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Stupid Configuration Documentation

I'm trying to find out how to get iPlanet to use a JVM that's not the default JVM because I'd like to see what happens on a test port to our app if I upgrade from 1.3 to 1.4 before I actually make a system-wide change. I was hoping that there would be a simple place to specify the path to the JVM, but if there is such a simple place, I haven't seen it yet. So, off to the web I go looking for documentation. I found the iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition Programmer's Guide to Servlets: Appendix C JVM Configuration, which hasn't solved my problem, but did offer the following information about setting additional JVM settings:
However, if you need to specify settings for the JVM, such as additional classpath information, you can configure the JVM properties for iPlanet Web Server via the Administrator interface. You can add as many other properties as you want to (up to 64).
So, which is it -- can I add as many other properties as I want to, or am I limited to 64? They could have completely left out that part about "as many other properties as you want."

I am amused.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
chown_me
Aug. 25th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
I've never found anything all that helpful in their documentation.
drmellow
Aug. 25th, 2004 06:25 pm (UTC)
Agreed.

Their product is poo, and their documentation matches.
tldz
Aug. 25th, 2004 05:41 pm (UTC)
Who would ever need more than 64 properties anyway?
drmellow
Aug. 25th, 2004 06:25 pm (UTC)
Probably no one, so I'm not really upset that they have a max of 64. But they don't need to be tempting me with the promise of as many as I would like, if there really is an upper limit.
tldz
Aug. 25th, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC)
Oh. I was very definitely being tongue-in-cheek. I firmly believe in the three special numbers: 0, 1, and infinity. "64" in the above case is either poor design or poor programming. Bill Gates is attributed with the remark about 640k of RAM. That's really what I was thinking of.

Of course, though, using a different JVM ought to be as simple as setting the relevant environment variables.
drmellow
Aug. 25th, 2004 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I caught the Gates reference.... I was just being thorough in my response.

Of course, though, using a different JVM ought to be as simple as setting the relevant environment variables.

Well, it is that easy. Except that setting the relevant environment variable (JAVA_HOME, in this case) changes the JVM configuration for every web application being run by the instance of iPlanet, which in this case is unacceptable. I only want to change one of the (about a dozen) instances. My solution will be to install a duplicate instance of iPlanet, configure it for different ports, and change it there, leaving the JVM in our current dev environment untouched.

It's absolutely stupid that I have to do it like this. But that's what happens when you use a product that is composed mostly of poo.
(Deleted comment)
drmellow
Aug. 25th, 2004 06:12 pm (UTC)
Agreed that it's a PITA. I tried to use the mess that we're having to deal with for this as an excuse to finally upgrade to Apache/Tomcat. Management isn't buying it yet.

And, yes, I eventually found the JVM path configuration under "Global Settings." Unfortunately, that's not acceptable because we are using iPlanet to serve about a dozen different instances of the app. (It's a dev environment and each developer gets their own instance.) I only want to upgrade the JVM path for one of those instances, but changing it under "Global Settings" will screw up the environment for all my coworkers (which is tempting, but...).

Instead, we're going to install an entire separate instance of iPlanet on the box and I'll play around there.
bodnej
Aug. 26th, 2004 01:46 pm (UTC)
I haven't used iPlanet (I didn't think anyone was using it, actually), but my first thought was that all instances run within a single JVM. Isn't that how most web apps work? I'm pretty sure that's what Tomcat does. Does iPlanet fork new processes for each web app?

Or am I completely misunderstanding what you are trying to do?
drmellow
Aug. 26th, 2004 01:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there's a new process for each instance. You can modify the JVM parameters on a per-instance basis, e.g. But the JAVA_HOME for all instances is set on a global level. Why? Because iPlanet is poo.

To their credit, in newer versions of iPlanet, you can do what I wanted to do. But when we upgrade our app server, it'll be to Apache/Tomcat, not to a newer version of iPlanet.
bodnej
Aug. 26th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC)
Have you ever taken a look at Resin from Caucho? Free to try and develop on, $500 to deploy with it commercially, source code is available, support licence is $2K. If you are just doing Servlets/JSP, it's great. Or it was, 2 1/2 years ago, when I used it.

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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