Aurora and Sol

Those are the names people: mark em down. Flexamp is on its way out :). I kinda want the player name to be independent of the technology behind it (I am following an industry norm here. There arent and C++MediaPlayers or JavaAmp đŸ˜› ). While these names may or may not stick, these are the package names of the Flex Project and the J2EE Project on my Eclipse application so they will always be reflected in the source files.
I am fairly far ahead on the clientside implementation of the player but am just about starting the J2EE part. I havent mucked around with J2EE as much although I do come from a Java background as such. Desktop Java has much fewer rules to adehere to. The first step in J2EE is the biggest one and understanding the structure of a J2EE app does take some serious reading.
Of course there is a leap from the book to the server ;).
So here is the story of day 1 of Sol development.

Step 0 – Choose Eclipse:
I do all my programming on Eclipse and love it. Ever since the ASDT plugin came out, Eclipse has been my standard development environment. Its well integraded with CVS and SVN and allows quick text searches which makes life a lot easier. And developing Flash and Java on the same IDE is veeeery convinient. The web tools project is something I am just getting used to and while I have heard seasoned Java developers complain about certain features, my own experience has been fairly good. So armed with Google, I created the Sol project.

Step 1 – Get your J2EE app container + MySQL database:
My www host runs Tomcat 5.0.27 so thats what I run as well. I also downloaded the appropriate MySQL version

Step-2 – Create the Dynamic Web Application Project:
This is a project template that I think came with the web tools plugin on Eclipse. Once you create a new Dynamic Web Project, Eclipse will create the WEB-INF, META-INF, classes and lib directories as per the J2EE spec(A typical j2ee webapp should look like this) in a folder called WebContent. That folder can go as is as a webapp in a container (although typically you would deploy it as a web archive (war) file).

Step 3 – Include the jstl taglibs in your container:
Since I will be using the Java Standard Taglibs, I downloaded the jars from the Apache site. Include these taglibs in either your application’s lib folder or, preferably, in your container’s common lib directory (TOMCAT_HOME/ROOT/common/lib/) which would make them visible to all the webapps.

Step 4 – Create your basic JSP
Since the goal of this pass is to verify that my installation is correct, I wrote the simplest JSP file. You can download it from here.

Step 5 – Run the JSP from within Eclipse:
Make sure that the Tomcat Engine isnt running and then right click on the project and choose Run As … > Run on the server. Update the files if prompted and point to the installation directory of the Tomcat server when prompted to choose the local server. As the server starts up, the server logs appear in the Console window. Eclipse will then launch the built in browser and point it to the application root. Click on the JSP page and ensure that it works.

Possible issue: I have no idea why this was happening but even though my JAVA_HOME environment variable was pointed correctly to the JDK, Tomcat could still not find the javac tool to compile my JSP. On a thread I found the solution to put the tools.jar into the TOMCAT_HOME/common/lib directory. That worked.


Author: Arpit Mathur

Arpit Mathur is a Principal Engineer at Comcast Labs where he is currently working on a variety of topics including Machine Learning, Affective Computing, and Blockchain applications. Arpit has also worked extensively on Android and iOS applications, Virtual Reality apps as well as with web technologies like JavaScript, HTML and Ruby on Rails. He also spent a couple of years in the User Experience team as a Creative Technologist.

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