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Eclipse/JBoss IDE experience

 
 
Sudsy
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      11-12-2003
So I finally got around to installing JBoss and the JBoss IDE component
for integration with Eclipse. Things were going swimmingly as I worked
through the tutorial. Command completion was nice but the best part was
the use of xdoclet tags to generate the ejb-jar.xml as well as the home
and remote interfaces. Now that's a real time-saver!
I created my own project and had imported a couple of my stateless
session beans (just the Bean code) and entered the appropriate tags.
Again, things were going along nicely when it happened. I found that I
couldn't import the last file I needed; the import wizards window was
devoid of the tools I had previously used. I also found that shutdown of
the JBoss server wasn't working. When I went to Window->Preferences all
I got was a blank window.
Now I'm not one of those people who claims "I didn't do anything!"
unless it's true. And it was true in this case. I have no idea what
happened under the covers to make it stop working. Fortunately I had
RTFM and used the -data flag to store the project in a subdirectory of
my home directory. Since I don't archive applications until they've been
on my system for a month or six, I was able to blow away the eclipse
instance and reinstall. I also had to reinstall the JBoss IDE but at
least the location had been retained. Still, it took a fair bit of time
to get back to operational. It would have taken a LOT longer if I had to
reinstall from CD-ROM or didn't have a high-speed 'net connection.
And here's where I find myself asking whether I'd really saved any time
in the process. In the time it took for diagnosing and correcting the
problem, I could have written the home and remote interfaces as well as
the ejb-jar.xml file. The experience also found me doubting the solidity
of this framework. Is it so fragile that I can expect to reinstall on a
semi-regular basis?
Now don't get me wrong: there's a lot to like here. Being able to debug
servlets is particularly slick, although I couldn't enter anything in
the text box in the Expressions window (perhaps a symptom?). Like other
EJB authors, I've written my own suite of tools which generate code from
a variety of sources (I like using java.sql.DatabaseMetaData). So I need
to know whether my experience is anomalous or if others have found some
instability with this framework. I'm not about to discard a set of tools
which do the job in favour of a system which isn't 100% reliable.
Comments?

 
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