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From Steve Krulewitz <>
Subject Troubleshooting problem with Sysdeo Tomcat Eclipse plugin
Date Tue, 09 Mar 2004 21:51:15 GMT
Hey folks --

I just spent some time debugging a problem (which turned out to be a 
classpath issue, as always) and I just wanted to share my experience.

First of all, the way I develop with Cocoon is that I build the cocoon 
jar, and jars for all the blocks I use, and I copy these jars plus all 
the jars from lib/core and the blocks/*/lib dirs into my own webapp 
development area.

I've been using the Sysdeo Tomcat Eclipse plugin with Cocoon for a few 
days now and it has been working very well.  I've been able to hot 
update the actions and things I've been working on.  However,  when 
hitting one particular pipeline that uses the JXTemplateGenerator, I 
would get a blank page.  View source, and nothing at all.  No exceptions 
on the console, nothing in the log files.  The code running in Tomcat 
separately worked fine, so it must have something to do with the Sysdeo 
Tomcat environment.

After some stepping through code, it seems like there was a problem 
getting an instance of the JXTemplateGenerator.  It was very hard to 
pinpoint because the invokeNodes methods in the 
AbstractParentProcessingNode class just seems to silently swallow any 
exception that is thrown by the node it is invoking:

try {
     for (int i = 0; i < nodes.length; i++) {
         if (nodes[i].invoke(env, context)) {
             // Success
             return true;
finally {
     // No success
return false;

After editing this code and catching the exception, I was able to 
quickly tell that is was a NoClassDefFoundError, and that it had 
something to do with Commons Loggings stuff.  Turns out I didn't have 
the commons-logging-1.0.3.jar in my classpath.  The reason why I didn't 
notice this before is because my Tomcat install has this jar in its 
server/lib dir.

A few observations:

- Should commons-logging-1.0.3.jar be in lib/core rather than 
lib/optional?  In my case, the JXTemplateGenerator wouldn't run without it.

- Should the invokeNodes() method in AbstractParentProcessingNode just 
ignore the exception?  Maybe it should be caught and logged?


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