Archive for the ‘Java’ Category

Eclipse 4.5 SR2 released!

26 February 2016

Another year, another SR release; the Eclipse organization released maintenance release two of Eclipse 4.5 (aka, MARS.2, aka Eclipse 4.5.2) today.

The release has been done with little fanfare. There’s no notion of this event anywhere on the homepage. On the top of the page at the moment of writing is the Eclipse Foundation + Google Summer of Code and the fact that the EclipseCon 2016 starts March 7. The actual IDE that is Eclipse is not mentioned. Main releases typically are, but SR releases aren’t, or at least not right away. Last year we saw the event being put on the homepage after about 5 days.

As it appears, there were 95 bugs fixed for this release in the core of Eclipse.

Among others a somewhat older but high profile OS X bug is fixed involving a nasty NPE and an obscure one where Eclipse would actually delete code.

Furthermore the usual assortment of totally weird bugs where fixed, the ones even the most experienced developers have hardly any idea about what they could mean. Stuff like ClassCastException in Theme$1.propertyChange.

This time around the good people from the WTP project did not feel like posting about the SR2 event on their homepage. Fiddling with the handy bugzilla URLs revealed a list of 22 bugs that are likely to be fixed in WTP 3.7.2, the version that should be the one that’s bundled with Eclipse 4.5.2.

Among the highlights of bugs that WTP 3.7.2 fixed is a fix for the fact the pom.xml did not match a Most other fixes focused on solving null pointer exceptions. No less than 9 different ones of these were solved, including the dreaded NullPointerException in ParameterGuesser$VariableCollector.collect. Interesting to note is that all of these were reported via the automated error reporting that was introduced with Eclipse 4.5. Next to null pointer exceptions, a couple of array index out of bounds exceptions where fixed as well.

Following the trend, community reporting is even lower than last year. This year there’s really no reporting at all. But it has only been released today, so maybe a few outlets will pick it up in the following days.

It remains a fact, year after year, that SR releases apparently aren’t that exciting. But the lack of announcements about them and the silent releases of what should really be one of the most important products that the Eclipse organization delivers remains a curious thing.

Luckily the milestones for the next Eclipse, code named Neon (4.6), do get some more attention.

Hitachi Cosminexus v10 silently certified for Java EE 7

28 April 2015

Every time after a Java EE spec is released it’s somewhat of a battle of who is the first to certify for that new specification.

GlassFish is always the first (by definition, as required by the JCP rules for a RI implementation), with tech previews/community editions of JEUS and JBoss following suit. These are however not (directly) supported for production by their own vendors.

During the Java EE 6 cycle, IBM was the first to come out with a supported and certified server, namely WebSphere 8.0. For the Java EE 7 cycle, the battle seemed to be between IBM and Oracle. Both of them are expected to release a Java EE 7 server soon. People are eagerly awaiting this, as Java EE 7 brings many improvements.

Surprisingly it’s the relatively unknown HITACHI Cosminexus Application Server that was completely silently (in Western outlets, that is) added to Oracle’s certification page. HITACHI themselves do mention this fact on their homepage, but otherwise there hasn’t been much news about this.

It appears that HITACHI is focusing exclusively on the Japanese market, but still this may be an interesting server to check out.

Arjan Tijms

First official JSF 2.3 contribution from

27 January 2015

A while back we joined the JSF 2.3 EG as While we had contributed as individuals before (mostly via code suggestions and snippets in JIRA issues) we are proud that today our first more direct contribution was committed to Mojarra for the ongoing JSF 2.3 effort.

Co-spec lead Manfred Riem tweeted about this earlier today:

The commit in question can be seen in our GitHub mirror. To summarize the change; before it was only possible to inject the application map as follows:

Map applicationMap;

As can be seen, the map is missing its generic parameters. This is of course far from ideal. With the latest patch, this map can now be injected as it should be:

Map<String, Object> applicationMap;

Injection into a raw map is still supported, but for most cases the generic variant should be preferred.

It’s a fairly small change, but hopefully many more of such changes will follow soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

Arjan Tijms

Follow JSF 2.3 development via GitHub mirror

17 January 2015

Currently development for JSF 2.3 is well underway in the trunk of the Mojarra project.

The Mojarra project still uses SVN, and only has the default web interface up and running. Specifically this means it’s not entirely easy to browse through the commits and see diffs, as this default web interface only offers a very bare bones browsing of the repository.

While there are of course web tools for SVN that show commits and diffs etc, simply importing the SVN repository into GitHub proved to be the easiest solution. So therefor we made a mirror available on GitHub:

This mirror is automatically updated every half an hour, so it should never be that far behind the SVN root repository. GitHub provides a number of extra features, such as feeds in atom format. Using that we can easily create widgets such as the one below that shows a near real-time overview of the 3 latest commits:

In addition to this mirror we’ve also published a fork of it, in which we made a few small changes that allows the Mojarra project to be used from Eclipse. This fork is at:

This fork will function as OmniFaces’ feature branch for code that we hope will be integrated into Mojarra and thus JSF 2.3 (which is of course subject to approval by the JSF spec leads and the other EG members).

For completeness, once checked-out, Mojarra can be build using the following steps:

Assuming SOURCE_HOME is the directory containing the source code:

  1. Copy to
  2. Edit and set to SOURCE_HOME
  3. Make sure JAVA_HOME is set and points to a JDK8 install
    e.g. on Ubuntu put JAVA_HOME=/opt/jdk8 in /etc/environment

  4. From SOURCE_HOME run (on the commandline) ant main clean main

The jsf-api.jar will be in SOURCE_HOME/jsf-api/build/lib and jsf-impl.jar will be in SOURCE_HOME/jsf-ri/build/lib.

When making changes from within Eclipse (use the OmniFaces fork for that):

  1. Make changes as needed in .java files, but note that the Eclipse compiled result in SOURCE_HOME/bin must be ignored
  2. From SOURCE_HOME run (on the command line) ant clean main

The jsf-api.jar will again be in SOURCE_HOME/jsf-api/build/lib and jsf-impl.jar will be in SOURCE_HOME/jsf-ri/build/lib.

Do note that the initial build command is ant main clean main, but all following builds happen via the command ant clean main. This is due to a circular dependency, that will likely be removed in the (near) feature if/when the entire project becomes a Maven project. Also note that when that happens, the Eclipse specific changes in the OmniFaces fork of Mojarra will not be needed anymore either.

Arjan Tijms

Mysterious new Java EE 6 server shows up at Oracle certification pages

31 October 2014

Oracle publishes a page listing all officially certified Java EE servers. The page has been known to list a couple of fairly obscure servers; servers that indeed exist but seemingly nobody has ever heard of (as partly proven by a diverse range of surveys).

Recently a new mysterious server just showed up on this page: InforSuite Standard Edition V9.1

It’s not entirely clear when this was exactly added, but as I visited the page a few weeks before I guess it must have been certified at most a couple of weeks ago. At the very least it was added after last May, as I copied the entire list of servers there for an article I was writing and it sure wasn’t there then.

As for the component listed, it’s unfortunately the usual inconsistent table (every entry has a different table with different terms). It mentions using EclipseLink (JPA), Weld (CDI) and Hibernate Validation (Bean Validation), as well as Oracle and Oracle, which probably means the Oracle reference implementations of JAX-WS (Metro core) and JAXB.

It’s interesting that this late in the Java EE 6 cycle, with Java EE 7 having been released a while ago and Java EE 8 preparations being in full swing, there are still brand new Java EE 6 servers coming out.

Arjan Tijms

BalusC joins JSF 2.3 EG

12 September 2014

A few weeks ago joined the JCP:

Via, BalusC (Bauke Scholtz) applied this morning for membership of the JSF EG and was accepted later on the day by spec lead Ed Burns:

Bauke is well known for his many answers on StackOverflow, his blog and of course his work for the JSF utility library OmniFaces.

As members of the JSF 2.3 EG, Bauke and myself (I joined the JSF EG as well) will be looking among others at the possibility of bringing over things from OmniFaces into the JSF core spec and overall help out with taking JSF to the next level. What will eventually end up in JSF is of course subject to community feedback and EG negotiation and approval.

At any length, both Bauke and I are looking forward to working together with the other EG members and contributing to the JSF core spec ๐Ÿ™‚

Arjan Tijms

Eclipse Luna and JDK8

25 June 2014

Today marked the launch of Eclipse Luna, which is the first version of Eclipse which ships with Java 8 support built in. As we like to stay on the cutting edge here at ZEEF, I decided to give this new version of Eclipse a try straight away.

Unfortunately, I ran into a bug in the Java 8 support fairly quickly. Type inference in Luna seems to fail when the return type of a method needs to be inferred from a lambda within a lambda that has been used as a method parameter. For example, the following code snippet compiles normally using javac, but fails in Eclipse Luna:

        .flatMap(s -> s.chars().mapToObj(i -> Character.valueOf((char)i)))

Eclipse seems to infer that the return type of the “i -> Character.valueOf((char)i)” lambda is Object instead of Character, which leads to infer that the return type of flatMap() should be Stream<Object> instead of Stream<Character>. As the method reference used as the filter parameter, the compiler fails on this line as this method reference is not applicable for an argument of type Object.

Fortunately, it’s easy to work around this bug in Eclipse’s compiler. Any change to either the outer or inner lambda which makes the return type explicit allows Eclipse to correctly compile the code. Casting either the inner or the outer lambda to the correct type, assigning either to a variable or replacing either with a method reference allows Eclipse to correctly compile the code. For example, if you were to assign the inner lambda to a variable, you would end up with the following code:

    IntFunction<Character> characterFromInt = i -> Character.valueOf((char)i);
        .flatMap(s -> s.chars().mapToObj(characterFromInt))

The need to for such a workaround is unfortunate as improved type inference is one of the major enhancements in Java 8. Hopefully a fix for this issue will be available soon.

Experiences with migrating from JBoss AS 7 to WildFly 8.1

24 June 2014

This month the first major update of WildFly 8 (the base for a future JBoss EAP 7) was released; WildFly 8.1.0.Final.

I tried to get running on it, which currently runs on JBoss AS 7. is a relatively new Java EE 6 based web application that was started about a year ago. As such there is not yet that much legacy code present in it.

This article is about the issues I encountered during this initial migration.

In broad lines the issues fell into the following categories:

  • Tomcat/Undertow differences
  • Valves


The first issue I run into was a failed deployment. WildFly spitted out page upon page of unintelligible mumble jumble. Upon a closer look there was something about our datasource in the middle of all of this. Apparently WildFly was trying to tell me that the datasource couldn’t be found. For we define our datasource in application.xml (the Java EE standard way) and switch between stages uses a delegating switcheable datasource.

Moving the datasource definition to ejb-jar.xml solved the problem. Now WildFly 8.1 does support the definition of datasources in application.xml as demonstrated by this test (although a small workaround is needed). It might be an issue with loading the SwitchableXADataSource from the EAR level, but I didn’t investigate this further.


The next problem concerned an amount of issues related to JASPIC, the Java EE standard authentication API. JASPIC is an important but troublesome spec. It’s suspected that its TCK is very light, as (preview) implementations that don’t actually work (yet) have been certified.

The WildFly team however has done a fair amount of work to make sure its JASPIC implementation is reasonably correct, among others by using an external set of tests designed to verify that JASPIC does the most basic things right (like actually authenticating). Unfortunately one case slipped through, and that mainly concerned the behavior of HttpServletRequest#authenticate.

Specifically the following issues occured:

  • authenticate() does nothing and closes response (UNDERTOW-263)
  • authenticate() closes response when no authentication happened (UNDERTOW-259)
  • HttpServletRequest#logout doesn’t fully clear security context (WFLY-4602)
  • NullPointerExceptions right after request processing (WFLY-3514)
  • NullPointerExceptions for requests after a session is created (WFLY-3518

(update: UNDERTOW-259 and WFLY-3514 are fixed in WildFly 8.2, UNDERTOW-263, WFLY-4602 and WFLY-3518 are fixed in WildFly 9.0)

The first two issues could be worked around by installing an HttpServletRequestWrapper, e.g. via an Undertow Handler as follows:

public class JaspicHandler implements HttpHandler {
	private Field authenticationStateField; 
	private HttpHandler next;
	public JaspicHandler(HttpHandler next) { = next;
		try {
			authenticationStateField = SecurityContextImpl.class.getDeclaredField("authenticationState");
		} catch (NoSuchFieldException | SecurityException e) {
			throw new RuntimeException(e);
	public void handleRequest(final HttpServerExchange exchange) throws Exception {
		ServletRequestContext context =	exchange.getAttachment(ATTACHMENT_KEY);
		if (context != null) {
			ServletRequest request = context.getServletRequest();
			HttpServletRequestWrapper wrapper = new HttpServletRequestWrapper((HttpServletRequest) request) {
				public boolean authenticate(HttpServletResponse response) throws IOException, ServletException {
					if (response.isCommitted()) {
						throw MESSAGES.responseAlreadyCommited();
					SecurityContext securityContext = exchange.getSecurityContext();
					if (securityContext instanceof SecurityContextImpl) {
						SecurityContextImpl securityContextImpl = (SecurityContextImpl) securityContext;
						try {
							// Perform the actual reset of the authentication state
							authenticationStateField.set(securityContextImpl, authenticationStateField.get(new SecurityContextImpl(null, null)));
						} catch (IllegalArgumentException | IllegalAccessException | SecurityException e) {
							throw new RuntimeException(e);
					if (securityContext.authenticate()) {
						if (securityContext.isAuthenticated()) {
							return true;
						} else {
							throw MESSAGES.authenticationFailed();
					} else {
						// Just return false. The original method for some reason closes the stream here.
						 // see
						return false;

And then register this as an innerHandler:

public class UndertowHandlerExtension implements ServletExtension {
    public void handleDeployment(final DeploymentInfo deploymentInfo, final ServletContext servletContext) {
        deploymentInfo.addInnerHandlerChainWrapper(handler -> new JaspicHandler(handler)); 

The handler extension itself has to be registered by putting its fully qualified class name in /META-INF/services/io.undertow.servlet.ServletExtension.

For the other two issues JASPIAuthenticationMechanism had to be patched by inserting a simple guard around obtaining the so-called “cached account”:

cachedAccount = authSession == null? null : authSession.getAccount();

and by inserting another guard in secureResponse to check if a wrapper hadn’t been installed before:

ServletRequest request = exchange.getAttachment(ATTACHMENT_KEY).getServletRequest();
if (!TRUE.equals(request.getAttribute("JASPIAuthenticationMechanism.secureResponse.installed"))) {
    request.setAttribute("JASPIAuthenticationMechanism.secureResponse.installed", TRUE);
    // original code

(the fix for this last issue was committed rather fast by WildFly developers and fixes it in a better way)

Tomcat/Undertow differences

The next problems were about (small) differences between Tomcat/JBossWeb that JBoss previously used and the new Undertow that’s used in WildFly 8.

The first of those issues (UNDERTOW-348) are about what HttpServletRequest#getRequestURI and HttpServletRequest#getServletPath return when a welcome file is requested. Tomcat will return the requested location for getRequestURI and the welcome file resource for getServletPath, while Undertow will return the welcome file resource for both calls.

E.g. with a welcome file declaration in web.xml as follows:


and when requesting the context root of an application (e.g. http://localhost:8080 for a root deployment), the results are as follows:

getRequestURI getServletPath
Tomcat/JBossWeb / /welcome
Undertow /welcome /welcome

The information about the requested resource can be used to redirect the user to the root (“/”) when for some reason the welcome file resource is directly requested. With such a redirect the website will always display a ‘clean’ URL in the address bar. With the way Undertow does things there’s no way to distinguish a request to “/” from a request to “/welcome” and thus no opportunity to redirect. If a redirect was already in place based on the Tomcat/JBossWeb behavior an endless redirect loop will be the result.

A workaround here is to create another Undertow handler as follows:

public class RequestURIHandler implements HttpHandler {
    private HttpHandler next;
    public RequestURIHandler(HttpHandler next) { = next;
    public void handleRequest(final HttpServerExchange exchange) throws Exception {
        String requestURI = exchange.getRequestURI();

This handler too has to be registered like we did for the JaspicHandler, but this time as an initialHandler.

(update: The behavior of welcome files was changed back to how it was in WildFly 9.0)

Another difference (likely a bug) between JBossWeb and Undertow is that for a root deployment the former will write the JSESSIONID cookie with the path set to “/”. Undertow however leaves the path empty.

An empty path is however interpreted by the browser as being the requested URI, meaning that the JSESSIONID cookie is set on each path where the user happens to do something that creates a session. It doesn’t require much imagination to understand this causes chaos in an application.

As it appears the fact that APIs for getting the context root often return the empty string for the root deployment (instead of “/”), but the path name for other deployments (e.g. “/foo”) is the culprit here. Undertow is not the first one to fall for this. Mojarra once had an identical bug with respect to setting a cookie for The Flash.

We can workaround this issue by setting the path explicitly in web.xml as follows:


(update: Cookies for a root deployment are fixed in WildFly 8.2)


Tomcat (and thus JBossWeb) has a low level mechanism called a Valve, which is a kind of Filter like element but at a much lower level and with access to some of the internal server APIs.

Ideally an application wouldn’t have to resort to using these, but sometimes there’s no choice. For instance a Filter can not change the outcome of the Servlet pipeline. It’s already fully established when the Filter is called. A Filter can redirect or forward, but these mechanisms have various side-effects. There’s also no mechanism in Servlet to intercept ALL cookies being written. By wrapping the HttpServletResponse you can catch a lot, but not these emitted by lower level components like the server generated JSESSIONID and cookies set by e.g. a SAM.

For we had to resort to use a few of these. As Valves are highly specific to Tomcat it’s only logical that Undertow can’t support them. It does have another construct called HttpHandler, which we already used above for some workarounds.

Those handlers are quite powerful. There are ones that are called before the request pipeline is set up (initial handlers) and ones that execute during this pipeline (inner and outer handlers).

One of the things where we used a Valve for in Tomcat/JBossWeb is to do universal cookie rewriting. Unfortunately Undertow doesn’t have a way to rewrite a cookie right away. There is an opportunity to have a kind of listener called right before the response is being written, but it’s a bit non-obvious.

Via a handler and some reflective code we can do this more directly, as shown by the following code:

public class CookieRewriteHandler implements HttpHandler {
    private Field responseCookiesField;
    private final HttpHandler next;
    public CookieRewriteHandler(HttpHandler next) {
 = next;
        try {
            responseCookiesField = HttpServerExchange.class.getDeclaredField("responseCookies");
        } catch (NoSuchFieldException | SecurityException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException(e);
    public void handleRequest(final HttpServerExchange exchange) throws Exception {
        // Overwrite the map used to store cookies internally so we can intercept
        // the cookies being written.
        // Alternatively: there's a wrapper handler called just before the response
        // is being written. We could use that to iterate over the cookie map.
        responseCookiesField.set(exchange, new HashMap<String, Cookie>() {
            private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;
            public Cookie put(String key, Cookie value) {
                // *****************************
                // rewrite cookie here as needed
                // *****************************
                return super.put(key, value);

Of course using reflection to hack into the internals of a server is rarely a good idea and this handler is at risk of breaking with every minor update to Undertow.


During the initial attempt to get our application running on WildFly I certainly encountered a fair number of issues. It certainly wasn’t the case of just deploying the app and having everything working.

Of course we do have to realize that the Java EE standard datasource and authentication mechanism are unfortunately still not used that much as most vendors keep documenting their proprietary mechanisms first and foremost, which likely causes users to use those most, which on its turn may cause these standard ways to get less testing hours.

The Tomcat/WildFly differences initially looked major, but are after all just small bugs.

The Valves issue is debatable. It’s a major change in the product JBoss, but most Java EE applications should maybe not have used them in the first place. Purely from the point of view of the Java EE spec it doesn’t matter that Red Hat changed this, but looking from the point of view of JBoss itself it does matter and people have little choice but to rewrite their code if they want to upgrade.

Finally we have to realize that WildFly from a certain point of view is like an open beta. It has freely downloadable binaries, but the product is early in its lifecycle and there’s no commercial support available for it yet. When the WildFly branch transitions to JBoss EAP 7 many bugs that the community discovers now will undoubtedly have been fixed and commercial support will be available then. In a way this is the price we pay for a free product such as this. As David Blevins wrote “Open Source Isn’t Free”. Users “pay” by testing the software and producing bug reports and perhaps patches, which IMHO is a pretty good deal.

At any length there’s the eternal tradeoff to be made: adopt the new Java EE 7 spec early with WildFly 8 but be prepared to run into some issues, or wait a good deal longer for JBoss EAP 7 but then have a much more stable product to begin with. This is of course a choice everyone has to make for themselves.

Arjan Tijms

OmniFaces showcase and OpenShift app management

31 March 2014

At we’re using OmniFaces pretty intensively (eating our own dog food).

We’re hosting an application that showcases a lot of OmniFaces’ features at OpenShift.

Mostly we’re very happy with it. Among its many environments OpenShift offers a JBoss EAP 6.x server that’s very regularly updated. JBoss EAP 6.x is Red Hat’s Java EE 6 implementation that has received many bug fixes during the years so it’s rather stable at the moment. And even though Red Hat has a Java EE 7 implementation out (WildFly 8) the Java EE 6 server keeps getting bug fixes to make it even more stable.

Yesterday however both the two nodes on which we have our showcase app deployed appeared to be suddenly down. An attempt to restart the app via the webconsole didn’t do anything. It just sits there for a long time and then eventually says there is a technical problem and doesn’t provide any further details. This is unfortunately one of the downsides of OpenShift. It’s a great platform, but the webconsole clearly lags behind.

We then tried to log into our primary gear using ssh [number]@[our app name] This worked, however the Jboss instances are not running on this primary gear but on two other gears. We tried the “ctl_all stop” and “ctl_all start” commands, but this only seemed to restart the cartridges (ha-proxy and a by default disabled JBoss) on the gear where we were logged-in, not on the other ones.

Next step was trying to login into those other gears. There is unfortunately little information available on what the exact address of those gears is. There used to be a document up at, but for some reason it has been taken down. Vaguely remembering that the URL address of the other gears is based on what [app url]/haproxy-status lists, we tried to ssh to that from the primary gear but “nothing happened”. It looked like the ssh command was broken. ssh’ing into foo (ssh foo) also resulted in nothing happening.

With the help of the kind people from OpenShift at the IRC channel it was discovered that ssh on the openshift gear is just silent by default. With the -v option you do get the normal response. Furthermore, when you install the rhc client tools locally you can use the following command to list the URL addresses of all your gears:

rhc app show [app] --gears

This returns the following:

ID State Cartridges Size SSH URL
[number1] started jbosseap-6 haproxy-1.4 small [number1]@[app]-[domain]
[number2] started jbosseap-6 haproxy-1.4 small [number2]@[number2]-[app]-[domain]
[number3] started jbosseap-6 haproxy-1.4 small [number3]@[number3]-[app]-[domain]

We can now ssh into the other gears using the [numberX]@[numberX]-[domain] pattern, e.g.


In our particular case on the gear identified by [number2] the file system was completely full. Simply deleting the log files from /jbosseap/logs fixed the problem. After that we can use the gear command to stop and start the JBoss instance (ctl_all and ctl_app seem to be deprecated):

gear stop
gear start

And lo and behold, the gear came back to life. After doing the same for the [number3] gear both two nodes were up and running again and requests to our app were serviced as normal.

One thing that we also discovered was that per default OpenShift installs and starts a JBoss instance on the gear that hosts the proxy, but for some reason that probably only that one proverbial engineer that left long ago knows, there is no traffic routed to that JBoss instance.

In the ./haproxy/conf directory there’s a configuration file with among others the following content:

server gear-[number2]-[app] ex-std-node[node1][port1] check fall 2 rise 3 inter 2000 cookie [number2]-[app]
server gear-[number3]-[app] ex-std-node[node2][port2] check fall 2 rise 3 inter 2000 cookie [number3]-[app]
server local-gear [localip]:8080 check fall 2 rise 3 inter 2000 cookie local-[number1] disabled

As can be seen, there’s a disabled marker after the local-gear entry. Simply removing it and stopping/starting or restarting the gear will start routing requests to this gear as well.

Furthermore we see that the gear’s SSH URL can indeed be derived from the number that we see in the configuration and output of haproxy. The above [number2] is exactly the same number [number2] as was in the output from rhc app show showcase –gears.

This all took quite some time to figure out. How could OpenShift have done better here?

  • Not take down crucial documentation such as
  • List all gear URLs in the web console when the application is scaled, not just the primary one.
  • Implement a restart in the web console that actually works, and when a failure occurs gives back a clear error message.
  • Have a restart per gear in the web console.
  • List critical error conditions per gear in the web console. In this case “disk full” or “quota exceeded” seems like a common enough condition that the UI could have picked this up.
  • Have a delete logs (or tidy) command in the web console that can be executed for all gears or for a single gear.
  • Don’t have ssh on the gear in super silent mode.
  • Have the RHC tools installed on the server. It’s weird that you can see and do more from the client than when logged-in to the server itself.

All in all OpenShift is still a very impressive system that lets you deploy completely standard Java EE 6 archives to a very stable (EAP) version of JBoss, but when something goes wrong it can be frustrating to deal with the issue. The client tools are pretty advanced, but the tools that are installed on the gear itself and the web console are not there yet.

Arjan Tijms

How to build and run the Mojarra automated tests (2014 update)

30 March 2014

At we depend a lot on JSF (see here for details) and occasionally have the need to patch Mojarra.

Mojarra comes with over 8000 tests, but as we explained in a previous article, building it and running those tests is not entirely trivial. It’s not that difficult though if you know the steps, but the many outdated readmes and many folders in the project can make it difficult to find these steps.

Since the previous article some things have changed, so we’ll provide an update here.

Currently the Mojarra project is in a migration status. Manfred Riem is currently working on moving the complicated and ancient ANT based tests to a more modern Maven based setup. For the moment this is a bit of an extra burden as there are now two distinct test folders. Eventually though there should be only one. Since the migration is in full swing things can also still change often. The instructions below are valid for at least JSF 2.2.5 till 2.2.7-SNAPSHOT.

We’ll first create a separate directory for our build and download a fresh version of GlassFish 4 that we’ll use for running the tests. From e.g. your home directory execute the following:

mkdir mtest
cd mtest

Note that unlike the 2012 instructions it’s no longer needed to set an explicit password. The default “empty” password now works correctly. The readme in the project still says you need to install with a password, but this is thus no longer needed.

Next we’ll check out the Mojarra 2.2 “trunk”. Note here that the real trunk is dormant and all the action happens in a branch called “MOJARRA_2_2X_ROLLING”. Unfortunately Mojarra still uses SVN, but it is what it is. We’ll use the following commands;

svn co

We now need to edit and set the following values:[source home]
container.home=[glassfish home]/glassfish

[source home] is the current directory where we just cd’ed into (e.g. /home/your_user/mtest/MOJARRA_2_2X_ROLLING), while [glassfish home] is the directory that was extracted from the archive (e.g. /home/your_user/mtest/glassfish4/).

If your OS supports all the following commands (e.g. Ubuntu does) you can also execute:

sed -i "s:<SET CURRENT DIRECTORY>:$(pwd):g"
sed -i ""
sed -i "s:container.home=:container.home=$(readlink -f ../glassfish4/):g"

We’re now going to invoke the actual build. Unfortunately there still is a weird dependency between the main build task and the clean task, so the first time we can only execute “main” here. If the build needs to be done a subsequent time we can do “clean main” then. For now execute the following:

ant main

We can then run the ANT tests as follows:

export ANT_OPTS='-Xms512m -Xmx786m -XX:MaxPermSize=786m'
ant test.with.container.refresh

Just like the previous time, there are always a number of ANT tasks that are already failing. Whether the “trunk” of Mojarra simply has failing tests all the time, or whether it’s system dependent is something we didn’t investigate. Fact is however that after some three years of periodically building Mojarra and running its tests, on various different systems (Ubuntu, Debian, OS X) we’ve never seen it happening that out of the box all tests passed. In the current (March 28, 2014) 2.2.7-SNAPSHOT branch the following tests failed out of the box;

  1. jsf-ri/systest/src/com/sun/faces/composite/
  2. jsf-ri/systest/src/com/sun/faces/facelets/
  3. jsf-ri/systest/src/com/sun/faces/facelets/
  4. jsf-ri/systest/src/com/sun/faces/systest/
  5. jsf-ri/systest/src/com/sun/faces/jsptest/
  6. jsf-test/JAVASERVERFACES-2113/i_mojarra_2113_htmlunit/src/main/java/com/sun/faces/regression/i_mojarra_2113/

So if you want to test the impact of your own changes, be sure to run the tests before making those changes to get an idea of which tests are already failing on your system and then simply comment them out.

The ANT tests execute rather slowly. On the 3.2Ghz/16GB/SSD machine we used they took some 20 minutes.

The maven tests are in a separate directory and contain only tests. To give those tests access to the Mojarra artifact we just build we need to install it in our local .m2 repo:

ant mvn.deploy.snapshot.local

(if we use this method on a build server we may want to use separate users for each test. Otherwise parallel builds may conflict since the .m2 repo is global to the user running the tests)

We now CD into the test directory and start with executing the “clean” and “install” goals:

cd test
mvn clean install

After the clean install we have to tell maven about the location of our GlassFish server. This can be done via a settings.xml file or by replacing every occurrence of “C:/Glassfish3.1.2.2” in the pom.xml that’s in the root of the folder we just cd’ed into. A command to do the latter is:

sed -i "s#C:/Glassfish3.1.2.2#$(readlink -f ../../glassfish4/)#g" pom.xml

The test directory contains several folders with tests for different situations. Since JSF 2.2 can run on both Servlet 3.0 and Servlet 3.1 containers there’s a separate Servlet 3.1 folder with tests specific to that. It’s however not clear why there still is a Servlet 3.0 folder (probably a left-over from JSF 2.0/2.1). The most important test folder is the “agnostic” one. This runs on any server and should even run with every JSF implementation (e.g. it should run on MyFaces 2.2 as well).

The following commands are used to execute them:

cd agnostic/

The Maven tests run rather fast and should be finished in some 3 to 4 minutes. Instead of modifying the pom and invoking the .sh script we can also run Maven directly via a command like the following:

mvn -Dintegration.container.home=/home/your_user/mtest/glassfish4/ -Pintegration-failsafe,integration-glassfish-cargo clean verify

(replace “/home/your_user/mtest/glassfish4/” with the actual location of glassfish on your system)

The difference is that the script is a great deal faster. It does this by calling maven 6 times with different goals. This will cause work to be done in advance for all tests instead of for each test over and over again. The fact that this needs to be done via a script instead of directly via maven is maybe indicative of a weakness in maven. Although understanding the script is not needed for the build and running the tests, I found it interesting enough to take a deeper look at it.

The pom uses a maven plug-in for the little known cargo project. Cargo is a kind of competitor for the much wider known Arquillian. Just as its more popular peer it can start and stop a large variety of Java EE containers and deploy application archives to those. Cargo has existed for much longer than Arquillian and is still actively developed. It supports ancient servers such as Tomcat 4 and JBoss 3, as well as the very latest crop like Tomcat 8 and WildFly 8.

The 6 separate invocations are the following;

  1. Copy a Mojarra artifact (javax.faces.jar) from the Maven repo to the GlassFish internal modules directory (profile integration-glassfish-prepare)
  2. Clean the project, compile and then install all tests (as war archives) in the local Maven repo (no explicit profile)
  3. Start GlassFish (profile integration-glassfish-cargo, goal cargo:start)
  4. Deploy all previously build war archives in one go to GlassFish (profile integration-glassfish-cargo, goal cargo:redeploy)
  5. Run the actual tests. These will do HTTP requests via HTML Unit to the GlassFish instance that was prepared in the previous steps (profile integration-failsafe, goal verify)
  6. Finally stop the container again (profile integration-glassfish-cargo, goal cargo:stop)

As said previously, the project is in migration status and things still change frequently. In the 2.2.7 “trunk” an additional glassfish-cargo profile appeared that’s basically a copy of the existing integration-glassfish-cargo, but without the embedded and unused copy goal (which we’d seen above was part of the integration-glassfish-prepare profile). There’s also a new glassfish-copy-mojarra-1jar goal that’s a copy of the integration-glassfish-prepare profile with some parametrized configuration items replaced by constants, etc.

With the constant change going on documenting the build and test procedure is difficult, but hopefully the instructions presented in this article are up to date enough for the moment.

Arjan Tijms

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