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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: JSP vs. XSP
Date Tue, 30 May 2000 21:51:54 GMT
Willie Wheeler wrote:
> Hi Stefano, all,
>     Thanks for the excellent explanation of the technical difference.

You are welcome.

> I agree, supposing that the two technologies are otherwise more or less
> equivalent, that this difference alone makes XSP much more attractive.


>     Following up a bit, why isn't this more commonly given as the crucial
> reason for adopting XSP over JSP? 

It isn't? Well, it's a bug, then :)

> It doesn't seem that difficult to explain.

No, I don't think so.

> Most of what I have seen on the matter seems to say--falsely, we seem to
> agree (?)--that you can't separate content and presentation using JSP, and
> then goes on to give examples of poorly designed  JSP pages (too much
> scripting, no JavaBeans, no custom tags, etc.). 

You know, I designed JSP more than a year ago, well before JSP taglibs
and "model 2" patterns were discussed, proposed and standardized (I know
this because I'm part of JCP-52 that controls the JSP spec).

XSP were created to point out the weak points of JSP when more complex
serving models were used.

Over time, both JSP and XSP added taglibs and proposed better models for
page generation to avoid placing scripting directly inside the page.

Ricardo's SiLLy (Simple Logicsheet Language) language, IMO, will give
XSP a _big_ advantage over JSP taglibs in both ease of use and ease of

Anyway, I admittedly change my view over the months. JSP started as a
political anti-ASP technology but it's become more and more useful with
the addition of better design patterns into the picture. Unfortunately,
core design issues like the one I outlined break JSP for XML operation
on the server side.

There is _no_ absolute way around this, unless you break back
compatibility. Something that Sun _does_not_ want to do.

I proposed Sun to adopt XSP for things that need server side processing
and keep JSP for stuff that does not. I was told splitting JSP is _NOT_
an option.

But they are, indeed, afraid of XSP power! They know their marketing
engine might not be as powerful as the power of our ideas. Your comments
seem to agree on that.

We are working on the new Servlet 2.3 model that should allow JSP to
output content using SAX events. This will happen probably 1Q2001. But,
to be quite honest, I can't predict the result of what's going on since
nothing resolving has been proposed yet.

I'm quite confident XSP will provide better solutions for XML because
_designed_ on XML for XML and with no back-compatibility issues.

> Or else the argument places
> undue emphasis on relatively minor syntactic issues such as not having to do
> this sort of (admittedly ugly) thing
>     <% for (...)  { %>
>         Blah blah...
>     <% } %>
> in XSP.
>     Anyway, there's a not-so-subtle plea in there for any XSP evangelizers
> that might be listening. Thanks for the very useful explanation. :-)

Cocoon2 will implement XSP 2.0 which we are designing right now. I'll be
very happy if you could review it to tell us if we got the right pitch.

I'll keep you posted when the document is available. Thanks.

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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