searching for yoda - a developer's tale

dexter_at_uwm.edu
Date: 02/23/05


Date: 23 Feb 2005 12:57:23 -0800

Hello,

if there are any wise and knowing individuals reading this who might be
able to set me on the true path, i'd be indebted.

So, the story goes: I've been a Java developer for a great long while,
but in a *very* sheltered community - I don't know and haven't used a
great many of what have become standard technologies. Most every
significant project involves a number of headaches that I believe have
been solved by said technologies.

I code with vi and build with hand-made scripts. I handle versioning
with hand-made scripts. I use no GUI builder and write JDBC to handle
persistence.

I'm made aware of (and reasonably sold on) eclipse
(http://www.eclipse.org). This can be made to include a GUI builder
(http://www.eclipse.org/vep/) and handle versioning through cvs
(https://www.cvshome.org/). There's also a thing called MyEclipse
(http://www.myeclipseide.com) which I know nothing about.

I *hate* writing SQL in seperate DAO's and worrying about a handcoded
persistence manager, connection caching, etc. This should be
automated. I search for a while and find the community has largely
come to like Hibernate (http://www.hibernate.org). There are even
plug-ins for Eclipse: Hibernator (http://hibernator.sourceforge.net/),
Hibernate Synchronizer (http://hibernatesynch.sourceforge.net/), and
Hiberclipse (http://hiberclipse.sourceforge.net/) are all mentioned in
an article
(http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2005/01/05/hibernate.html).

Hibernate Synchronizer seems to have the largest community, so I look
into it further. Looks like the empahsis is on going from a mapping
file to a db and Java code. There is a thing called middlegen
(http://boss.bekk.no/boss/middlegen/) that lets you start from the db
-- but what I'm good at is Java...

Ah ha, one can make Java generate the mapping file if one uses XDoclet
(http://xdoclet.sourceforge.net/xdoclet/index.html), and the XDoclet
hibernate plug-in (http://xdoclet.codehaus.org/Hibernate+plugin)
...sort of -- many references hint at bugs. XDoclet uses lower layers
to do its work which I'm not sure one needs to master independantly,
but they include Generama, Velocity, and Freemaker...

All of this of course requires Ant (http://ant.apache.org/), although
the XDoclet example for Ant is missing -- no worries, it does include
an example using Maven (http://maven.apache.org/). All of the set-up
for darn near everything uses XML of course, and there's an xml editor
plug-in for Eclipse -- XMLBuddy (http://www.xmlbuddy.com/)

Most of the Hibernate examples use the HSQLDB
(http://hsqldb.sourceforge.net/) for development.

That's a boatload of technologies folks. I've got active projects for
which I'd like to use Eclipse/Hibernate and don't have the time (I've
wasted far too long already) to fully investigate and learn all this.
What is the proper path through this open-source forest?

Kind regards,

-don.