There didn’t used to BE an alternative.
That means there are already mountains of JSP files brimming with Java code stuck in every conceivable spot in the page, nestled between scriptlet, expression, and declaration tags. It’s out there and there isn’t anything anyone can do to change the past. So that means you’ve got to know how to read and understand these elements, and how to maintain pages written with them (unless you’re given the chance to massively refactor the app’s JSPs).
Secretly, we think there’s still a place for some of this--nothing beats a little Java in a JSP for quickly testing something out on your server. But for the most part, you don’t want to use this for real, production pages.
The reason this is all on the exam is because the alternatives are still fairly new, so most of the pages out there today are still “old-school”. For the time being, you still have to be able to work with it! At some point, when the new Java-free techniques hit critical mass, the objectives from this chapter will probably drop off the exam, and we’ll all breathe a collective sigh at the death of Java-in-JSPs.
But today is not that day.
(Note to parents and teachers: the four-letter word implied in this thought bubble, that starts with “f”, followed by three asterisks, is NOT what you think. It was just a word that we found too funny to include without distracting the reader, so we bleeped ...