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Eclipse 3.4 - .war deployment of a standalone help system [message #614433] Wed, 11 June 2008 21:39
Kitty Ohman is currently offline Kitty OhmanFriend
Messages: 2
Registered: July 2009
Junior Member

Am hoping for advice on how to package and deploy the base eclipse help
system as a .war file and package and deploy the contents for the help
system as separate components.

We are currently working on a 3.4 infocenter implementation -- the
infocenter help system is launched from a java-based web application (not
eclipse) as a help.war file. Our preferred strategy is to package the help
contents as eclipse features/plugins in one or more separate war (or jar)
files. The infocenter is launched from the web application by sending an
http request to a Web server (Jetty) which hosts the application and help
as a part of it. (https://somehost:8283/help/index.jsp). The Jetty process
unpacks the contents of each war to a separate work location, however,
when infocenter is launched, the contents pane in empty indicating that
the content plugins are not being recognized. Following are

1) If all of the features/plugins for our content are packaged in the
single help.war, the help system and contents display as expected. Our
issue is occuring when we try to separate the content features/plugins
from the base help.war. Our product is a framework into which a variety of
components can be installed -- we need the flexibility to install docs to
match the installed components.
2) It appears that the "unpack" process creates a work\<jetty work
directory>\eclipse directory (a subset of the directory structure from the
help.war)--- that contains configuration, features, plugins, and
sub-folders. A platform.xml is also created in work\<jetty work
directory>\eclipse\configuration\org.eclise.update. All of this is created
before the application itself is even started, so it appears that some
sort of loading is taking place. Is this configurable?
3) The use of a links directory was attempted -- while the help.war
contained the links directory with a link file to the location of the doc
plugin, this file was not unpacked to the subset work\<jetty work
directory>\eclipse location (a full copy of the entire help.war is also
unpacked to work\<jetty work directory>\webapps\WEB-INF). Is the links
directory the right approach here? Should it be unpacked to the subset
work directory? Because some loading takes place, is it necessary to
launch with an argument (similar to -clean) that would clear that cached
4) I reviewed the suggestions in bugzilla 201666 -- question about having
all of the files at the root level of the jar -- our output produces a
feature (directory) and plugin (jar -- which puts the topic files at the
root), but then I have been jar'ing the eclipse\feature and eclipse\plugin
directories to a single jar for deployment. Is this approach correct?

One final -- and basic question -- what are the benefits of .war
deployment of the help system in general?

Thanks in advance!

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