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From "Ted Kirby" <ted.ki...@gmail.com>
Subject [DISCUSS] Remove GEP server features?
Date Sat, 09 Aug 2008 18:59:32 GMT
One motivation here is to simplify things for users.  The first choice
when installing GEP using the eclipse update manager is do you want an
"Apache Geronimo Runtimes" or "Geronimo WTP Server Adapters".  (I
addressed a simplification issue in the "Geronimo WTP Server Adapters"
section in (GERONIMODEVTOOLS-469) Remove Core Geronimo Feature.)

Here, we take aim at eliminating "Apache Geronimo Runtimes".

Should we allow a user to download the server from eclipse?

Do we want to use the eclipse update manager to distribute our
servers?  Certainly with plugins and configurable servers, this does
not seem to be the way to go going forward.

The org.apache.geronimo.server.{jetty,tomcat}.v2{01}.feature features
allow the various instances of the server to be downloaded and
installed.

There are two ways this can work.  First, one of these server features
may be installed in eclipse.  This results in the server.zip file
being downloaded from the eclipse update web site (which is much (3-4
times) slower than downloading the server.zip with your web browser),
and putting it the eclipse features directory.  When you define a
server, you choose an empty directory, and click the "Download and
Install" button.  The server .zip previously downloaded is then
expanded to this directory.  The second way this can work is to skip
the installation of server feature altogether, and simply define a new
server, choose an empty directory, and click the "Download and
Install" button.  The same server.zip file is downloaded to the
eclipse features directory, then expanded to the target directory.

There are development costs and issues associated with maintaining and
continuing to provide this support.  Keeping the license and notice
files in-sync is one issue.  The "Download and Install" function has
consumed a large number of development hours.  There is a problem with
uninstalling them in Ganymede.  (See (GERONIMODEVTOOLS-467) Can't
uninstall runtime after installing it via eclipse update manager in
Ganymede for details.)  Also with Ganymede, there is a new version of
the eclipse update manager, p2.  It is supposed to be compatible with
the old one.  It handles the server adapters OK, but not the server
features.  It reverts to the older update manager to install them.  (I
think this is why they cannot be uninstalled.)

I think most users will download the server, install it and run it,
and especially customize it.  Then, I think they will use eclipse and
GEP to develop applications for their existing server.  I don't think
many users are using eclipse to download the server.

These servers have their WTP server adapters bundled with WTP:

Apache Tomcat
IBM WAS v6.0
JBoss
ObjectWeb JOnAS
Oracle OC4J

I think we should pursue getting GEP in that list.  When defining new
servers for these servers, only Apache Tomcat offers a "Download and
Install" button, and it is permanently grayed out.  Most of them
populate the app sever directory text box with /your_server_root/...,
indicating they expect you to install it outside of eclipse.

I think we can hide the server features, but still allow "Download and
Install" to work.  I would put the server features on some other site,
not the main one.  Then, users would not see it as an install option,
but the "Download and Install" button would still work, because it
would find the server on this other web site.

However, all things considered, maybe we should remove the server
features altogether.  We are so close to GEP 2.1.2 that we may want to
do this until after GEP 2.1.2.  For 2.1.2, we may want to hide the
server feature as described above.

Comments?

Ted Kirby

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