This week's book giveaways are in the iOS and Features new in Java 8 forums. We're giving away four copies each of Barcodes with iOS: Bringing together the digital and physical worlds and Core Java for the Impatient and have the authors on-line! See this thread and this one for details.
As you are using JSTL 1.0 I will assume that you are using a JSP 1.2 or earlier container. In that case, then no. There is no provision in the version of the EL provided by the JSTL 1.0 to find the length of q string or anything else.
Under JSP 2.0, the EL is augmented with functions, and the JSTL 1.1 provides a length function. [ November 11, 2005: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]