JBoss Release Grumpiness

18 06 2007

This is a geek gripe. Particularly for Java programmers. If you’re not doing JEE development, this probably won’t make a lot of sense unless you like seeing open source companies being beaten up for version incompatibilities.
Hello, I’m Dave, and I’m a JBoss developer. (Hi Dave…)
Until recently, I was quite content with the series of tools available for JBoss4, and my chosen IDE, Eclipse. JBoss provided a lovely little plugin interface called JBoss IDE. I encourage people to click on that link, because you’ll walk through a series of redirects until you land on a page that, amazingly, has no information on where to get JBoss IDE! How wonderful!
It turns out that JBoss (now wholly owned by Redhat has pulled JBoss IDE in favor of another Eclipse plugin called Exadel. Fantastic, a new IDE plugin that has a lot more functionality than JBoss-IDE ever had. Lets take a look!
An hour later, and Exadel is installed and running and grand. But. Wait a moment, the latest version of the JBoss application server is 4.2-GA. That’s General Availability. Meaning the platform is released and is the recommended system for users.
Exadel has no configuration support for 4.2-GA. Only for 4.0.x releases.
And JBoss-IDE has been pulled completely (and even it’s ‘2.0.0-beta’ version, the most recent version they posted, did not support 4.2).
“Must be coming out shortly.” So I mailed off to Exadel tech support asking if there was 4.2 support in the works, or when it will come out.
I get a direct, and undeniable response from them:

Dave Belfer-Shevett wrote:
> > Exadel Support Team wrote:
>> > > Exadel Studio Pro is going to be re branded as Red Hat Developer Studio in
>> > > later summer. Red Hat Developer Studio will support JBoss 4.2 .
> >
> > So the answer is “no, it does not support 4.2 now, and won’t until late
> > summer” ?
That’s correct.
-The Exadel Team

Excuse me, but WHAT THE F??? We’ve pulled the old IDE toolset. We’ve released a new product. But you CAN’T USE IT WITH OUR IDE TOOLS! Hahahahha! And you won’t for a couple months. Sorry bout that, have a nice day.
There are workarounds. You can run the jboss server externally in a windows shell and deploy to it. This is a painful arrangement, but I guess I have no choice?
Thanks for leaving us all in the lurch, JBoss.

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6 responses

18 06 2007
dbang

You’ve got to be kidding. You are working yourself up into a tizzy because your IDE is a couple months behind the server release?
Yeah it would be lovely of course if supporting technology was always release simultaneously. But you and I have both been in this world long enough to know that’s more the exception than the norm.
And, y’know, it ain’t like you’re payin’ for it.
What’s the problem with continuing to use JBoss IDE until the new product is released? (Deployment isn’t THAT painful; Ant can help you out.)

18 06 2007
dbs

Ther’es a couple reasons this is upsetting.
First, JBoss-IDE embeds the appserver into the IDE. That means the IDE controls it, and supports things like hotswap, where running code in the appserver is replaced on the fly with code I’m editing.
With the jump of JBoss to 4.2, my IDE will no longer attach to and maintain the JBoss appserver. I can’t start it, debug it, or hot deploy to it. When I try to add the 4.2 server to my IDE, I get “This is not a JBoss server”, and it fails out.
If it were simply a “this hasn’t been updated, I’ll keep using my old tool” that would be fine, but it isn’t. There’s a HUGE deployment descriptor bug in JBoss 4.0.x that was fixed in 4.2, and we need to migrate to 4.2 ASAP. So I -must- run 4.2 to get the application functional and ready to go into our test environment (which will also migrate to 4.2). But without the IDE connection, debugging and maintenance will be far more cumbersome.
Yes, we use ant for build and deploys, so all I really need to do is change my target location from my embedded JBoss server to the external 4.2 installation, then alt-tab and watch the cmd.exe shell that’s running the 4.2 server. I would far rather use the Console browser in Eclipse and my hotswap and debugging tools to work with my deployed app then going back to essentially “edit, save, compile, run, watch for errors, repeat”.

18 06 2007
dbang

Yeah, so? I did say that, yes, it would be nice if all supporting software would be released simultaneously. But…getting your panties in a bunch about this is sort of like posting a rant about Boston traffic. Dude…it’s Boston. The traffic’s bad.
Would you have preferred the delayed the released of 4.2 containing your ultra-critical bug release until all the other pieces were in place?

19 06 2007
max

We’ll get that link fixed, it has waay to many redirects 😉
The JBossIDE beta 2 is fully available and has initial 4.2 support (see http://labs.jboss.com/jbosside/download/index.html)
If you want more feel free to checkout the latest version from SVN.
Last note the plugin set is not called Exadel, it’s called JBoss Tools which is a merger of the Exadel Studio Pro and JBoss IDE.

20 06 2007
Marshall Culpepper

Sorry for the confusion, I’ve disabled the redirect from the old JBossIDE project page to the new JBossTools project page, and just made it a clicky link. As Max said in the post above, JBossTools is actually the merging of JBossIDE and Exadel, so JBossIDE isn’t being replaced so much as getting a new name and a big new codebase to go along with it =).
We should have something for the public to see very soon, so keep your eyes peeled. Thanks for pointing us to this =).

26 06 2007
Pete

You can work around the “This is not a JBoss server” by doing
touch JBOSS_HOME/server/default/lib/javax.servlet.jar && touch JBOSS_HOME/server/default/lib/javax.servlet.jsp.jar
Alternatively, the nighlies, http://labs.jboss.com/auth/tools/blog/exadel_plugins_are_now_opensourced of JBoss Tools support JBoss AS 4.2.0.GA – worked well for me all day since I downloaded them yesterday 🙂
HTH!

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