Brian,

There's a couple of comments you made that sparked my interest:

* Eclipse (WDSC) for code development
* Apache Ant for building and deploying

.... I bundled all my complied classes into Jar files
I've never understood why developers using Eclipse still use Ant? You
don't need to perform a distinct "build" step since Eclipse automatically
compiles every .class file as you changes its source file. So you create
your JARs just by highlighting them, picking File-Export and exporting the
JAR. The only reasons I can think of for using Ant would be:
a) If you had a huge number of JARs and so exporting them one by one was
just too tedious.
b) If you needed your JARs to be different for development & production
environments (which to me is a really bad idea, but I've known one
developer who was quite serious about wanting to do this).

One piece that hung me up for a while was where to put this stuff on
the
System i. The WAS stuff get's bundled in an EAR file, so you don't
have
to worry about it, but the Java Web Start, and the batch applications
have
to sit in the IFS. I wanted to stick to a standard, like we did for
our
RPG development, but learned that their isn't really a standard for
Java.
So I created a folder called /sfw to contain all things java, and
created
"apps" "lib" and "ext" folders.
I did much the same, created a /CpaJava folder and stuck all the JARs and a
.properties file in there. I didn't bother with separate apps/lib/ext
folders since we've only got about a dozen JARs so it didn't seem worth it.

FYI our test box has 3 separate test environments on it, so there I have
separate /CpaJavaDevelopment, /CpaJavaSystemTest and /CpaJavaUAT folders,
each with their own complete set of JARs + .properties file, so one
environment can be changed without affecting the other. It makes building
up the classpath for the JAVA command in order to call these classes from
CL a little tricky, but works well once I did get it to work.

Did you try using the Visual Editor Eclipse plugin for Swing? I tried this
at first since I was used to Delphi which has a really nice visual form
designer and I wanted something that worked the same. But its absolutely
horrid, I found if I breathed on the code it autogenerated it would then
refuse to parse it and I couldn't load it back into the visual editor. Now
I've given up on this and I just setup Swing components with hand written
code, and got the hang of those horrid layout managers, I quite like Swing.
(Although I've only ever used Swing for one tiny project at work, I mostly
use Swing for my home projects, so I can't say I've built a sizeable
business app with it).

Regards,

Nigel Gay,
Computer Patent Annuities.


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