after some more investigations i found that the tomcat service probably never started successfully and i also found the log files for tomcat which said:
Using CATALINA_BASE: /var/lib/tomcat5.5 Using CATALINA_HOME: /usr/share/tomcat5.5 Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /var/lib/tomcat5.5/temp Using JRE_HOME: /usr/bin Using Security Manager /usr/share/tomcat5.5/bin/catalina.sh: 323: /usr/bin/bin/java: not found
so I updated the JAVA_HOME entry in /etc/default/tomcat5.5 to say JAVA_HOME=/usr
the last entry in the log files seem to indicate that tomcat started?
This is now an actual JSP problem so I'm going to move it back to the JSP forum.
There is a lot of information in the JSP FAQ for helping to insure that you've got the proper JSTL libraries for the version of the container you're using, as well as making sure your declarations are right. Take a look there and make sure you've got every thing right.