On a recent project of ours (Java/SDL Web 8/DD4T 2), the customer’s architect suggested to use a view language that I had – quite frankly – never heard of: Thymeleaf. I had always wondered why the Java world had never settled on a view technology to replace JSP. The way I see it, JSP has had a great run (it’s been around since 1999) but it belongs in the same category as ASP – a moloch from times of old. Although you can use JSP as the ‘V’ in ‘MVC’, it has never been a true view language. The support of inline java code means that developers can easily run amok, which can lead to messy and hard to maintain code bases. Also, JSP writes it output directly to the response, making it less flexible than more modern view technologies.
I have been waiting for a Java equivalent to .NET’s Razor: neat, clean syntax, intuitive switching between code and markup, and very well integrated into the framework. So when Thymeleaf was suggested, I thought – perhaps – this could be it!