ambient reality

pimping code and tech crap

Monday, February 20, 2006

Developing Java web apps

It's been years since I last did a web application in Java. In the past, developing Java web apps was simple and painful. You had to roll your own library to do almost everything. Fast forward to today. Java grew up... bigtime. It's amazing how much .NET and Java are alike. Both have abstracted controls, code behinds, interactive debuggers, blah, blah, blah. So, I set out to build a simple JSP website with some Servlets. The first thing I needed to do is find an IDE worth a crap. I tried NetBeans 4.1. Just creating a project is problematic. The stupid project wizard kept messing up when I specified a folder off the root. Next I tried Eclipse 3.1. I was able to create my project, but then I got pissed off for some reason that I can't recall and decided to see what else was out there. Then I tried Sun Java Studio Creator 2, which is based on NetBeans. I created my project and unlike NetBeans, it actually worked. It kindly creates a directory structure to help organize your files and adds a bunch of crap to the project. To get Tomcat to serve the files, I pointed the document root to C:\myproject\web. I had serious problems. Libraries weren't found, nothing worked. Then I noticed that there was a directory C:\myproject\build\www. Point Tomcat's / context to that path and bingo! So far so good. Now I needed to create a simple JSP file called index.jsp. Adding a file will automatically generate this JavaBean code behind file that is used for JSF stuff. I don't want that crap. If you delete the file, it kills the JSP file. WTF? Stay tuned... I'll figure this crap out eventually.


  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger Candy Guy said…

    I use Gel for all my java coding. Simple and to the point - not a bunch of extra fluff. Might be worth a look - not sure exactly what you are trying to do or what features you are looking fro in an IDE though.


  • At 4:23 PM, Blogger Chris Barber said…

    I visited the Gel homepage at and just by looking at the screenshots, it reminds me of JCreator.

    I tried the 30-day trial of JCreator and thought it was actually pretty nice and the price wasn't bad.

    I also used Allaire JRun Studio for a really long time. JRun Studio is essentially the same as Coldfusion Studio, but has some extra stuff for compiling Java projects. I never did any big multiple file project, so it worked ok.

    Regardless, I am definitely going to try out Gel and see what it can do. Thanks for the recommendation!


Post a Comment

<< Home