BlackBean is a JSPWiki template that provides a relatively clean, minimalist presentation of wiki detail — emphasizing the page content — on a dark-bordered white background.

BlackBean was originally derived from CleanTemplate by AndrewJaquith, though it departs from Clean quite substantially, particularly in that it uses a sidebar on the right rather than on the left. Usability studies have shown that people in countries whose languages read left-to-right (e.g., English and all Germanic and Latin-based languages) tend to try to read the page beginning in the upper left corner, so a left-based menu is the first thing they see. For those who prefer their page content to be the first, rather than the menus, a right sidebar is better. Also, for accessibility reasons, a right sidebar is better, as when hard-of-sight users blow up the font size larger, it's the menu and not the page content that gets pushed off the right hand side of the page.


Like Clean and ButtonMenuTemplate, the styling of BlackBean is done in CSS and not in 'style' attributes or using <font> elements. The template does use tables, but these have been minimized as much as possible. Future versions may continue to eliminate tables as much as CSS is able to replace them.

Because BlackBean is based on Clean, it inherits some of Clean's features:

  • Use of CSS throughout
  • Form-based login, designed for use with web containers (it follows the J2EE j_security_check specification for servlet containers)
  • Tweaked search field and button
  • Login (go to login form) and Logout (invalidate session) links in the top panel
  • Graphical submit buttons for search and login
  • A standard logo that always appears in the upper-left-hand corner and links to the "Main" page.

Some changes from Clean:

  • Now includes a graphic link to a Creative Commons license, with a rights statement. The icon used is a cleaned up version of the Creative Commons one that has more legible text than the one provided by CC.
  • The "features" right panel is gone, with LeftMenu.jsp and LeftMenuFooter.jsp replaced by RightMenu.jsp and RightMenuFooter.jsp, resp.
  • Clean's TopPanel.jsp, that includes links for login/logout, Home, Index, etc. is now called PageHeader.jsp, and the page footer is now included in PageFooter.jsp.

BlackBean is based on JSPWiki 2.2.20.


  1. JSPWiki is used to denote the location of your wiki
  2. Unzip the contents of to a temporary location
  3. copy the BlackBean directory to the JSPWiki/templates directory
  4. edit JSPWiki/WEB-INF/ to set the jspwiki.templateDir property to BlackBean, e.g. 'jspwiki.templateDir = BlackBean'
  5. Start your JSPWiki and edit the right hand sidebar by clicking the "edit sidebar" link found below the sidebar

Making colour variations on BlackBean should be relatively easy. If you want to change the overall colours of the template, I'd recommend selecting a hue (e.g., 0 is red, 240 blue in some colour systems) and then varying the lightness and saturation for the various page features. The page border colours are set in jspwiki.css under the specification for body's borders. The headings (h1-h4) are set near the top of the CSS file.

You will probably want to change the default logo (templates/BlackBean/logo.jpg), which is of a black bean. If you want to change the location of the logo file, it's located in the PageHeader.jsp.


Version 0.1 is the first release of BlackBean and there may still be bugs. I'd like to have it produce valid XHTML at some point, and have been cleaning up the JSP-produced markup to be compliant. There's a few places yet to change.



Comments, bugs, etc. welcome. I'm interested in hearing from anyone actively using, extending, and/or modifying BlackBean, share ideas, etc.

-- MurrayAltheim


I'm using JSPWiki 2.2.33 and I'm not sure if it is compatible with Blackbean, because the LoginRedirect.jsp (sign in) and Logout.jsp (sign out) pages are no where to be found.

Also, can you elaborate a bit more on the user/security setup. Thanks a bunch!

-- Tiengung 2005-11-01

Hi, Like the template but I've got the same problem as above.

KeithWhittingham 12Dec05

Hey...same problem for doesn't appear to support authentication, which makes it so you can't delete attachments...very annoying. Please give instructions for fix.

--Trae Stephens 27July06

Trae, I don't have any plans currently to update the template for use with the authentication features of JSPWiki 2.3.x or newer, so unless someone is willing (anyone?) to take over maintenance of the template this problem will remain. I will likely be updating the OliveBranchTemplate as I need a current template for my own work, and it supercedes BlackBeanTemplate.

-- MurrayAltheim 28July06

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Kind Attachment Name Size Version Date Modified Author Change note
zip 48.7 kB 1 23-Jun-2005 19:22 MurrayAltheim
blackbean_screen.jpg 67.0 kB 1 23-Jun-2005 19:18 MurrayAltheim
« This page (revision-15) was last changed on 28-Jul-2006 00:50 by MurrayAltheim