[kepler-dev] Use of kepler-configs.jar

Dan Higgins higgins at nceas.ucsb.edu
Tue Jan 31 12:53:09 PST 2006

Hi All,

    If you look into the details of how Kepler is currently launched (at 
least from ANT) you will find that a jar file called 
'kepler-configs.jar' is created and configuration information is read 
from the jar file. Various classpath relative files are read from this 
jar. Even the ANT target 'run-dev' builds this jar (although it avoids 
jarring all the sources).

     There are some some disadvantages to jarring all the configuration 
files. One of these is that it makes it more difficult for a user to 
edit configuration settings (like the $Kepler/lib/configs.xml file or 
the configs/ptolemy/configs/kepler/\uiSettings.properties file. A 
non-java programmer would have a difficult time unjarring the config 
jar, editing the file, and then rejarring it. Similarly, all the 
examples linked to the Intro.html file are in the jar. Saving changed 
versions of these workflow demos has confused several new users because 
Kepler cannot save back to the jar file it read to display the demos. 
And we have been including non-jarred versions of the demos in the 
workflows directory as well as non-jarred versions of the config files.

    So I would like to propose that we not use the kepler-configs.jar 
file and just add some additonal entries to the classpath. If you include


to the start of the classpath, the kepler-configs.jar can be eliminated 
without moving or deleting any files/directories in $Kepler. The only 
other thing that needs to changed is the paths in the 'Intro.html' file 
that links to example workflows. (Apparently, all relative paths are 
relative to the location of the html file with the link.) Currently, the 
links all start with "workflows/..." since the workflow directory is 
copied to a location relative to the configs/kepler/ directory. If we 
just change 'workflows' to '../../../../workflows' in the html files, we 
can have a relative link to any examples (and the workflows are opened 
as files (rather than as jar urls.)

    Any thoughts on these proposed changes? [Note that the main value of 
such change is for Kepler distributions where users will presumably not 
be re-compiling Kepler.]


Dan Higgins                                  higgins at nceas.ucsb.edu
http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/    Ph: 805-893-5127
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Marine Science Building - Room 3405
Santa Barbara, CA 93195

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