Home > coding, java > Is JSP an unsupported deprecated part of JEE ?

Is JSP an unsupported deprecated part of JEE ?

Recently, someone claimed that Java Server Pages (JSP) is an “unsupported”, kind of “deprecated” technology and that Java Server Faces (JSF) is the superior current standard.

I responded that JSP is a solid base standard, not deprecated, just not much advertised anymore. In combination with JSTL core logic tags it is still a reasonably powerful option, suitable for straightforward request-oriented web applications.

For example, JSP tag files (pure JSP based tags, no Java coding required) are a great templating feature for easy view structure reuse that many Java web developers don’t even know about because it was only added in JSP 2.0 – as part of JEE 1.4, when newly released JSF was getting all the hype.

JSP is “stable” in the sense that no significant features have been added in recent years. It is hard to find information on what was actually new in JSP 2.3 versus JSP 2.2. Some might say that it is borderline unmaintained because of this lack of changes. Others might just like it as is.

I think JSP is for web applications sort of what the JDBC API is for persistence, whereas JSF is sort of what the JPA standard is: More elaborate, higher-level features, multiple implementations of the standard by different vendors, added (sometimes nerve-wracking) complexity.

On the other hand, the JEE documentation side of things looks pretty bad for JSP (and ironically also for JDBC):

The JEE 5 tutorial still had a full long chapter about all aspects of JSP.

The JEE 6 and JEE 7 tutorials don’t have those chapters anymore and mention JSP only in passing. The documentation focus is clearly on JSF.

The omission of JSP from those JEE tutorials lead some folks on stackoverflow to ask “Where’s the official JSP tutorial” with some interesting answers.

Regarding non-“deprecation” of JSP, please note that the JEE 7 technologies page clearly lists JSP 2.3 as part of the JEE standard.

The reference documentation for JSP 2.3 is the detailed spec of JSR 245, version 2.3, maintenance release 2, available as PDF from the JSP site.

The JSTL 1.2 spec is also available as PDF from its JCP page.

Side note: Maven Central has a javax.servlet.jsp-api artifact, with most recent version strangely marked as 2.3.2-b01, as if it was a “beta” version.

So in conclusion: Certainly there is no buzz around JSP, rather complete silence. You can call that silence a symptom of death or see it as a sign that there is no need or interest to change this still widely used technology anymore.

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