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[wtp-dev] Re: Direction on using installable runtime extensions

I have not received a response, but have made some progress, so I'll update the note below with my findings and would appreciate if someone can help with the remaining issues. #4 is the most important.

raccah@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I found this:

which warns that it's an interim API and subject to change....

My questions:
1) Am I correct in interpreting the purpose of this extension to allow a plugin developer a way to install a runtime (like an application server) and not just a feature or plugin? The structure of the attributes and an example site.xml I found leave me unsure.

Yes, that is what it does.

2) If yes, what is the stability of this API now? Does the interim API warning mean that it's best I don't use it or just that there may be some minor changes before the final release?

I still don't know about the stability, but many of the plugins use it.

3) The examples in the page don't use URLs, but when I tried with a path, I just got an error like invalid URL. So, since I'm trying to test one of these locally, I tried using a file:/// url. Apparently, I still don't have all the path components right and debugging gets me to the source of InstallableRuntimeDecorator (in jst), but not InstallableRuntime (in wst). Being an eclipse newbie, I'm not sure how to rectify that. I believe I need to download the source from somewhere and configure it to be used in my debugging session, but could not find the right jar on the download site or the right option to configure. Can someone point me in the right direction?

I was able to check the source out of cvs, but it does not match the version of eclipse I have, so I still could not debug. I have found some of the downloads on the site offer source (preconfigured for debugging as a plugin), but not for this code. What I was really looking for is that kind of plugin for this set of source.

4) Finally, the default wizard page contains "Application Server Directory" with Browse and the Install Server button which also pops up a Choose Directory dialog. Why is this information gathered twice?
Okay, so I have some of this working sort of, but the default wizard layout and behavior offers no feedback to a user! It has the JRE configuration, the App server directory with Browse, and the Install Server button. I see these use cases: a) User puts in a non-existent dir - works correctly: status message at top that it doesn't exist b) User puts in a real dir but there is no appserver installed there - this is where the install server button is helpful, but the first thing it does is popup a directory chooser and ask the user where to put it again! Worse, after the user chooses it, it is silently installed in <dir>/<server> but the app server directory field is not updated with the new directory, so it is still not recognized as a valid server. I didn't even know an install happened at all until I looked on disk several hours later.

What I think should happen: Status message at top should say no server there but can install one, dir chooser should only come up if field is blank and should be updated after the installation. c) User puts in a directory that contains an appserver installation - this works correctly, except I think the install button should be disabled.

Based on my (newbie) investigation of the code, I cannot fix this without rewriting the wizard fragment, all decorators, etc. It seems to me that I am actually not requesting anything custom here - just requesting that the built in support work in a way that would make sense to a user. If not, I'd be happy to supply an alternate wizard fragment, but would prefer to use as much as possible without replacing everything.



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