Taking the Java Plunge – release 1.0 reached

Well I made it. It was early in the weekend that the code was working, but its taken a couple more days of struggle to get it so I could put it into production. Learning how to get tomcat to authorize the users is hell to debug when it doesn’t seem to do what the book says it should.

Looking back at what I have done surprises me. It was a simple application (just 5 web pages) but the number of separate technologies that I had to learn (or in some cases perfect) were many. Here is a list (on top of Debian Unstable/Stable)

Well I made it. It was early in the weekend that the code was working, but its taken a couple more days of struggle to get it so I could put it into production. Learning how to get tomcat to authorize the users is hell to debug when it doesn’t seem to do what the book says it should.

Looking back at what I have done surprises me. It was a simple application (just 5 web pages) but the number of separate technologies that I had to learn (or in some cases perfect) were many. Here is a list (on top of Debian Unstable/Stable)

  • download and conversion to debian package of sun sdk
  • set up and configuration of Tomcat
  • complilation of jk_mod from source
  • installation and configuration of jk_mod into Apache2
  • download, installation and use of Eclipse with Web Tools (including debugging)
  • download, installation and use of git (and cogito) scm system
  • Java Programming – with special attention having to be paid to the Collections classes
  • download, installation of Tapestry web framework
  • learning all of the Tapestry concepts (basic, forms with translaors and application state objects in particular)
  • download, installation of iBatis database framework
  • learning the use of iBatis concepts (with complex joins and how they populated Java collection classes)
  • set up of postgres access controls so that code and myself (using psql) could create and then access the database
  • SQL for key transactions, and in particular complex joins in order to extract the family relationships from the database
  • set up of jdbc driver for Postgres and configuration in Tomcat so that could access family tree database
  • set up of a datasource realm in Tomcat and a users database in Postgres to provide access controls to application
  • html encoding
  • css encoding
  • javascript and how to use within the Tapestry framework
  • Povray to create the chandlerfamily logo (not in the timeframe of this project – was done earlier)
  • inkscape to draw graphic items
  • gimp to convert graphic items to gif

Taking the JAVA plunge – some weeks later

It has been a while since my last entry, but here I am sitting in a hotel room in Instanbul, and discovered that it has a wireless lan capability.

I have started my first application having picked Tapestry 4.0 (currently at beta 5, but upgrading as soon as new versions come out) and iBATIS to connect to the database. I have been able to access my database and display pages with the data installed.

It has been a while since my last entry, but here I am sitting in a hotel room in Instanbul, and discovered that it has a wireless lan capability.

I have started my first application having picked Tapestry 4.0 (currently at beta 5, but upgrading as soon as new versions come out) and iBATIS to connect to the database. I have been able to access my database and display pages with the data installed.

I sort of stuck with Eclipse, but used the version bundled with Web Tools Platform. This is combination seems to be giving me the ability to run and then test (under Tomcat controlled by Eclipse) my application is run in debug mode.

Now that I have got to use tapestry in practice it is very easy to use, and have been able to make a good start on my “Family Tree” application.

Having looked at Hibernate and Cayenne as database frameworks, I decided to stick with iBATIS as my database access framework. It seems to be that right combination of simple to understand yet powerful in use.

Taking the Java Plunge – Selecting and using an IDE

It has taken a my about 3 weeks of exploring to know what my next step in taking the Java Plunge should be.

I have set up both Netbeans (4.1) and Eclipse (3.1) IDEs and tried to get both of them to create simple Hello World JSP applications.

Debian packages for both of them seem out of date, so I have downloaded both from their respective web sites.

Netbeans initially seemed extremely simple, as I immediately understood all the windows, what they did and how to create an application.

It has taken a my about 3 weeks of exploring to know what my next step in taking the Java Plunge should be.

I have set up both Netbeans (4.1) and Eclipse (3.1) IDEs and tried to get both of them to create simple Hello World JSP applications.

Debian packages for both of them seem out of date, so I have downloaded both from their respective web sites.

Netbeans initially seemed extremely simple, as I immediately understood all the windows, what they did and how to create an application.

However, at the same time I have been exploring exactly how I was going to construct my web applications, and am currently favouring Tapestry (3.0.3) as the correct framework to use. This has a plugin for Eclipse called Spindle which should aid development, and so I have decided to invest the time and effort in working my way through the Eclipse tutorials.

The more I get into it, the more I understand how to create and debug java applications and what all the different windows mean. Confusing at first – but very useful once you understand some of the concepts.

I think I am going to stick with Eclipse.