Thymeleaf vs JSP

Do you know that Thymeleaf is a newer JSP? In this article, we'll compare two versions of the same page for the same Spring MVC application. One version was made with Thymeleaf, and the other was made with JSP, JSTL, and the Spring tag libraries. Here is all the information you require regarding Thymeleaf vs JSP will be curated in a detailed manner along with its features, advantages and disadvantages. 

Spring MVC works with many different ways to create templates, such as Thymeleaf, FreeMarker, and JSPs. Also, a lot of other templating engines have their integrations with Spring MVC. They typically include aids for things like printing a variable value, formatting a string, iterating over a collection, filling out forms with parameters, etc. the common issues with views in MVC.

Thymeleaf is more recent, hence it resembles older web MVC frameworks like Django or Rails. more compact and expressive than program-oriented, and more declarative and data-oriented. The older JSP technology is more similar to PHP than the more recent frameworks. It is verbose as Java is and is more program-oriented than data-oriented.

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Thymeleaf vs JSP: Table of Content

What is Thymeleaf?

Thymeleaf is a cutting-edge server-side Java template engine that works in standalone and online environments to interpret HTML, CSS,  JavaScript, XML, and even plain text.

Thymeleaf's main goal is to offer a beautiful and highly maintainable way to create templates. To achieve this, it uses the Natural Templates idea to embed its logic into template files in a way that does not preclude the template from being used as a design prototype. By doing this, the communication between the design and development teams is improved.

Thymeleaf was additionally developed from the bottom up with HTML5 and Web Standards in mind, enabling you to design fully validating templates if that is something you are required to have.

Thymeleaf

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What is JSP?

Similar to Servlet technology, JSP technology is used to construct web applications. Because it offers more capability than a servlet, such as expression language, JSTL, etc., it can be viewed as an extension of the servlet.

HTML tags and JSP tags both make up a JSP page. Because we can separate designing and coding, JSP pages are simpler to manage than Servlet. It offers extra features like Expression Language and Custom Tags, among others.

JSP

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Thymeleaf vs JSP- Features

Features of Thymeleaf

  • It is developed using modular feature sets called dialects.
  • Java-based HTML5/XHTML/XML template engine.
  • It gives programmers the ability to expand and create new dialects.
  • I/O is minimized by its high-performance parsed template cache.
  • Internationalization is promoted.
  • It can serve as a template engine structure if necessary.
  • Numerous template types, including XML, XHTML, and HTML5, are supported.
  • It works in both web and non-web environments.

Related Article>>>HTML vs XML

Features of JSP

  • JSP is primarily used to create interactive websites. websites that can interact with users in real-time and aren't just static web pages.
  • Information can be entered by the user when they interact with JSP controls such as text boxes, buttons, dropdown lists, and checkboxes. It is simpler to receive this data entered by the user and deliver it to the server using JSP. As in the case of a user filling out a form and pressing the "submit" button. When the submit button is hit, JSP reads the data entered into the form and sends it to the server for processing.
  • When the server receives the data read from the client's input, a response is given back to the client so that it can be presented. For instance, JSP can be used to display a server response after a user submits a form, such as "Thanks for filling the form."
  • In order to give our website the power of Java and make it even more powerful and interactive, JSP, which stands for Java Server Pages, allows Java code to be placed in between your HTML code. As a result of the JSP page's internal conversion to a bytecode java file, all of Java's features, including security, flexibility, and platform independence, are also available to JSP.
  • One of the main features of JSP is to easily allow us to connect our website with the database so that we can send the data entered by each user to a database and read it back from the database when required.
  • By keeping the information in the Session object, Application object, or Cookies (saving user unique information on the user's machine), JSP enables us to keep track of the choices made by the user during user interaction with the website. This can be useful if you need to keep track of one or more users, as well as the choices a user has made while using the website right now.
  • JSP is mostly used to integrate Java into your website's HTML and is quite simple to learn and code. Anyone with a basic understanding of Java (and HTML) may quickly learn JSP.

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Pros and Cons of Thymeleaf vs JSP

Pros and Cons of Thymeleaf

Pros of Thymeleaf

1. Supports emails with rich HTML

Thymeleaf's Spring email utilities enable the sending of rich emails. This indicates that, in contrast to other template engines, Rich HTML email features are implemented.

2. Open source

Thymeleaf is an entirely open-source project with thorough instructions and a lively developer community. This implies that bugs are occasionally fixed and new features are released frequently.

3. Strong expression of language

Standard Dialect is used by Thymeleaf as the expression language, which is superior to other template engines like JSP.

4. Integration of development and design

Web designers and developers may work together more effectively thanks to the template engine. The view files may be easily viewed by the designers, who can then work accordingly. Collaboration and understanding will improve with ease.

Cons of Thymeleaf

  • Custom tags are not supported by Thymeleaf (.tagx files). This implies that JSP code cannot be reused as a custom tag. Therefore, the reusability issue has the potential to put off many developers.
  • Thymeleaf is incompatible with JSP standard tag libraries, which are a collection of tags used to give JSP applications essential functionality.

Pros and Cons of JSP

Pros of JSP

  • It can utilize all of Java Servlet's features because it is an extension of Java Servlet. Additionally, it can be combined with custom tags.
  • JSP changes do not require recompilation. When run, the changes instantly take effect.
  • The tags that are used are simple to read and write.
  • supports modern Java APIs that are simple to use and combine with HTML code.
  • The findings are in HTML format, which allows them to be seen on any browser.
  • It is possible to use custom JSP tags. For instance, XML tags.
  • Instead of modifying every page, changes can be made to the business logic page.

Cons of JSP

  • Despite the fact that JSP may access the database, doing so is not always simple because the majority of servlets lack support.
  • A servlet makes it incredibly difficult to track down errors in the code.
  • It requires more time for compilation than a server would.

Thymeleaf vs JSP- Comparison

Here are a few of the key distinctions between Thymeleaf and JSP, according to various criteria

ThymeleafJSP
A template engine called Thymeleaf accepts an HTML file, parses it, and then generates and serves online content. If you include a lot of logic in Thymeleaf code, it's simple to make it illegible.JSP is not a template engine. After being compiled, it becomes a servlet, which then serves web content.
Thymeleaf should be your choice if you want a typical web application where every request should result in a round trip to the server and a page reload. To resolve and render the thymeleaf template at the server side in such a circumstance, the spring boot backend controller will therefore be largely set up with a view resolver. In this instance, the Controller annotation will be applied.Use Angular or React if you want your front end to have a rich user experience and be a SPA. Additionally, JSON endpoints should be used to expose your spring boot backend. Use of RestController would require GetMapping or PostMapping.
Thymeleaf is more recent, hence it resembles older web MVC frameworks like Django or Rails more. more compact and expressive than program-oriented, and more declarative and data-oriented.The older JSP technology is more similar to PHP than the more recent frameworks. It is verbose as Java is and is more program-oriented than data-oriented.

Thymeleaf vs JSP FAQs

1. Which is better, JSP or Thymeleaf?

You may use Thymeleaf, a wonderful templating engine that takes the role of JSP, in any Spring MVC or Spring Boot application. It's enjoyable to use compared to JSP.

2. Is Thymeleaf still relevant?

Thymeleaf is more of a template engine for the creation of server-side applications. But Thymeleaf is becoming more and more well-liked. The MVC framework, which was formerly widely used for Javascript-based programming, is gradually losing favor with developers.

3. Why use Thymeleaf instead of JSP?

JSP is not a template engine. After being compiled, it becomes a servlet, which then serves web content. Thymeleaf, on the other hand, is a template engine that takes an HTML file, parses it, and then generates web content that is served.

4. Is Thymeleaf a frontend or backend?

Thymeleaf is a back-end application; it is not a front-end.

5. Can we write Java code in Thymeleaf?

Thymeleaf is a Java-based server-side template engine that can interpret HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS, and even plain text in standalone and online environments.

6. Is there a Thymeleaf backend?

A template maker is called Thymeleaf. On the backend server, Spring produces HTML pages. Every time a page is changed, the backend must be called, a new page is created, and the user's page is refreshed.

7. What is Thymeleaf in MVC?

The Java template engine Thymeleaf can parse and produce text, HTML, XML, JavaScript, and CSS. In this tutorial, we'll go over how to use Thymeleaf with Spring and some fundamental use cases in a Spring MVC application's view layer.

8. Is Thymeleaf faster than JSP?

Compared to other templating languages, Thymeleaf is pretty slow. JSP, on the other hand, is very fast, and FreeMarker and Velocity are close behind. 

9. Is Thymeleaf easy to learn?

Thymeleaf is easy to learn and use, so we can write great, clean code that takes the separation of concerns into account. 

10. Does Thymeleaf use JavaScript?

Thymeleaf is an HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS, and plain text processing template engine written in Java that may be used in a server-side or standalone setting.

Related Article>>>Spring Boot vs Spring MVC

Conclusion

Thymeleaf and JSP, both of them are Spring MVC view layers. The first and most fundamental distinction is seen in the file extensions. (.jsp &.html). JSP is not a template engine. After being compiled, it becomes a servlet, which then serves web content. Thymeleaf, on the other hand, is a template engine that takes an HTML file, parses it, and then generates web content that is served.

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Last updated: 03 Apr 2023
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I am a passionate content writer at MindMajix.  I write articles on multiple platforms such as Power BI, Blockchain, Fintech, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and other courses. My work covers a variety of niches including the IT industry, E-commerce, education, fashion, product descriptions, well-researched articles, blog posts, and many more. Basically, I put love into words and help you connect with the people + moments that matter. You can find me on my Linkedin.

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