issue with ant and project builds w/ Java Server Pages project

D

Damon Getsman

I have a large project that I'm working on right now written primarily
in .jsp. It is used primarily to enter, sort, and process data from
several MySQL tables on the back-end. Unfortunately the previous coder
has written it almost entirely in JSP; to the point where almost all
of the logic, database access, and other functions that should
normally go in beans is written in JSP tags. Anyway, I digress...

This project was handed off to me in a NetBeans project bundle. I had
a lot of issues with NetBeans, so I switched to Eclipse. The new
version of eclipse seemed broken in some areas, too, so I ended up
switching to editing my files with 'vim' on my Linux system,
rebuilding with 'ant', and then redeploying and troubleshooting under
tomcat6+apache on my local webserver.

I recently completed the first round of changes to this project. These
consisted of edits only to one .jsp file; not one that is loaded
immediately upon entering index.jsp of the project. When I moved on to
the next section of edits, it consisted primarily of edits to one of
the few JavaScript files that implements AJAX functions for the
project. The source file was in <project_home>/web/js/
AjaxFunctions.js. The first few times that I implemented changes and
rebuilt the project I found (with ant -v) that it was allegedly
including the new .js file due to it being outdated; yet when I looked
with firebug at the javascript include when I went to that portion of
the project, I was still seeing the previous javascript with none of
my changes implemented.

I attempted a few things to try to get it to see my changes, and
although it stated that it was including it due to it being outdated,
I could not see my new javascript code in firebug. So after awhile
(this being my first JSP project and first time working with ant), I
was running out of ideas for troubleshooting and I ended up doing 'ant
clean; ant' to attempt to force a complete rebuild.

This broke the entire project. I don't even see the index.jsp login
page, it just takes me immediately to the unexplained server error
page; I find this rather odd being as I never made changes to any of
the files that are loaded immediately upon entry into the project. I
tried replacing the modified AjaxFunctions.js file with the old one
and it made no difference. Upgraded ant from 1.7.0 to 1.7.1 and still
nothing. Eventually I had to wipe the project directory and reinstall
from the backup that I made yesterday before leaving work.

Due to my unfamiliarity with ant I'm really at a loss here. Can
anybody give me some tips or ideas on what the issue might be here and
where I might look to resolve this? Anything you can offer that would
point me in the right direction is very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Damon Getsman
-=-=-=-
ITRx http://www.itrx-nd.com/
Programmer/Systems Administrator
-=-=-=-
 
D

Damon Getsman

Okay, after a little bit more digging it seems to me that there are
actually 2 problems. The first of which I described fairly well
above; if I do an 'ant clean; ant' it hoses the entire project, even
if I do it from the original netbeans environment that the project was
created from by the original coder.

The second problem, the one that is more important to me at this
point, is that ant and tomcat refuse to see any changes to my
<project_home>/web/js/AjaxFunctions.js file. For the longest time
rebuilding & redeploying wouldn't even copy the new version of
AjaxFunctions.js to the tomcat6 container. I finally got past this by
'touch'ing the <project_home>/web/js directory. However even now that
I can verify the new edits to AjaxFunctions.js are present in that
directory, FireBug still shows that it is the OLD javascript being
executed when I go to the applicable page.

How do I get ant and tomcat to recognize the changes and begin using
my new JavaScript code? I can't seem to find any documentation
applicable to this by googling; admittedly my google-fu is not the
best, but I would think I should've stumbled across something by now.

Any help appreciated, especially on the JavaScript issue.

-Damon Getsman
-=-=-=-
ITRX http://www.itrx-nd.com/
Programmer/Systems Administrator
-=-=-=-
 
C

Chris Riesbeck

Pick one group and post to it, please.

Damon said:
Okay, after a little bit more digging it seems to me that there are
actually 2 problems. The first of which I described fairly well
above; if I do an 'ant clean; ant' it hoses the entire project, even
if I do it from the original netbeans environment that the project was
created from by the original coder.

The second problem, the one that is more important to me at this
point, is that ant and tomcat refuse to see any changes to my
<project_home>/web/js/AjaxFunctions.js file. For the longest time
rebuilding & redeploying wouldn't even copy the new version of
AjaxFunctions.js to the tomcat6 container. I finally got past this by
'touch'ing the <project_home>/web/js directory. However even now that
I can verify the new edits to AjaxFunctions.js are present in that
directory, FireBug still shows that it is the OLD javascript being
executed when I go to the applicable page.

Tomcat is probably not responsible for any of this. It's pretty good
about serving current versions of static files (JS and HTML), and
noticing changes to .jsp files. If an app is marked as reloadable,
changes to .class files will also be noticed.

You can always make sure by deleting the cached copy for the web app ...
Stop Tomcat and delete the folder with your webapp's name in <Tomcat
home>/work/Catalina/localhost/

Tomcat will then start with fresh copiues. But I've never had to do that
for HTML or JS files.

Your browser cache may be at fault if Tomcat has the right files. One
version of one browser (Opera?) used to drive me crazy because it
refused to believe JS files had changed, even with a hard reload, e.g.,
shift-refresh page.

What do you see if you enter the full URL for the JS file in your
browser's address field?

As for why Ant is not redeploying correctly, that must be something
basically mis-configured somewhere, most likely in the Ant file. Finding
changed files is core to what Ant does and unlikely to be something
broken in Ant itself. You could try posting the Ant file in some Ant forum,

http://ant.apache.org/resources.html
 

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