or not to ask another question; it is a qualifier.


In my experience, JSPs are not developed by web designers, but by the Java developers who also developed the Java classes which constitute the presentation layer of the application.

Those are rarely very good at web design, but most of the pages of an application follow the same design principles, and once a web designer has designed one or a few static pages with the appropriate markup and CSS styles, the developer can reuse this template and make his own dynamic pages without the help of a web designer.

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Technically, you can create a very substantial set of custom tag libraries that cover everything you want to do that would need to deal with classes and other Java artifacts without those libraries.

In practice, however, such comprehensive taglibs are rarely created and maintained.

Thankfully, only a basic understanding of Java is needed to do most things that a non-programmer would need to get at when dealing with the page layout in the JSP.

So, while the promise that a designer doesn't need to know Java can be held to, the reality is that they will need to be able to understand how to use some basic Java to do things. In my experience, this is well within the abilities of most designers.

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  • Sorry for my delay in returning to this. I wanted to spend some time using JSP before I continue. Thank you for your response. It suggests that my thinking is correct but I will hold of on my intended question until I have spent more time with JSP. – yas Jan 11 '12 at 16:34

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