Pat Farrell wrote:Cool, is that documented anywhere?
It's part of the JavaBean conventions. It's not just an EL thing.
I find EL to be terribly frustrating, as the documentation is next to non-existant.
Actually, it has its own specification so it's rather extensively documented. However, I do find the EL Spec to be rather awful -- in Oracle's fervent desire to shove the abomination that is JSF down everyone's throat, they don't do a good job of pointing out what's valid for JSP versus JSF, making it seem much more overly complicated than it needs to be.
You might be better off looking at the JSP 2.0 Specification when the EL was still documented as part of JSP, and focused only on JSP. (But, of course, that won't include any changes made with JSP 2.1 and 2.2.)
Pat Farrell wrote:Every time I try to do a new construct in EL, be it a trivial IF/THEN/ELSE or a loop that isn't just over all elements in a list, it takes forever to find what the syntax is.
Ah, you're mixing up the JSTL with the EL. The EL is simply the expression language; the tags are the JSTL.
The JSTL Spec is actually pretty good. Have you given it a try?
But I hear you about most Java Specs. The Servlet Spec and the JSTL Spec are pretty good. The JSP Spec, not so much. And some of the others may just have well been writing in Klingon for all the sense they make.
I'm a bit weird in that respect as none of that bothers me. I always seems to be held with a mix of admiration and bewilderment by my colleagues as they all just write Java (or C, in my current job) and can't understand how I can put up with using more than one language to get things done. To me, it's one of the things that keeps things interesting. I'd go nuts if I just wrote Java all day.