Social Networking for hackers

I just found out about It looks like a fun idea. Hackers can post ideas and find other people to work with. Sounds cool. It would be fun to jump in on a quick project for a bit.

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Accessing environment variables in Groovy

I could not find an example on how to use environment variables in groovy. So after figuring out how to do it I added an example to my wiki.

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Introducing Snappy Calendar

Snappy Calendar provides a client side date picker for ICEFaces. Unlike the standard calendar control you will not have to wait for a server round trip when a user selects a date, or changes a month.

Other features include

Render as a Text Box or a Link.
Uses dynamic effects to slide the calendar up and down.
Support for custom date formats

Snappy Calendar is now included in the Developer Preview release. Download a new copy for evaluation today.

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ICEFaces project generation with groovy

I’ve created a wiki for storing my source code examples.

First on the wiki is an example groovy script that generates an ICEFaces project.

Visit for more information.

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Setting up an Icefaces facelet project from scratch.

Icefaces is a rich extension to Java Server Faces. One of the problems in getting an icefaces application up and running is the inital setup. In this tutorial I’ll walk through how to build a basic Icefaces application (Using facelets).

I love IDEs like intellij and Eclipse. They make setting up projects easy. But I have found that setting up my projects from scratch gives me the flexibility I need, and also makes integrating with an automated build system easier.

Project layout

/simple-ice-facelet/ Project Root
/simple-ice-facelet/lib/ Required Jar files to run the web app
/simple-ice-facelet/src Java source
/simple-ice-faceletd/web Web Contents

Required Jars found in icefaces/lib

  • backport-util-concurrent.jar
  • commons-beanutils.jar
  • commons-collections.jar
  • commons-digester.jar
  • commons-fileupload.jar
  • commons-logging.jar
  • commons-logging-api.jar
  • el-api.jar
  • icefaces.jar
  • icefaces-comps.jar
  • icefaces-facelets.jar
  • xercesImpl.jar
  • xml-apis.jar

Bare bones app config


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<faces-config xmlns="">



<!DOCTYPE web-app PUBLIC "-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD Web Application 2.3//EN" "">


<display-name>Simple ICEFaces App</display-name>

Just getting started








<load-on-startup> 1 </load-on-startup>

<load-on-startup> 1 </load-on-startup>

<load-on-startup> 1 </load-on-startup>





And now for a basic facelet page.


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns=""

<ice:panelGroup draggable=”true” style=”width:200px;border:1px solid black;”>
<ice:outputText value=”If you can drag me then it works!”/>

And Finally the build file. You will need to have TOMCAT_HOME defined.


<project name="simple-ice-facelet" default="war" basedir=".">
Simple Icefaces Facelet app

<property name=”src” location=”src”/>
<property name=”build” location=”web/WEB-INF/classes”/>
<property name=”icefaces-lib” location=”lib/”/>
<path id=”base.path”>
<pathelement path=”${classpath}”/>
<fileset dir=”${icefaces-lib}”>
<include name=”**/*.jar”/>

<property environment=”env”/>

<target name=”compile”
description=”compile the source ” >
<mkdir dir=”${build}”/>
<javac srcdir=”${src}” destdir=”${build}”>
<classpath refid=”base.path”/>
<copy todir=”${build}”>
<fileset dir=”${src}”>
<include name=”**/*.xml”/>
<include name=”**/*.tld”/>
<include name=”**/*.js”/>

<target name=”war” depends=”compile”
description=”generate the distribution” >
<war destfile=”facelet.war” webxml=”web/WEB-INF/web.xml”>
<fileset dir=”web”/>
<lib dir=”lib”>

<target name=”clean”
description=”clean up” >
<delete dir=”${build}”/>

<target name=”copy.war” depends=”clean, war”>
<copy file=”facelet.war” todir=”${env.TOMCAT_HOME}/webapps”/>

Run the copy war then open http://localhost:8080/facelet/test.iface If you can drag the div around the screen then this tutorial has been a success!

Need help developing your ICEFaces application? I can provide ICEFaces consulting. Contact me at for more information.

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