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From Brad Cox <b...@virtualschool.edu>
Subject Re: "Just say no to JSP" Re: [Fwd: Tomcat may reveal script source code by URL trickery]
Date Wed, 04 Apr 2001 22:55:46 GMT
At 11:24 AM -0700 04/04/2001, Jon Stevens wrote:
>I love the article title:
>"Just say no to JSP"

Glad that change made it in. DDJ wanted "Just say no to HTML". Arggh.

>I'm so happy to see that more and more people are waking up to the fact that
>JSP is bad. I'm also happy to see you worry about form validation issues.
>That is a problem that we are currently solving in Turbine right now. It is
>called "Intake". :-)

I'll try to make some time to check that out.

>It is sad to me that you:
>
>#0. Apache/JServe. Can't spell the product name correctly even though it has
>been around for 4+ years. :-)

Sigh. Yet another typo. I really thought we'd caught them all.

>#1. Confused "Turbine" with "add programming language features to HTML".
>
>#2. Confused "WebMacro" and thus Velocity with "add programming language
>features to HTML".
>
>If you spend time with the products, you would see that isn't the case and
>you might actually retract your statements.

You've touched a nerve here. This is the amount of time that gets 
consumed installing web based infrastructures.

Maybe Turbine is an exception and I certainly hope so. I'll pick on 
Tomcat here because the wounds are still fresh from spending a whole 
week on what should be a trivial task; porting a running webapp from 
a deployment server running Linux 6.2 to the server from hell; a 
hacked "virtual" implementation of FreeBSD at HostPro.com.

I should point out at the outset that this isn't to assign blame but 
to point out a problem... namely, the complexity that developers must 
deal with to get a working infrastructure in place. My application 
uses Apache, JServ, Java, and the servlet engine from Tomcat. Period. 
No taglibs, no JSP, no XML, nothing. Yet it took a whole week to get 
even this on the air, even though I've been through the tomcat 
configuration process dozens of time by now and had working config 
files to start with.

Much of the problem was expecting the user (me) to translate 
exception backtraces into what should be done to correct the error. 
The first problem I hit was a NullPointerException while reading 
request parameters. Why? I've no idea. An unfamilar JRE was 
preinstalled so guessing, I installed plain ol' JDK1.1.7 and that 
seemed to fix it.

Next problem was various JServ failures, none clearly explained by 
the errors, and none explaining what what was wrong and how to 
correct it in the config files. Then most of the week worrying about 
why Tomcat wasn't recognizing my servlet context.

I've a bunch of ideas for partial solutions but I'll hold off on 
those to see whether there's any agreement that there's a problem 
here.

>I have more comments, but no time right now and this probably isn't the
>right forum anyway...

I'd be grateful to hear them when you get a moment.
-- 
---
Brad Cox, Ph.D.; bcox@superdistributed.com
Phone: 703 361 4751 Cell: 703 919-9623
http://superdistributed.com: A new paradigm for a new millinneum

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