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Mac: development stage JSF web apps not always catching composite component changes on page reload (

Webel IT Australia
Webel IT Australia Member Posts: 8
edited Feb 28, 2016 6:22AM in JavaServer Faces

Mac OS X: Yosemite 10.10.5

NetBeans8.1beta or NetBeans8.1

Glassfish4.1 or Glassfish4.1.1

Mojarra 2.2.7 or 2.2.12.

I am an experienced NetBeans + JSF developer, which is to say I know how it is supposed to work, and usually works, but this is for some reason no longer working properly, on one (and only one) Mac machine.

Short description of the problem: A few days ago, while I was happily developing a large JSF/Primefaces web application, I found that after a couple of reloads of complex JSF/Primefaces pages I was working on it stopped updating/reflecting changes I made (and saved) in composite components. I found however that if I wait for some minutes, I could then perform the reload again ok, for a few times, reflecting the CC changes, until it "got stuck" again.

It happens, as far as I can tell, only on my main development machine which is a MacBook Pro 15" (macbookpro11,3 Mid2014.).

It does not seem to matter whether:

- I use NetBeans-8.1beta/Glassfish4.1 or NetBeans8.1/Glassfish4.1.1

- I use a completely fresh NetBeans+Glassfish install or an existing one.

- I use JDK1.7 (jdk1.7.0_51.jdk) or JDK1.8 (jdk1.8.0_60.jdk) (including for NetBeans/Glassfish and/or for source code compilation and execution).

- I use a project that involves Git (the problem first happened in a large project, but I have since reproduced it in the simplest of projects without Git).

- I use Primefaces or not (I can get it to happen in a very basic JSF app).

- I use a clean GET reload or a browser command reload.

But it does NOT happen, as far as I can tell, with an almost identical setup on an older MacMini (macmini4,1 Mid2010).

Some other things I think I know about it:

- This is with the NetBeans Deploy on Save feature OFF in all cases.

- It does not seem to afflict JSF templates or includes, it only seems to afflict composite components.

- It is not a problem with the javax.faces.FACELETS_REFRESH_PERIOD (which by default for Mojarra is 2 seconds). If I change it to 0, the problem vanishes (there is no caching) but the load/reload times for large complex JSF pages becomes painful, in some cases minutes instead of seconds.

- Just moving from one JSF page to another does not help.

- It makes no difference what JSF scope I use.

- It happens with an application deployed over /build/web.

- The timestamps of the changed XHTML files for the composite components are definitely changing as a I save them in NetBeans (they are being copied correctly into /build/web/resources/...).

- I have not done any OS software updates or installs for many days.

Experience with the original very large web app

When I first encountered the problem it was in a very large web app. I noticed it with a tiny little composite component that generates some text with a style class (for an icon), which CC was used inside a p:accordionPanel and p:tab. I found that after reloading the changes a couple of times it would stop catching the changes. It was only by accident that I discovered that if I wait many minutes, sometimes up to 10 minutes, it would then "catch" the change.

I then went back in my commits a few days, to a time when I clearly was able to develop without any problem, and the problem happened again ! I have tested this many times, whatever the problem is, it is not in the .git commit (which includes /nbproject/private but not all subfolders of /nbproject/private).

Experience with a smaller Primefaces test web app

I then tried it with a much smaller test web app with some Primefaces test pages. I was able to reproduce the problem if I reloaded the index.xhtml page a few times, while changing a tiny one-implementation-line composite component used in the index.html page. I then found I had to wait about 10 seconds or sometimes a whole minute, and then the change would "catch" again.

Experience with a tiny JSF core NetBeans web app

With one index.xhtml, and a single composite component with a single h:outputText word, I could get the problem to happen if I saved the CC and then reloaded the index.xhtml very quickly. I am not talking about it not appearing to change (because one "beat" the javax.faces.FACELETS_REFRESH_PERIOD) I am talking about it "locking up" so that it does not catch the change in the CC at all after that, no matter how often one reloads the page, until the Ghost in the Machine decides to "unlock" itself.

Normally I would provide an example or Steps to reproduce the problem but it makes little sense to do it here; when I move the project from one machine (my MacBook Pro) to another (the MacMini running the same OS version) the problem vanishes. Besides, anybody can reproduce the situation with a NetBeans web app with an index.xhtml using a single Composite Component.

Q1: What else can I try to diagnose it ? I am out of ideas.

Q2: Does anybody know of anything specific to a MacBook Pro that might affect the polling/detection of changes in the build/web folders that could explain it ?

Q3: Is there anything about how Facelets and/or Glassfish work together with an application deployed over /build/web that might explain it ?

Clearly, I am very keen to get my development environment working sanely again, but it is very difficult (or not very attractive) for me to, for example, restore my entire MacBook Pro to a previous time machine backup and then try that and (assuming the problem no longer happens) continue from there. And even if I did, what if it happens again ?

I want to understand what is happening and why so that I can truly deal with it.

This discussion has been closed.