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From Sachin Patel <>
Subject Re: [wtp-dev] Proposal for Merging Server Runtime and Server Instance
Date Thu, 02 Mar 2006 01:15:46 GMT
I think it will simplify things greatly from a users perspective so  
I'm all for it.  It will also give us a whole lot more flexibility.   
We'll be able to create the server instance when the runtime is  
created so that means less user input.  Also we currently add the  
entire runtime to every project type and if G is headed toward a  
componetized model it only makes sense to define a set of components  
in our "runtime" definition.  It will be really cool to be able to be  
able to inform the user of a server instances capabilties before they  
create a project.

- sachin

On Mar 1, 2006, at 7:54 PM, Dain Sundstrom wrote:

> The proposal sounds good to me, but I don't think I'm really  
> qualified to pass any real judgment on tooling.  I would like to  
> know what you think of the proposal.  I'd also like to know if it  
> adds extra constraints to the Geronimo server.
> -dain
> On Mar 1, 2006, at 4:34 PM, Sachin Patel wrote:
>> So hopefully this will make sense... :)
>> In the two proposal notes I sent, the discussion is around the 3  
>> concepts in WTP, "runtimes", "servers", and "facets" and what we  
>> can do to improve the definition, design and interaction between  
>> the frameworks that these concepts represent.  So for those not  
>> familiar with WTP, let me start by describing these concepts from  
>> a "users perspective".
>> ----------------
>> So currently WTP has a notion of defining a "runtime" and defining  
>> a "server".  So for a user wanting to create a j2ee app using WTP  
>> and deploy it to geronimo the user must perform currently two  
>> distinct tasks.  (1) Is to define a Geronimo runtime using a  
>> wizard which asks the location of the runtime which you would  
>> point to a geronimo installation.  During project creation you  
>> would choose this newly defined runtime and what this essentially  
>> does is configures the project to add a JRE and a "runtime  
>> classpath container" which contains all of the geronimo spec jars  
>> + other G jars.  This means that this project is "targeted" to be  
>> deployed to geronimo.
>> Now in order to deploy that application, the user currently has to  
>> perform a second task, and that is to define and point to the  
>> actual server instance.  You may immediatly ask yourself, didn't I  
>> just do that by defining the runtime?
>> This is currently confusing to users, as the note below  
>> indicates.  Not only are the definition of the terms confusing in  
>> discussions as many times there are used interchangably, but from  
>> a users perspective they need to manage in the UI both the list of  
>> servers and runtimes and the mapping between the two.  And most of  
>> all what is confusing in the above case, both the runtime and the  
>> server are pointing to the same thing!  This usability needs to  
>> change.  So one of the proposals is for these two to be merged  
>> togather, with all server instances being runtimes, but not vise  
>> versa.  Runtimes may or may not represent a server instance.   
>> (Multiple server instances may have unique configuration/launching  
>> data in distinct location but share the same runtime jars.  For  
>> example WebSphere has a concept of profiles).
>> So with that re-read below and hopefully the note will make more  
>> sense.
>> ------
>> Facets are basically a unit of function that can be applied and  
>> removed to a given WTP project.  For example, if a user is wanting  
>> to create a "Web Project" the "web facet" is selected and this  
>> creates the project directory structure specific for a web  
>> project, web.xml, etc.... So how do facets relate to geronimo  
>> runtimes and servers?
>> Since G is headed toward a model where a user can produce a custom  
>> server image (i.e web container only, no j2ee, etc...) each  
>> distribution may be different.  So after defining a runtime by  
>> pointing to this installation, some facets may or not be  
>> applicable to add on a project.  So from a tooling perspective we  
>> should be able to ask...Given this "runtime" what kind of  
>> capabilties do I have? What kind of projects can I create?
>> Now the second use case is that a user may not be interested in  
>> deploying his app yet and only concerned is developing a project  
>> that would be supported geronimo.  So they may or may not have a  
>> local geronimo install image.  So with our integration and use of  
>> maven, we should be able to take a more appcentric approach in the  
>> tools as well.  So the user should be able to simply choose the  
>> ejb project creation wizard, select geronimo, and we should be  
>> able to dynamically generate the minimum runtime for that project  
>> by pulling in the necessary jars from their local install or from  
>> a maven repo.
>> I hope that helps.
>> - sachin
>> On Mar 1, 2006, at 5:35 PM, Dain Sundstrom wrote:
>>> Sachin, can you translate this from eclipse speak to geronimo speak?
>>> -dain
>>> On Mar 1, 2006, at 1:23 PM, Sachin Patel wrote:
>>>> Please respond with any comments or concerns you have with this  
>>>> second proposal as it will have a direct affect on G tooling.
>>>> - sachin
>>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>>>> From: "Konstantin Komissarchik" <>
>>>>> Date: March 1, 2006 4:02:33 PM EST
>>>>> To: "General discussion of project-wide or architectural  
>>>>> issues." <>
>>>>> Subject: [wtp-dev] Proposal for Merging Server Runtime and  
>>>>> Server Instance
>>>>> Reply-To: "General discussion of project-wide or architectural  
>>>>> issues." <>
>>>>> Currently the server tools framework has a separate notion of  
>>>>> runtime and a server. Typically, the runtime is supposed to  
>>>>> represent the server install location, while server instance  
>>>>> supposed to represent an actual runnable server configuration.  
>>>>> The runtime then functions almost like a factory for server  
>>>>> instances. You can have any number (including zero) of server  
>>>>> instances associated with a runtime. While that separation can  
>>>>> be a good thing in some situations, it’s has turned out to be  
>>>>> in a problem in others. In particular:
>>>>> The runtime is supposed to be a full description of the server,  
>>>>> including its capabilities (which facets are supported). While  
>>>>> that is true in some cases, often the actual server  
>>>>> configuration is necessary in order to get the complete  
>>>>> understanding of what’s supported. See 
>>>>> bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=111545 for one example of this.
>>>>> Having to create and maintain separate lists of runtimes and  
>>>>> servers has shown to be confusing for users. Extra steps are  
>>>>> necessary. The user has to know about the preferences page for  
>>>>> managing runtimes and the servers view for managing servers.  
>>>>> Often there is confusion as to which one you are talking about.  
>>>>> People use terms server and runtime interchangeably, etc.
>>>>> Some runtimes (such as Tomcat) do not have additional server  
>>>>> configuration, in which case the extra step of creating a  
>>>>> server from a runtime is very unnecessary.
>>>>> I’d like to propose that the server runtime and server instance  
>>>>> be merged into one. I believe we can do that without detriment  
>>>>> to the use cases that gave rise to the separation. We can do  
>>>>> that by allowing a runtime to also (optionally) be a server.  
>>>>> That is, all servers would be runtimes, but not all runtimes  
>>>>> would be servers. When creating a runtime via the new runtime  
>>>>> wizard, the runtime provider will have full flexibility in  
>>>>> determining whether the runtime that’s created is a server or  
>>>>> not. Some runtime providers (such as Tomcat) may always create  
>>>>> servers. Others, such WebLogic, may do that optionally based on  
>>>>> user’s input. For instance, if the user specifies just the  
>>>>> WebLogic install location, then the created runtime would not  
>>>>> be a server, but if the user also provides the domain  
>>>>> configuration directory, then the runtime becomes a startable  
>>>>> server. A project can be targeted to either one for  
>>>>> development, but only the latter one can be used to run/debug  
>>>>> the app. This approach places a lot of flexibility in the hands  
>>>>> of the runtime providers. It’s conceivable that some may even  
>>>>> allow a runtime that’s not a server to be “converted” into a  
>>>>> server by specifying additional information.
>>>>> The users would manage the list of runtimes via a new Runtimes  
>>>>> workbench view. The view would be extensible, allowing the  
>>>>> server tools framework to plug in and mark those runtimes that  
>>>>> are servers with decorations and additional actions, such as  
>>>>> start, stop, and status monitoring. This would replace the  
>>>>> dedicated Servers view.
>>>>> At the api level, IRuntime would be adaptable to IServer (as  
>>>>> applicable) and IServer would be adaptable to IRuntime  
>>>>> (always). The server tools would maintain the markers that  
>>>>> indicate which runtimes are servers and surface this via api  
>>>>> for use by the runtime providers. This would not be surfaced to  
>>>>> the end user via UI.
>>>>> So how would we handle use cases that drove to the separation  
>>>>> of the runtime and the server?
>>>>> I want to just write code. I haven’t created a server and I  
>>>>> don’t want to create one. I will worry about running/debugging  
>>>>> later. The above proposal leaves this in the hands of runtime  
>>>>> providers. If creating a server instance configuration is not  
>>>>> trivial, the new runtime wizard should let the user opt out of  
>>>>> that. The end result would be an un-runnable runtime that the  
>>>>> user can still develop against.
>>>>> I don’t want to have to specify the location of my server  
>>>>> install every time I create a new server instance. This can  
>>>>> easily be handled in the runtime creation wizards by  
>>>>> remembering the prior selections in an editable combo box.
>>>>> Thoughts?
>>>>> - Konstantin
>>>>> __________________________________________________________________ 
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