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 Fedora wiki.

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! uddi4j and 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, here.


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!