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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 Clean by AndrewJaquith, though it breaks 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 ButtonMenu, the styling of BlackBean is done in CSS and not in 'style' attributes or using a <font> elements. The template does use tables, but these have been minimized as much as possible. Future versions may continue to eliminate tables 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 (images/logo.jpg) that always appears in the upper-left-hand corner and links to the "Main" page. You will probably want to change the one that is there by default, which is of a black bean.

Some changes from Clean:

  • 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


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'd be interested in hearing from anyone actively using and/or extending/modifying BlackBean, share ideas, etc.

-- MurrayAltheim

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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 particular version was published on 23-Jun-2005 19:14 by MurrayAltheim.