Hi, I'm not new to Java (Android developer) but I've never written a web application, in any language (not even perl or php, etc.). So, it almost feels like being a total newbie all over again. Anyhow...
I was trying to jump straight into using the Spring MVC framework, but being so new it is easy to conflate Spring with the technologies it is built upon such as Servlets and JSP so I'm reading Head First Servlets and JSP (that's what led me to this site).
My main question is, how important are Spring's taglibs? Are spring websites written where all you use are their taglibs, or in practice do people typically write a lot of standard JSP, use Spring's taglibs where appropriate, and other standard taglibs or hand-written taglibs? (to be clear, I fully understand there's a lot more beneath in the form of model and controller classes, my question is specifically on common practices in views...i.e. I understand an entire website is not just jsp.)
It entirely depends on the skills of the developers. IMO, except for a few taglibs (like security), spring taglibs don't add too much to the standard taglibs. There is a lot of overhead in learning them, without much benefit. I've been working with Spring for 6 years now in 2 companies, both of which had well established products. It was much easier for me to introduce Spring into the backend because Spring provides a lot of advantages. It's a much easier sell. Asking a company to rewrite the front end just because you like Spring is a much harder sell, and frankly, I am not sold on it myself.
Today, if I open my own company, I would absolutely not use JSP/JSF for the front end. I would instead build a SPA front end using Angular/HTML/CSS that talks to a REST backend built using Spring.