Dependencies, Tools and Plugins

As much as we would like to dive into Tapestry right now, we must first talk about setting up your development environment. The joy and the pain of Java development is the volume of choice available. There's just a bewildering number of JDKs, IDEs and other TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) out there.

Let's talk about a stack of tools, all open source and freely available, that you'll need to setup. Likely you have some of these, or some version of these, already on your development machine.

JDK 1.5 or Newer

Tapestry 5 makes use of features of Java Development Kit (JDK) version 1.5. This includes Java annotations, and a little bit of Java generics. JDK 1.6 works fine too.

Eclipse IDE

For this tutorial we'll assume you're using Eclipse as your Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Eclipse is a popular IDE, but feel free to adapt these instructions to IntelliJ, NetBeans, or any other.

Eclipse comes in various flavors, and includes a reasonable XML editor built-in. It can be downloaded from the eclipse.org web site. We recommend the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers, version 3.7 ("Indigo") or newer.

Jetty

Jetty is an open source servlet container created by Greg Wilkins of Webtide (which offers commercial support for Jetty). Jetty is high performance and designed for easy embedding in other software.

RunJettyRun Eclipse Plugin

RunJettyRun is a very simple Eclipse plugin that bundles a version of Jetty (Jetty 6 at this writing) so that you can create Eclipse launches that start Jetty to execute your web application.

You can install RunJettyRun using Eclipse's Install New Software... menu item; the update URL is http://run-jetty-run.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/updatesite.

This tutorial was written with RunJettyRun version 1.3.1.

Apache Maven 3

Maven is a software build tool of rather epic ambitions. It has a very sophisticated plugin system that allows it to do virtually anything, though compiling Java code, building WAR and JAR files, and creating reports and web sites are its forte.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of Maven over, say, Ant, is that it can download project dependencies (such as the Tapestry JAR files, and the JAR files Tapestry itself depends on) automatically for you, from one of several central repositories.

Maven is not essential for using Tapestry, but is especially helpful when performing the initial setup of a Tapestry application.

Maven is available from http://maven.apache.org/download.html.

There are plugins available for Eclipse, such as m2e, but for simplicity's sake we won't use those here; instead, we'll use Maven to generate Eclipse control files for us.

Tapestry

You should not have to download this directly; as we'll see, Maven should take care of downloading Tapestry, and its dependencies, as needed.