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From "Erik Hatcher" <>
Subject Re: J2EE config/build best practices
Date Fri, 12 Apr 2002 23:02:44 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Drew Davidson" <>
To: "Ant Users List" <>
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: J2EE config/build best practices

> This brings up an interesting point.  Ant is a good tool for doing your
> but doesn't dictate practice; obviously the correct approach.  Look to
> Hatcher and his new book on Ant to provide true insight into this matter.

Thanks for the unsolicited plug, Drew!  :)  (your free copy will be in the
mail when its finished!)

Just for quick comments on directory structure best practices, its a tough
thing to do beyond the basic src/build/dist/lib conventions most of us have
already adopted because of all the variations that more advanced techniques
introduce.  For example, XDoclet (which I encourage Drew to look at closely
for EJB/Struts generation and consolidation), you simply have a single
entity bean in source code and the other artifacts, including deployment
descriptors, are generated during the build.  And using something like
Middlegen promises to generate even the entity bean code for us as it
matures.  The XDoclet Struts form generation from entity bean code is quite

But, where should all the generated stuff live?  Some folks may want to
maintain it back into the SCM controlled codebase, while others may want it
in volatile storage such as under the build directory tree.

There are issues involved when using IDE's and tricked out directory
structures - for example I believe NetBeans (way back 6 months ago when I
last used it seriously - so perhaps outdated info) did not provide the code
completion features because the TLD files were not in a WEB-INF subdirectory
from where the JSP existed (although my build file glued everything back
together as it should be).  This may be an issue in your environment and
affect how you lay out your directory tree.

Thank you, Drew, for the extremely detailed example of what you have going
on - I think it will be helpful to many here.  I agree that constructing the
final WAR/EAR structure in the build directory is a very good "best
practice" for many reasons.


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