Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eclipse Pluto Server Plug-in, v. 0.2.4

I've been working on an Eclipse Plug-in recently to provide a server definition for the Pluto portal driver. Let me explain why. To start with, I should say that I've been using Pluto 1.1.x with Eclipse for a while, since it comes bundled with Tomcat, it makes a nice, lightweight rapid development environment for working with portlets. And Pluto keeps getting better. In the latest release (v. 1.1.4), changes to the portal pages and layouts are persisted across server restarts.

Alas, there has always been the annoyance that Eclipse wants to deploy your web application as-is to the server, including the web.xml, and Pluto, like all portal servers, expects special servlet mappings to be in place for portlets in your portlet application. For me this has meant having to rewrite the web.xml for when I want to deploy to Pluto in Eclipse, but then changing it back for when I want to change a servlet definition (or deploy to a different portal server, e.g., GridSphere). So that is the problem that this Eclipse plug-in solves. The web.xml rewriting is taken care of by the plug-in at deployment time.

I've put up a quick web page for those interested. For the impatient, create a new remote site in the update manager with this url:

I've started work on a screencast to show how this thing works, and hopefully I'll get that posted next week.