I too had the same problem while learning Expression Language. EL is enabled by default. This is what I learned. At first, when learning I did not have any <el-ignored> entry in the web.xml. I was surprised to find that el was not evaluated. Then I put in an entry to eveluate EL in the DD. Even after that the EL was not evaluated. Then the last thing I added an entry to evaluate EL in the jsp page. Huh! It worked. The EL in the page was getting eveluated. I really dont understand why the EL was not evaluated when there was an entry in the DD.
Regards<br />- Ramnathan<br />SCJP 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, OCA