This week's giveaway is in the EJB and other Java EE Technologies forum. We're giving away four copies of EJB 3 in Action and have Debu Panda, Reza Rahman, Ryan Cuprak, and Michael Remijan on-line! See this thread for details.
Using java code in a JSP with <% %> tags, you can use a standard for loop. But that introduces scriptlet code into your JSP, which makes it harder to maintain.
You can use tag-based loops (eg JSTL forEach tag) That has the benefit of being plain text in the jsp file. I find them much easier to understand and work with than scriptlet code. But it is less efficient than the pure scriptlet loop.
While I generally balk at "which is best" type of question since such issues usually require a great deal of knowledge about the problem space, and usually end up being a subjective call in any case, I had to smirk at
Few people would agree that JS is simpler to maintain than Java -- I usually find it quite the opposite -- but in regards to "time savings", I wonder in what world it saves time to send a bunch of data over the network to be lopped over by interpeted code in the browser rather than not including it on the rendered page in the first place using server-side Java.