This week's book giveaway is in the Mac OS forum. We're giving away four copies of a choice of "Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite" or "Take Control of Automating Your Mac" and have Joe Kissell on-line! See this thread for details.
I'm not familiar with the <bean:define> tag, but in the JSP <jsp:useBean> tag, if you specify the class with type="classname" it will not create an instance of the class - instead it will expect to find the object in the session (or wherever). If you want it to create the object if it doesn't already exist, you have to use class="classname". Perhaps it's the same with the <bean:define> tag?
subject: bean:define to define a bean of specific object type