Fedora Java Spin - GSOC 2012 update 13 (Final)
20 August 2012
This is the thirteenth weekly instalment of my GSOC blog series. More info on
the progress of the Fedora Java Spin/Remix can be found on the
Today is the GSOC Firm ‘pencils down’ date, as opposed to last weeks ‘Soft’
pencils down date. More info on the hardness of pencils can be found
This week, being the last, there are new Live images available. I got a lot of
help from Dan Allen this week, and we focused mainly on making the live
distribution as great as it can be. We’ve decided to name these as a Remix
rather than a Spin, since it’s still not an official Fedora Spin. I think it’s
pretty great, but there’s always room for improvement, so if you think something
would be better done differently, please let us know!
The ISO image files can be found at
(lost due to disk failure - 2013/03/25)
Here’s what you can expect:
Standard Fedora GNOME desktop experience, with some minor customizations
aimed at developers, including:
GPaste extension for GNOME Shell.
Caps Lock key is an additional control key.
Custom Firefox homepage with relevant search feature, and additional useful
bookmarks for Java developers.
Custom .gitconfig with some useful shortcuts.
Additional Java and related packages from the Fedora repositories, including:
Useful tools for developers (Java or otherwise):
Git & Gitg,
SVN & RapidSVN,
Mercurial & TortoiseHg,
Eclipse IDE with some useful plugins and customizations, including:
Eclipse Webtools (those that are available in Fedora repositories).
JBoss Tools (those that are available in Fedora repositories).
Eclipse plugin for FindBugs
Eclipse Mercurial plugin
Eclipse Git Integration
Eclipse Subversion plugin
JBoss AS user instance pre-configured to be managed by JBoss Tools in
So that’s it. GSOC is over. I’d like to give special thanks to my mentor
Marek Goldmann; and also to
Dan Allen who were both extremely helpful and
supportive the whole way through. Huge thanks also to all of the people from
the Fedora Java SIG who were always
able to advise me as to what the best course of action would be in all of the
stumbling blocks that we ran into; and to the
JBoss Tools team for their helpfulness and
expertise where and when it was needed. I look forward to continue working with
everyone into the future, as we make Fedora the first choice for Java
My current goals coming out of GSOC are to continue what I’ve started, including
getting more JBoss Tools built (which again, still requires m2e-core, which I
still haven’t figured out why it doesn’t work…grumble).
Once the Java Remix gets accepted as an official Fedora Spin, I hope to get more
involved with the Spins SIG. I think spins tailored to specific audiences often
makes more sense for people than one catch-all distribution. I’m surprised that
there aren’t far more Spins, since the tools and documentation available are
pretty great, and make the process a whole lot easier than it could be. I’d like
to find out what the best way to include custom browser profiles in a Spin would
be. A browser is an essential tool for any modern user, and I feel that since
Spins are often targeted to a specific audience, their browser experience could
be better customized also.
That’s all for now. Thanks again to everyone who has been involved or supported/
motivated me along the way! I hope I pass the final evaluations…the tee shirts
that are given to successful students are usually great and I really want one
(oh, the financial stipend would also be nice)! :)
Fedora Java Spin - GSOC 2012 update 12
13 August 2012
This is the twelfth weekly instalment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora Java Spin can be found on the
Holey moley, it’s the 13th of August! That means that it’s the ‘Suggested
pencils down’ date for GSOC 2012, with August 20th being the ‘Firm pencils
down’.The complete timeline can be seen
here. On that note, I
expect this is the penultimate entry in this blog series, after that I’ll go
back to posting stuff of little importance! I’ll admit, writing the blog posts
haven’t been my favourite part of the process, but they have been quite
beneficial to keep me focused.
A nice surprise this week, with someone else packaging one of the dependencies
on the list: Alexander Kurtakov (Eclipse Guy!) prepared eclipse-swtbot which
is needed for JBoss Tools tests. Thanks Alexander! Unfortunately tests still
aren’t working, but I think it’s a problem with tycho version in Rawhide rather
than failing tests. The eclipse-swtbot isn’t in Fedora 17 yet, so I’m unable to
test with a stable tycho release yet.
Next on the list was eclipse-m2e-core, which I’ve mentioned a few times
previously. I spent quite a while talking about it in last weeks post so I’ll
keep it brief this week. I thought I would have this ready for review very
quickly this week, but it somehow dragged into Wednesday or Thursday. A review
request is in, but there are issues. I don’t know if the issues exist in the
spec that will be reviewed for Rawhide as I can’t currently test it. I got it to
build in F17 with about twice as many patches; but after all that and getting it
to build, guess what, it didn’t work! Eclipse just decided to ignore most of it
for some reason. I’m hoping that it’s some small issue that I’m just
overlooking, or maybe something in those extra patches that’s causing a problem.
I spent hours looking at it to no avail. Akurtakov said he would take a look at
it on Monday, so I’m hopeful of that. No better man for the job!
The reason I was packaging m2e (apart from it being a totally useful and cool
thing to have anyway), was for JBoss Openshift Tools. Even though I’m not sure
if m2e works, I’m sure that it builds; so I decided to try to build
eclipse-jbosstools-openshift, now that I could use it as a dependency.
Success! After a patch or two, it built. I’m really excited about this, because
I use Openshift (this blog is hosted on it, for example), so I’ll be able to use
these tools! I’ve never actually used any of the other JBoss Tools stuff (shh,
don’t tell anyone), but I’m looking forward to learning to use them once I have
I also cleaned up the specfile for eclipse-jbosstools quite a bit. Now it’s a
leaner, meaner, package building machine spec file. It used to take more than
minutes to do a build on my computer, now it takes a little over 5. I think
that’s a pretty drastic improvement. I also cut the number of patches almost in
half. Using the new POM macros makes it far more maintainable I think!
Oh crud, I meant to make a list of JBoss Tools modules that are in Fedora, ones
that build but are waiting, and ones that don’t currently build. Oh well,
tomorrow is another day!
Fedora Java Spin - GSOC 2012 update 11
06 August 2012
This is the eleventh weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
This week saw the inclusion of eclipse-jbosstools into the Fedora package
collection. It’s currently available in the updates-testing repository if you
would like to try it out and provide some feedback! Not all of the JBoss Tools
are packaged yet, but if you use some of the available ones, I’d love to hear of
any problems or successes that you have with the packages!
Next on my list was to submit the spin to the Spins SIG. As you can see from the
title of this post, the name has changed from JBoss spin to Java spin: hopefully
it will appeal to a broader spectrum of Java developers than just those who work
with JBoss related stuff. Although I submitted it by the date that I originally
thought was the deadline for getting a spin reviewed/accepted for F18, looking
at info on the wiki today makes me less sure that my deadline was the correct
one: the spins process
page says that spins need to be submitted at least 3 weeks before feature
freeze, rather than the 2 weeks that I originally thought.
F18 release schedule also
lists feature freeze as 2012-08-07, and not 2012-08-14 as I originally thought.
When I realised this I contacted the spins SIG to see if it was too late to get
into F18; but as that was only this evening, at the time of writing this, I
don’t yet have confirmation either way. If it is too late, the name might be
changing once more, from Java Spin, to Java Remix (unofficial spin).
After that, I went back to trying to build eclipse-m2e (Maven integration for
Eclipse), a process I had started weeks ago. I ran into some strange problems
that took a while here! I got some help from rgrunber in #fedora-java with an
odd problem I was having where the jar for maven-model from maven2 was always
being chosen over the more up-to-date maven-model from maven 3, and preventing
build. Solution is to pass a depmap explicitly as an option to the maven
invocation. An example of this can be seen in the spec file for tycho. Oddly
enough the reason tycho uses an explicit depmap file is for the same problematic
jar – maven-model. Perhaps something should be changed so that the up-to-date
version is chosen by default?
The next problem had me stumped for about a day and a half: tycho was just
giving up half way through, displaying an eclipse dialog that spanned my entire
screen with a message that started with ‘JVM terminated.’ Absolutely no idea
what was going on, had I. After trying close to everything, I eventually figured
out what the problem was. Of course, solving problems is a lot easier when you
know what the problem is! :) It turns out that it wasn’t something that I did
(that’s always my first assumption), it was a problem with the jbosgi-repository
package that had already been fixed in rawhide, but had not yet been pushed to
With those hurdles out of the way, I eventually got to building m2e-core again.
Today, I managed to get it to build successfully! I’m currently making a spec
file for it, and hopefully I’ll have it ready for review very soon. I thought
that it was going to involve patching OSGI information into every jar that it
bundles, but after making a list of all of the jars that I expected to have to
patch, I had a realization that most of them would not have to be touched at
all. I’m actually only after making that realization right now, I hope I’m
Fedora JBoss(?) Spin - GSOC 2012 update 10
30 July 2012
This is the tenth weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
I mentioned last week that I had a few packages that needed reviewing before the
JBoss Tools package could be reviewed: all of those got reviewed by some of the
experts from the Fedora Java SIG. For most, there were a couple of things that
needed to be changed, but this isn’t a bad thing, since it’s the part of the
process that I learn the most from!
After I got the latest release of JBoss Tools downloaded, I tested building from
that. Luckily, there was very little that needed changing! Once all of the newly
reviewed packages made their way into rawhide, I tried doing a koji scratch
build, which failed miserably. I eventually found what the source of that
problem was: it seems that the eclipse-jbosstools package will be architecture
dependent (i.e. there will be a slightly different set of rpms i386 and x86_64.
The error message that was being displayed was something like ‘Unable to
determine SWT fragment’ or something like that. I had completely forgotten that
I had put something in the parent POM file many weeks ago to get stuff to build
with rpmbuild. Currently there are slightly different things being done,
depending on the architecture.
By the time that I was ready to submit the updated/working srpm for review, I
had moved to my parents house to take care of the house and dog (Sorry internet:
dogs > cats) while they are away for a few days. Apart from the inconvenience of
getting here and setting myself up again, there’s only really one big
disadvantage of being here: a painfully slow net connection! For this reason, I
had to cut down the size of the tarball inside the srpm to allow me to upload
it. Reducing it from \~460MB to ~77MB made it a little easier – only taking
around 45mins to upload, rather than several hours!
I hope to get this package reviewed tomorrow (Monday) so that I can finally
submit the spin for review. I did a little more work on the kickstart file for
the spin this week also, and I’m very close to getting the Application Server to
be managed by JBoss Tools by default in the live spin. More work on that
tomorrow, then submit it for review!
The name of the spin has also been brought up in discussion this week. It is to
be decided whether it will be submitted as Fedora JBoss Spin or Fedora Java
Spin. More on this in the next post I’m sure!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 9
23 July 2012
This is the ninth weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
This week’s positive points:
We have what I would like to call a temporary fix for the jboss-reflect issue
that I talked about last week. The problem was that the latest version forked
another library and bundled it’s own subset of that. Our temporary fix is that
we’ve now got an older version that doesn’t have any offensive stuff in it, and
works fine for what we need it for. Thanks to Marek Goldmann and Mikolaj
Izdebski for their help with this! Huge thanks also to Rob Stryker who is
working upstream to remove the dependency on this! :)
eclipse-wtp-jsf is packaged and awaiting review. This is great because it allows
two more parts of JBoss Tools to be built: WS Tools and CDI Tools. I think
eclipse-wtp-jsf may also be my first package that didn’t need any patching to be
built for Fedora! This probably isn’t newsworthy, but I found it quite odd,
considering some of the heavy patchwork that was needed for some of the other
Along with WS and CDI from JBoss Tools, the Freemarker IDE module is also
building. This probably could have been included at an earlier stage, but it
just clicked with me this week why it wasn’t able to import the necessary stuff
that it needs from the freemarker jar that’s included in Fedora already.
I think the deltacloud module will also work, now that I have the
deltacloud-client-java package created and waiting for review. I’ve only just
created that package though, and I’m currently downloading the new 3.3.1.Final
release of JBoss Tools so I don’t want to do any more local builds tonight until
I can use that (since building JBoss Tools takes a while!). Also, have I
complained before about the poor connection I get to anonsvn.jboss.org? It takes
me hours to download a tag of JBoss Tools. :-/
This week’s not-so-positive points:
I was hoping to get the spin submitted for wrangling with the spins sig by now,
but that hasn’t happened yet. There are a couple of packages that still need to
be reviewed before I can even submit the amount of JBoss Tools that I included
in the iso that I released for the last milestone two weeks ago (in other words,
not including the modules that I’ve mentioned above). If you’re reading this,
then you’ve got far too much time on your hands already:
go review a
package from the list! :)
I got a little bit closer to getting m2e-core to build, but I’m running into
some problems that I don’t understand. I think they are related to tycho, but
it’s probably something that I’m screwing up somewhere. I think I probably spent
too long on this, and eventually gave up on it. I think focus needs to be on
getting the spin kickstart file in for review now, as it needs to be submitted
at least two weeks before F18 Alpha freeze if we want any chance of having it as
an official spin for F18.
Hmm, that was a little shorter and to the point, compared to my last few posts
on the subject!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 8
16 July 2012
This is the eighth weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
Fedora wiki. The fact that
there is a blog post this week is good news, because it means that I passed the
midterm evaluation, so I get to keep doing this for the second half of the GSOC
I started off this week looking into packaging m2e-core, which is a necessary
requirement for some parts of JBoss Tools, including the examples from
jboss.org/jdf and openshift integration; both of
which would be great additions to the spin I think. After spending a while
working with this, it became apparent that lots of patches would be needed for
existing packages, mainly to add OSGI information. I started making some of
these patches, but I decided not to start submitting them until I got a working
spec file for m2e-core. This did not happen this week, because other accidental
stuff (below) became a higher priority. I did manage to get two dependencies for
it packaged, reviewed, and included in rawhide and f17:
and maven-wagon-ahc; and a
third packaged, which is awaiting review:
Two steps forward, one step back
Going back to what I had done last week, Mikolaj Izdebski began to review some
of the stuff that I had waiting for review. A significant issue was found with
jboss-reflect (which is a
dependency of jbossxb, which is a dependency of
org.jboss.ide.eclipse.archives.core): it contains a forked objectweb-asm,
something that I had completely overlooked. As this is not allowed in Fedora, it
would have to be removed. I first tried just deleting the relevant files, but
needless to say that didn’t work! I then spent a while looking to see if the
stuff that isn’t in the upstream objectweb-asm could be added directly to where
it’s needed in jboss-reflect, but I didn’t get very far with that, and I believe
it would be a horrible solution anyway! Looking at jboss-reflect, it seems that
it may no longer be actively maintained, as the only place I could find source
code for it was as
a subproject of
JBoss AS6. If this is the case, I think the optimal solution would be to not
package jboss-reflect, if at all possible. To this end, I have
email to the jbosstools-dev mailing list to see if there is any possible
workaround for using jbossxb (as it would also be good not to have to package
that!), or to try to elicit other possible solutions that those guys might be
able to think of!
A little rant about github
I also had my first real experience using github this week, when I sent pull
requests to sonatype to include license files for both
port-allocator-maven-plugin and maven-wagon-ahc. I don’t fully understand why it
is so popular amongst so many free and open source developers, when it is a
non-free platform compared to alternatives such as
gitorious, which is 100% free software under the AGPL.
Seriously, what is the must-have killer feature of github? I mean I get that
it’s shiny and social and stuff, but it seems odd and a little disturbing that
such a large part of the greater open source community is not defaulting to the
more open alternatives. That’s the main reason that I decided to put the
repository for the Fedora
JBoss Spin kickstart onto gitorious instead.
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, I passed the midterm
evaluation for Google Summer of Code 2012. The evaluation period ran for most of
the past week, finishing on Friday, when all of the evaluations had to be
submitted. As part of the evaluation process, I had to submit an evaluation of
my experiences over the first half of the program. Marek also had to submit an
evaluation on his experience as my mentor: he must have said at least some good
things since we passed…thanks Marek! :D
Eclipse Webtools updates
I eventually got around to updating the Eclipse WTP packages that I maintain, to
their stable 4.2.0 versions. Of course, not without running into a few little
snags! This was the first time that I had updated a package to a new version, so
I got to learn how that works. It took me a while to figure out why the newly
created sources tarball that I had created wouldn’t upload with the fedpkg
new-sources <tarball> command, until I realised that the user I was issuing the
command with, didn’t own the file that I was trying to upload. I’m not sure why
that doesn’t work, but it’s probably for very good reasons! I also had to create
proper scripts to download the relevant stuff from the eclipse webtools map
file. I may have mentioned before that I find it hard to follow the
organizational structure of the webtools project. When I remember that they
produce a map file for each stable or development milestone release, then I
don’t feel so bad. Most of the plugins and features here are hosted in CVS
repositories, but there are some on SVN and some on git also I think. OF COURSE
this caused me problems! :) There is one bundle foe org.eclipse.jpa that needs
to be grabbed from SVN, whereas all the rest come from CVS, so this one had to
be handled differently. Originally I just checked out the development trunk,
which made everything fail spectacularly. I didn’t realise why immediately, but
I eventually realised that I needed to get the revision information from the map
file manually for that one.
Thats all for this week folks, tune in next week for more Fedora JBoss Spin fun
and frolicks…same bat time, same bat channel!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 7
09 July 2012
This is the seventh weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on
the Fedora wiki.
Today is the ‘mid-term’ in the
GSOC 2012 calendar,
and as I mentioned last week, I’ve got the next iteration of the the spin ready.
There are a few caveats to it, but I think it’s pretty cool so far! :) Not all
of the packages are in the Fedora repositories yet, so I created a local yum
repo that I could include the missing packages through.
+Dan Allen added
some ideas to the wiki for customizations that will make the spin awesome.
Although these are only ‘proposed’ so far, I’ve included some of them into this
release to see how well they work. A lot of them are not possible yet, and some
of them I just can’t figure out yet; but the remaining ones should be in there!
Here’s a vague list of stuff that the spin has over the vanilla fedora desktop
Eclipse, with all of the available webtools from Fedora, and lots of other
A subset of JBoss Tools (this isn’t in Fedora yet)
Some SCM tools, such as gitg, TortoisHg, and RapidSVN.
Various other Eclipse customizations, including keybindings and JBoss
perspective by default
Gnome-Terminal opens maximized by default, and has some custom keybindings
(see Dan’s recommendations)
JAVA_HOME is set in ~/.bash_profile (I think, I forgot to check if this
Caps Lock key functions as an additional Ctrl. No more cruise control.
The proposed Gedit customizations, apart from the custom keybind
Attached modal dialogs are disabled by default.
The current set of JBoss Tools includes the following components:common, usage,
archives, jmx, as, and jst. There are a few more that are close to being ready
to include, and hopefully it won’t be too long until all of them are included!
My main disappointment is that we don’t yet have m2eclipse to provide maven
integration in Fedora, so the quickstart examples from jboss.org/jdf can’t be
added in the recommended way. I’ll look to package m2e soon, so hopefully this
situation will change soon!
Here are some steps provided by Dan Allen, to connect to the Fedora packaged
jboss-as, which works with the included JBoss Tools:
User instance, managed by JBoss Tools
Create a new user instance:
jboss-as-cp -l $HOME/applications/jboss-as-user-instance
New > Server
Server name: JBoss AS 7.1 Runtime (managed instance)
Server runtime environment: Add… (if necessary)
Name: JBoss AS 7.1 Runtime (system), Home directory: /usr/share/jboss-as,
Configuration file: standalone-web.xml
Click Finish (three times)
Double click on “JBoss AS 7.1 Server (managed instance)” in Server tab
Click the Open launch configuration link
[ ] Always update arguments related to the runtime.
Modify VM arguments:
Select the Deployment tab
(*) Use workspace metadata
Drag application to “JBoss AS 7.1 Server (managed instance)” in Server tab
Click the play button in the toolbar of the Server tab
Finally, the image files for this version of the custom spin are ready. That
took quite a while to upload!
i686: outdated link removed
x86_64: outdated link removed
kickstart file: outdated link removed
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 6
02 July 2012
This is the sixth weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
The first thing that I did this week was to find out if the extra features that
I had proposed to be added to the eclipse-wtp-sourceediting package would be
okay, given that they created a cyclic dependency. As I had expected, it was a
big no-no! We discussed for a while in #fedora-java on freenode, what the best
way to package features from the Eclipse Webtools project for Fedora, given that
the structure of the Webtools CVS repositories doesn’t make much sense
sometimes. Currently the wtp packages in fedora are separated into what one
would think are subprojects: the next layer of sub-directories. Some alternative
ways that were suggested were to have one package per feature, (or per core/UI
feature pair, where those exist); or have one super webtools package, with
everything subpackaged. None (including the current method) seem perfect.
I separated the problematic feature out into its own package. The feature was
org.eclipse.jst.web_core.feature, and I already knew that the
org.eclipse.jst.web_ui.feature would be needed further down the line, so I
included that in the package also, and called it eclipse-wtp-jst-web.
The next thing that needed to be addressed this week was the bundling of
unpackaged jars in the JBoss Tools ‘archives’ module. I got to work building
those, starting with jboss-common-logging-spi. I got that built, packaged,
requested review; and then I learned that it was not to be packaged, because it
was obseleted by jboss-logging. Great. I spent a while trying to figure out
where it was needed, and trying to see if the jboss-logging package would work
as a drop-in replacement. I eventually figured out that it wasn’t needed by that
particular plugin at all, but rather another one of the bundled jars. There were
a few like thise, and one that depended on those was jboss-xml-binding.jar. The
bundled version of this was old, so I had a look at the most up-to-date version,
and found that I could use that with jboss-logging. Problem solved. Well, one of
them at least!
Marek, my magnificent mentor (adjectve chosen because of it’s alliteration with
both Marek and mentor) was busy applying patches for me, and at long last,
eclipse-wtp-webservices and eclipse-wtp-jeetools were buildable in F17, so I
went through the motions to get them included.
Back to our fundly bundly jarry jars that are blocking JBoss Tools Archives. The
remaining one was TrueZip. Upon investigation into this, I found that the
bundled version (6.6) is obselete, and the current stable version (7.5.5) works
quite differently. Hmm. I decided to go onto everyone’s favourite IRC channel,
#fedora-java, and ask what the best course of action would be. I honestly
didn’t want to package the old obselete version, but I also didn’t know if I
could easily fit the new version in easily. My question was already being
answered, or at least the concept was being discussed indirectly, when I hopped
on to ask. I decided based on the conversation that was being held, that the
only way forward would be with the up-to-date version of truezip, no matter how
difficult it might be to get it to work with JBoss Tools. The last two F’s in
the ‘Freedom, Friends, Features, First’ moniker, are very relevant in this
I got to work with the packaging of that, and it turns out that it’s the largest
spec I’ve written by far, currently standing at 432 lines. I ran into a few
problems here and there, some of them were just me being stupid (this causes
lots of problems always), the rest seemed quite soveable, just requiring a few
patches here and there. TrueZip looks like a really useful idea, and it seems to
be under heavy development for the last while, so that’s a plus! I found it a
lot easier to package than the Eclipse stuff that I’d been working on for so
long now, but it still took a while, because of the modular way in which it’s
structured. Then again, maybe I found it easier because I’d learned so much by
going through all that Eclipse stuff. I contacted
Christian Schlichtherle, the lead developer for
TrueZip, and he seemed quite enthusiastic about having it packaged in Fedora!
There’s a useful (although a little incomplete) page on the TrueZip site, on how
to migrate from TrueZip 6 to TrueZip 7; so I’ve started following that and I’ve
patched up the JBoss Tools stuff to work with version 7. The problem now is that
I don’t know how to get Maven to find it, so I’m not sure if it works fully. I’m
sure it’s an easy fix, and the wizards of the Fedora Java SIG will point me in
the right direction. Unfotunately #fedora-java changes dramatically at the
weekend: a hive of activity during the week, but a ghost town at the weekends!
This time next week, I hope to have the next iteration of the actual JBoss Spin
available, hopefully it will finally have the JBoss Tools AS functionality
(working with the packaged jboss-as). I realise that I’m way behind where I’d
proposed that the Spin would be at this stage, but in hindsight I think my
original expectations were a little unrealistic (for me at least)! It will be
done, mo matter how long it will take!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 5
25 June 2012
This is the fifth weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
As I mentioned last week, first on the agenda this week was getting
eclipse-wtp-jeetools in for review. I got that done, and it’s currently being
Next was eclipse-wtp-jpa (dali). I had started a spec for this last week, but
then I realised that I would need more features from it, so I tried building
those. I eventually got that done, and the package is now ready for review also
(although it depends on eclipse-wtp-jeetools, so it will have to wait until that
After those two packages were ready for review, I had to think about what the
next step was, since those were the main focus of my attention for a while now.
I went back to jbosstools, to see how far I could get with that, with the new
packages. I tried building a few times, and with each error, I added in the
missing stuff (pre-built) to the local repository, just to see how much more
would be needed. After a few tries, I had enough to build the
parent,common,usage,archives,jmx, and as components. Then something silly
happened: my focus shifted away from this task, to other things (while I was
waiting for the 3.3.0.Final release of JBoss Tools to download). When I got back
to it, I forgot that I had included some prebuilt plugins in the local
repository, remembered that the AS component was building, and I thought “Oh
great! Now I can go and make a spec for that”. When I finally got the spec made,
it took me a while to realise why the package wouldn’t build, and needless to
say, I was a little annoyed when I figured it out!
Luckily, all the stuff that I was then missing was missing features from
eclipse-wtp-sourceediting. That sounded fairly straightforward, just add the
missing stuff, submit a patch, Bob’s you’re uncle, right? Wrong! The packages
eclipse-wtp-webservices and eclipse-wtp-jeetools depend on the current
feature that’s being built by eclipse-wtp-sourceediting, and the new features
that would be added, depend on those packages! I was almost finished adding
these features when I realised the potential problem. I asked in #fedora-devel
to see if it was possible to have a situation where packages depend on each
other, and I was told that it was ok, once it’s documented. To be honest, I’m
not fully convinced though, it seems like a terrible idea!
Getting these features to build required quite a few patches to other existing
packages, that didn’t have the right OSGI Manifest information. This seems to be
a recurring theme. It might be just me, but it seems that the there is usually a
huge gap between what OSGI information a package contains, and what
eclipse/eclipse-pdebuild expects. This is quite frustrating, as it’s not always
apparent why things aren’t building or working the way one expects them to. It’s
not always apparent to me at least. All of these patches will delay things a
bit, hopefully not too long.
After getting that all done, I went back to jbosstools again to see how much
further I could get,with mixed results. It was working if I built it manually,
but there were strange compilation errors from the spec, even though everything
I was doing manually, was pasted from the spec file. It took me quite a while,
but I eventually figured out that there are prebuilt jars in some of the
components that I wasn’t removing when building manually. These of course were
being removed in the spec file, so that’s what was causing the problem. Some of
the prebuilt jars have equivalents provided in Fedora packages already, but of
course, some of them don’t. That would be too easy! The new packages that need
to be built have now been added to the list on the wiki page.
I was going to rant more here about the structure of eclipse webtools…the
differing locations of plugins from the features that build/provide them; but
it’s late, and I’ve already wasted enough energy today thinking about them!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 4
18 June 2012
This is the fourth weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
This week I don’t have a detailed day-by-day breakdown of when I did everything,
mainly because I can’t remember all of that!
As I mentioned last week, I finished by getting a subset of eclipse-wtp-jeetools
working, but I was having trouble with one plugin of the
org.eclipse.jst.enterprise_core.feature. At the time I wasn’t sure if I would
need it immediately, but I didn’t want to submit for review until checking to
see if it could be fixed. I sent a message to the java-devel mailing list to see
if anyone could explain the problem. As I dug deeper back into jbosstools, I
realised that I would need a lot more from both eclipse-wtp-webservices and
eclipse-wtp-jeetools! Even though all of this webtools stuff may not be needed
by Eclipse for the AS tools subset of jbosstools; to build the AS tools, other
parts of jbosstools need to be built. It’s a similar process for almost all of
the jbosstools: first build the target platform and the parent, the build the
common component, then build any other components that your component depends
upon (such as archives, tests, jmx, and usage; in the case of the AS component).
This means that all of the heavier dependencies that are being packaged now,
although they aren’t all necessarily going to be used by the AS component
directly, they will hopefully pay of in the end, allowing us to package more of
the other components more easily after.
Although I’d had a review request ready for eclipse-wtp-webservices for a while
at this stage, it still relied on a few other bugs that I’ve mentioned before,
being fixed. I had submitted patches for those, but then I forgot to follow up
and make sure they were looked at. With the help of Stanislav Ochotnicky,
Aleksandar Kurtakov and Mikolaj Izdebski, these got sorted out, and Mikolaj then
helped me again by doing the review request. Thanks guys!
After I got eclipse-wtp-webservices into rawhide, I started looking back at that
problematic eclipse-wtp-jeetools plugin that I mentioned above. It drove me to
despair for quite a while, as there were no obvious tell-tale signs like before.
It turns out that it was a problem with the OSGI manifest again! Even though
eclipse-pdebuild seemed satisfied with the versions of the particular versions
of the bundles that were being provided by the eclipse-wtp-webservices, they
were failing silently, until the compiler couldn’t import them.
Once I figured that out, I tried to see if I could get more of the other
features to build, starting with org.eclipse.jst.enterprise_ui.feature, since I
would need it for the jbosstools common ui feature. This however would require
the org.eclipse.wst.ws_ui.feature from webservices, so I got working on that
first. At the moment, that’s now in the eclipse-wtp-webservices that’s in
rawhide, and eclipse-wtp-jeetools will be ready for review tomorrow! :)
Next will be eclipse-wtp-dali, which I’ve also got a draft specfile for, but it
needs some work yet!
Also, I wrote an additional blog post during the week, on
how to create the Fedora JBoss Spin from the kickstart file that I created last
week. I probably should have created the disk image and hosted it online
somewhere, but unfortunately I don’t always have access to an internet
connection where I can upload such a large file and still do other stuff at the
same time! For the next milestone release, I’ll aim to get an image up!
Creating the Fedora JBoss Spin (GSOC 2012)
14 June 2012
In my last post, I mentioned that I had created a
kickstart file to build
what will become the Fedora JBoss Spin. Noting that this is still very much in
development, and hasn’t been submitted to the
Spins SIG yet, I even hesitate to call
it a ‘Spin’ yet. Anyway, in this post I will briefly explain how to create an
ISO disk image from that file. Once the ISO image is ready, it can be installed
as a live media onto a USB stick or a DVD; or it can be run in a virtual
Install spin related packages
The livecd-creator tool is provided by the livecd-tools package, and we also
need some of the standard kickstart files from fedora-kickstarts:
sudo yum install livecd-tools fedora-kickstarts
Prepare for build
Next we need to get the custom kickstart file for the Fedora JBoss Spin:
Before we can build it, we must make the standard kickstart files that we need,
available in the same directory that we’ve got the custom one in, so in that
ln -s /usr/share/spin-kickstarts/fedora-live-base.ks
ln -s /usr/share/spin-kickstarts/fedora-live-minimization.ks
Now the image can be created. Note that this step may take a while. It will also
download a lot of packages, so the your internet connection will play a part in
how long it will take:
sudo livecd-creator -v --config=fedora-livedvd-jboss.ks --releasever=17
Now that you have a freshly squeezed live ISO image, you can do what you want
with it. You can use it in your favourite virtual environment, or you can put it
on a USB stick and live boot from that!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 3
11 June 2012
This is the third weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
As I mentioned last week, this week would see me inactive until later in the
week. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back to normal until Friday morning, so here’s
a short summary of what I’ve been doing since then.
When catching up with my emails, I got a message from rel-eng on the ticket I
had submitted last week regarding the buildroot override: it’s now a self
service procedure, so obviously wherever I read about it on the wiki is a little
out of date! I created it, and then Mikolaj Izdebski helped me out a lot by
reviewing the wsil4j package that I was waiting on. Again, this took a few
iterations before it was in an acceptable state to be pass the review stage, and
I learned more each time.
After that, I got started on making an initial version of the kickstart file for
the spin, as this weekend is what was set for the alpha release. My first few
attempts at this were unsuccessful, and I was getting not-altogether-helpful
error messages.Everything would work fine, until I would add the Fedora Eclipse
yum group. I had no real idea why it was failing here, as package groups are
widely used in kickstart files. I didn’t get very far with this on Friday, as
each try takes a significant amount of time and data!
I continued with trying to get the eclipse group to work with the kickstart
file, and eventually I made a breakthrough: I was referring to the package group
the wrong way.With yum, there are two ways to install a package group. In the
case of the Fedora Eclipse group, the most explicit way would be yum groups
install Fedora\ Eclipse; with the alternative way being yum install @eclipse.
In the kickstart file, I was trying a horrendous mix of the two: @Fedora
Eclipse. I’m not exactly sure how to get the @name for package groups, usually I
install by getting a list of all groups with yum groups list, but that doesn’t
provide the short name. I’m not sure how I figured out @eclipse, it may have
been a guess.
Since none of the JBoss Tools are ready yet, they obviously can’t be included in
the spin, so for now it’s similar to the default Fedora live desktop spin with
GNOME 3. The most notable differences are that it includes the Eclipse IDE, with
the webtools packages that are packaged for Fedora thus far; and also JBoss AS
7. These are sizeable additions, so at around 1.3GB, the spin is already too
large for a CD. The other changes that I’ve included are just to include some
tools that I think could be helpful for a JBoss developer:
xchat. I also modified the favourites menu, as can be
seen in the screenshot below. I’ve put the kickstart file online here.
Today I got back to trying to package the eclipse-wtp-jeetools that I had
started. Thankfully, there are not as many patches needed for this as there were
with eclipse-wtp-webservices! It mostly just needed some shuffling of the
feature.xml file. There’s one plugin that is still proving problematic, so for
the moment, it’s commented out, and not being built. I eventually got it to
build anyway, and created a working spec file for the package. I won’t submit it
for review yet until I communicate with some of the wise people of the Java SIG,
and see if they have an solution to the issue regarding the plugin that refuses
That’s all for this week, I’m sure the coming week will be a busy one!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 2
03 June 2012
This is the second weekly installment of my GSOC blog series. More info on the
progress of the Fedora JBoss Spin can be found on the
This week was quite productive I think! There were of course points at which I
was tearing my hair out, but the Fedora Java SIG were always able to shed a
light on my problems. Here’s a day-to-day breakdown of what I’ve been doing
since the last update.
On Monday, I drew up spec files for my first two packages!
wsil4j, are both relatively
small packages, but they are required for eclipse-wtp-webservices. Marek
Goldmann, my mentor, reviewed the first one, and by Wednesday we had a package
of sufficient quality for Fedora! wsil4j depends on uddi4j, so it was necessary
to wait a while before getting a review for it. I actually thought that uddi4j
would need to be in fedora stable repos before a review could be done on a
package that depends on it, but apparently not always! I filed a
buildroot request with rel-eng
today, so hopefully I can get it reviewed soon.
I installed the packages that I made on Monday, locally through yum, and tried
again to build eclipse-wtp-webservices. I found another dependency that
seemingly wasn’t being satisfied, javax.activation. I found a library called
geronimo-activation and drew up a quick spec file, and sent it in for review.
I later found out that that was in vain, as javax.activation is now provided by
the jvm. After that, I was getting some quite strange problems (this was one of
the moments that I was tearing my hair out!), and I had no idea what was going
wrong. I spoke with some of the experts in #fedora-java on freenode, and it got
me thinking that it’s possible that some other packages in fedora might provide
what I’m looking for, but have problems. I found one of those problems, fixed
and made patches for it, and submitted the patch to bugzilla,
On Wednesday, I found another stumbling block with an already-packaged-in-fedora
software that I needed, so I patched that, and submitted the patch
here. Then I finally got
eclipse-wtp-webservices to a stage where it got to the compilation stage of
the build. I was far from out of the woods here though, as there were many
compilation errors. I started looking into these, and creating patches for them.
The reason for most of the compilation problems, was that some of the libraries
that the plugins were depending on, were old versions, and we’ve only got the
‘latest-and-greatest’ in Fedora, which have lots of additional abstract methods
that need to be implemented, but weren’t being, in the plugins in question.
The aforementioned uddi4j package from Monday was now in a condition that it
could be submitted to the fedora repositories, so Marek helped me with all of
the stages in getting it there. After that, I continued patching up the
eclipse-wtp-webservices stuff. As this was different from just patching a spec
file, or OSGi manifest for a fedora package, I decided to ask the fedora-devel
mailing list for advice. I wasn’t really sure what to do, since after I would
fix a number of errors, and try to rebuild, an even higher number of errors
would appear this time (another one of the hair-tearing-out-of moments), and the
number of patches was growing steadily. Having heavily patched stuff doesn’t
seem to align very well with the Fedora way, of sticking closely to upstream. As
it’s really my first time patching anything to this degree, I was unsure as to
what to do. Maybe upstream were sticking to older versions of dependencies for
good reasons? Maybe I was causing a lot of additional problems with my patches?
The fact that I’m doing this as part of GSOC, where I’ve got some time
constraints, I was also unsure whether I could wait for upstream to implement my
patches so that I could make a fedora rpm. Thanks to Aleksandar Kurtakov (who is
always very helpful), who replied quickly and put my mind at ease.
I found a bug in the OSGi manifest of the uddi4j package, so I fixed that and
submitted it as an update. This again was a first, updating a package, and not
having to submit it for review! I also eventually got to the end of the
compilation errors in eclipse-wtp-webservices. I was quite surprised, I didn’t
expect it to build. When I saw BUILD SUCCESSFUL, my first reaction was “This
error message is different to the others”; then I thought that I must have done
something wrong (which I guess is still entirely possible!
I spent most of Saturday drawing up the spec file for eclipse-wtp-webservices.
It was the largest one that I’ve done to date, with the most patches, so it took
a while. I found it very useful to get ideas from the other eclipse-wtp-*
packages that we already have in Fedora. By the end of the day, I had one that I
was happy with. It was quite late though, so I thought it best to sleep, and
have a quick look over it in the morning with fresher eyes.
Today I fixed a couple of tidbits in the spec file from yesterday that I got
from rpmlint. I submitted it for review, and I also installed it locally, so I
could get on to the next step. I started looking at eclipse-wtp-jeetools, which
is the reason I needed webservices in the first place. I’ve made a couple of
changes, and I’m at the stage of compilation errors already (we seem to have all
of the dependencies here in this case I think). I got a little panicky the first
time it failed at compilation stage, because there were just shy of 3000 errors.
I’ve managed to play around with the feature.xml, and now there are only 100
errors. Of course, it’s possible that once the 100 errors that are sitting on
top of the previous 3000, and are just preventing them from happening yet. I
wouldn’t be surprised if I saw those again, but I may cry.
Wow, this wasn’t supposed to be this long, but I guess it was a productive week,
and I learned a lot. Next week’s report will be significantly shorter, I
imagine, as I will be away for some of the week. I do hope to get an alpha
kickstart file for the Fedora JBoss Spin though, to stick to the schedule! I’m
aiming to have jboss-as and eclipse in the alpha release, I’m not sure how
much else yet though!
Fedora JBoss Spin - GSOC 2012 update 1
27 May 2012
Google Summer of Code 2012 started last Monday, so this post is the first in a
series of weekly updates that I will be posting here.
As I missed out on most of the earlier ‘get familiar with everything phase’
(university exams, and then a viral infection), I’ve been doing my best to get
on track this week. At the suggestion of my great mentor Marek, I’ve created a
wiki page on the fedora wiki
to track progress of what is done and what is yet to do. For the moment, the
focus is on packaging JBoss Tools. As expected, this will require additional
dependencies to be packaged, and the dependencies may have their own
dependencies that need to be packaged. What we know so far is listed on the wiki
The first thing I did then, was to create an initial spec file for what will be
the eclipse-jbosstools package. Each plugin requires the parent and target
platform to be built, so I managed to get that much done at least. It required
some patching because of some dependencies that we don’t yet have in fedora, but
it builds, so that’s good. As it was my first time creating a spec file, I got
some feedback from Marek on it, and there were a few things to fix!
Next I tried to build the ‘common’ component, which I think will be a subpackage
of eclipse-jbosstools, eclipse-jbosstools-common. This is the first major
hurdle, as it needs eclipse-wtp-jeetools, which needs eclipse-wtp-webservices.
Since Friday, I’ve been trying to build these, and I think I’m very close to
getting eclipse-wtp-webservices working (just getting some compile errors now).
The biggest problem here I think is that in Fedora 17, we’ve got Eclipse 4.2
which isn’t released yet. Anyway, hopefully tomorrow I can get some help with
fixing that, get it packaged, and get it in for review.
This week I’ve learned to use some new tools and gotten more experience with
tools I didn’t have much with; including eclipse-pdebuild, maven, and even svn
and cvs . I also learned a lot about rpm spec files, mainly from downloading
srpms, and seeing how other people have done stuff. I’ve also gotten quite
frustrated a few times: A couple of times I spent time trying to figure out
dependencies for different parts of the eclipse-wtp stuff that we need, then
taking a wrong turn somewhere, and spending ages going into a dependency hole
that wasn’t even necessary. Taking a break solved the problem a few times, I
guess by forcing me to take a step back and see my mistake when I get back to
it. Another frustration I’ve had is slow connection speeds when downloading some
stuff from svn and cvs, but hopefully I won’t have that problem too often!
That’s all for this week, hopefully I’ll have even more to share next week!
Google Summer of Code 2012 - Fedora JBoss Spin
24 April 2012
So yesterday I found out that I got accepted into the
Google Summer of
Code program. It’s really exciting news for me, being enthusiastic about free
software and open source, and also because I’ll be getting money to contribute
to a project that I’ve been hoping to get more involved with anyway. I’ll be
working with the Fedora project, to help with the
packaging of JBoss software, and eventually I’ll create a JBoss spin, which will
include JBoss Application Server 7, JBoss Tools for Eclipse, and JBoss Forge.
I’m currently doing exams in university, so my activity on this will be limited
until they’re finished. Then the hard work begins! I look forward to learning
from all of the talented people who are already involved in the Fedora
community. For more info on what I’ll be doing, the proposal is
available on the wiki. I’ll update here with any interesting progress!
What ARE YOU looking for?
27 March 2012
Adjust screen brightness on fedora 16 - try this if it’s not working
28 November 2011
Just in case this can help anyone on the fedora planet or other, who doesn’t
visit fedoraforum.org or ask.fedoraproject.org very often. Admittedly I don’t
visit there very often myself. A quick search in bugzilla shows some possibly
If you don’t seem to be able to alter the screen brightness in fedora, either
with the Fn keys, or through the gnome-control-center, try reinstalling bash. I
rarely have the screen brightness on full on my laptop, so when I couldn’t
change it on f16, it was ever so slightly annoying! I honestly wouldn’t know
what to file a bug report against, so I started searching. First stop was that
shiny new ask.fedoraproject.org instance, which
led me to this post on
So with the Fn keys not working, which had always worked previously; and the
slider in the screen settings in gnome-control-center having no effect, doing a
simple sudo yum reinstall bash was the answer.
It’s listed in the ‘Common F16 Bugs’ here:
Add applications to autostart on login, in GNOME 3
14 May 2011
Since I started using GNOME 3 a while back, one feature that I’ve wanted to see
is an option to have certain programs start up when I login. Unfortunately I
haven’t had time to look into this until now, and a quick look in the release
notes pointed me in the right direction. There are two ways of doing this;
neither of which I find very obvious, and both do essentially the same thing.
The easiest way is by using gnome-session-properties. Unfortunately, this is
something that the shell in GNOME 3 doesn’t seem to know much about. Entering it
in the search bar in the shell doesn’t provide anything useful, apart from a
wikipedia or google search possibility. To open the dialog, we must either open
a terminal and enter gnome-session-properties, or hit the trusty Alt+F2 and
enter it there. At this point, I would like to point out that the Alt+F2 command
launcher now has tab auto-completion (I’m not sure if that was a feature before
or not, but I’ve only noticed it now)!
As you can see, this presents us with the familiar Startup Applications
Preferences dialog, where we can add/remove applications to our hearts content!
As you can see from the screenshot, the first application I added was RSIBreak.
This is a handy little utility to help prevent Repetitive Strain Injury.
The alternative way to add something to startup on login is to manually create
the.desktop files in ~/.config/autostart. Some examples can be found in
Older posts are available in the archive.