Installing Groovy from RPM on Fedora

I installed Groovy 1.6 on Fedora from an RPM as offered on the Groovy download page and immediately got an exception stack trace when running groovysh or groovyConsole. I installed the groovy-1.6.0-2.noarch.rpm file, kindly packaged by Federico Pedemonte, then tried to run groovyConsole:
[tom@dev ~]$ groovyConsole
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: org/codehaus/groovy/tools/GroovyStarter
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.codehaus.groovy.tools.GroovyStarter
at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:200)
at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(URLClassLoader.java:188)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:307)
at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Launcher.java:301)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:252)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClassInternal(ClassLoader.java:320)
Could not find the main class: org.codehaus.groovy.tools.GroovyStarter.  Program will exit.
I then tried to run groovysh with no better luck:
[tom@dev ~]$ groovysh
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: org/codehaus/groovy/tools/GroovyStarter
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.codehaus.groovy.tools.GroovyStarter
at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:200)
at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(URLClassLoader.java:188)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:307)
at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Launcher.java:301)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:252)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClassInternal(ClassLoader.java:320)
Could not find the main class: org.codehaus.groovy.tools.GroovyStarter.  Program will exit.
The problem turned out to be quite simple to solve: a missing GROOVY_HOME. The packager adds the environment variable GROOVY_HOME to the shell by adding the file /etc/profile.d/groovy.sh so bash picks it up at startup via the /etc/profile script, but my current shell hadn't had a chance to read in that file yet.

The solution was as easy as exiting and starting a new shell, or manually setting:
[tom@dev ~]$ export GROOVY_HOME=/usr/share/groovy
[tom@dev ~]$ groovyConsole
and everything works.

How to modify the Alfresco Share page footer

Share is Alfresco Software's open source collaboration server. It's a Java web application that stands as a free competitor to Microsoft SharePoint. Since I wrote earlier this month about how to modify the default footer text in the Alfresco content management server's web client, I thought I'd follow up with even simpler instructions on how to modify the global footer in Alfresco Share. You don't even need to stop and restart the web application server for this modification.

Share is part of the open source Alfresco Labs 3 and the commercial Alfresco Enterprise Edition enterprise content management server and is built using Alfresco's Surf web framework. The Share application comes fully functional out of the box (more precisely, out of the share.war file). But it also is highly customizable with a little HTML, JavaScript and FreeMarker script modifications or additions. Thus, the default footer text in Share is much easier to modify than it is in the Alfresco web client I wrote about earlier.

The web client, which is a JavaServer Faces application, embeds the footer text inside a Java tag library inside a JAR file inside the alfresco.war file. You need the source code and a JDK to modify the global footer text. The Share web application, more simply, places its footer text inside a properties file inside the share.war file, which you can customize with a plain text editor. If you deploy Share as a WAR file instead of an exploded WAR, you'll need to unzip the WAR, edit the text file, then rezip. But that's about as complex as this change gets.

To customize the footer text for Share, unzip the share.war file if necessary to a directory of your choosing or just find the exploded WAR file you have currently deployed. If you run Share on Tomcat, your deployed Share application likely is in the directory $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/share (or %CATALINA_HOME%\webapps\share under Windows). The file to modify is in the directory
WEB-INF/classes/alfresco/site-webscripts/org/alfresco/components/footer
called footer.get.properties. On my version of Alfresco Share, this default footer file looks like this (but all on one line):
label.copyright=Supplied free of charge with
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#support'>no support</a>,
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#certification'>no certification</a>,
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#maintenance'>no maintenance</a>,
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#warranty'>no warranty</a> and
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#indemnity'>no indemnity</a>
by <a href='http://www.alfresco.com'>Alfresco</a> or its
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/partners/'>Certified Partners</a>.
<a href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/'>Click here for support</a>.<br />
Alfresco Software Inc. © 2008-2009 All rights reserved.
This text gets rendered on every Share page as a footer that looks like this:



You can see why someone might want to change this global footer text.

Change the text to anything you like and save footer.get.properties file. Mine now says:
label.copyright=Alfresco Software Inc. © 2008-2009 All rights reserved.
To see your change, you can either restart your web application server if no one is using Share, or you can tell Share to refresh its web components cache without inconveniencing anyone currently using the server. Here's how.

Login to Share as the "admin" user and visit the service /share/service path of the Share application. If you are running Share on your Tomcat local server, the path is probably http://localhost:8080/share/service/. This page will have a button at the bottom labeled "Refresh Web Scripts". Click it, and your footer text change should be loaded the next time the footer component script is called.



Ahh. Much better.

If you build Share from source, you can make your footer text change there by making the change to the "slingshot" project. That apparently was the earlier name of the Share application. The file is config/alfresco/site-webscripts/org/alfresco/components/footer/footer.get.properties

Making this footer change might whet your appetite for making other customizations to your Share application. The Surf component framework makes customization fairly easy once you get the hang of how Surf works. By being able to see your changes quickly by interactively refreshing the web scripts rather than restarting the server, your feedback comes quickly.

How to get rid of the Alfresco Labs default page footer

The web client for the open source Alfresco enterprise content management server ships with a footer that is added to every webpage via a JSP tag. The footer blends marketing and usage tracking with a copyright statement. It can be annoying to see on every page, especially if you are using the web client internally. The web client footer looks like this (from a clipped screen capture):

Alfresco page footer image

The footer says:
Supplied free of charge with no support, no certification, no maintenance,
no warranty and no indemnity by Alfresco or its Certified Partners. Click
here for support. Alfresco Software Inc. © 2005-2009 All rights reserved.
The footer includes Alfresco's logo by reading an image from the Alfresco website. This image is called a web bug, or beacon, and Alfresco can use the image request to their server to help track who is using Alfresco. The footer's underlined text links to pages on the alfresco.com website to provide warnings that the Labs version of Alfresco is not supported by Alfresco Software Inc. The right-side graphic links you to Alfresco's SourceForge download site.

Except for the web beacon image, I don't fault Alfresco Software for adding the footer to its web client. Alfresco Labs is a powerful -- free -- and flexible product. If used within an organization, it is not a bad thing that users are made aware that the product is not the supported Enterprise version. However, since I am using Alfresco on an internal website, and plan to customize the various JSP pages, displaying the warning on every one of my pages seems overkill and unnecessary. And I could do without sending tracking statistics to Alfresco Software.

Removing the global footer isn't a simple process, but it is pretty straightforward. The removal should be as simple as editing a globally included text file. Instead, those clever developers at Alfresco embedded the footer text into a fairly useful JSP tag. This <r:page> JSP tag outputs the skeletal HTML page tags, and includes HTML to pull in global scripts and cascading stylesheets. It also includes code that can log how long it took Alfresco to build the JSP page. To remove the footer from your web pages, you need either to stop using the r:page tag or recompile the page tag to set the text to what you would like, which is what the instructions below cover.

Recompiling the r:page tag that lives in the Alfresco web client JAR file isn't complicated. Assuming you already are using the Alfresco Labs 3 web application, the process should take you a half hour or less, with most of that time spent downloading and compiling code.

Overview

The steps below show you how to obtain the complete source code to Alfresco, make the necessary change to the Java page tag code, rebuild the web client JAR file, then replace the existing JAR file in your Alfresco server with the newly built one.

Prerequisites: You must have a Java compiler, a Subversion client, Apache Ant, and be able to use the command line. For Windows users without Subversion, you can install the SlikSVN client. Others can find a link to download a Subversion client from CollabNet's Tigris.org.

Instructions

Here are the steps to rebuild the Alfresco web client with the altered JSP page tag. (You should be able to cut and paste these lines onto your command line if you remove the prompt character.)
  1. Create an empty directory for the source code
    % mkdir alfresco-labs
    % cd alfresco-labs
    
  2. Use Subversion to download the Alfresco Labs source code
    % svn co svn://svn.alfresco.com/alfresco/HEAD
    
    or use the http protocol if you have internal firewall issues:
    % svn co http://svn.alfresco.com/repos/alfresco-open-mirror/alfresco/HEAD
    
    The svn command will connect to the Alfresco Subversion repository and copy each of the files in the HEAD branch into your local directory. Total download size will be about 734MB. Depending on the speed of your connection, this might be a good time to get coffee, have lunch, check your email. If the Subversion URL doesn't work, check this page to see if Alfresco has changed the repository location.

  3. Edit PageTag.java to change/remove the page footer text
    The PageTag.java file you want to edit is in the directory HEAD/root/projects/web-client/source/java/org/alfresco/web/ui/repo/tag. The commands below will edit the file in Notepad for Windows or vi for Unix/Mac users. But you also can just navigate to the folder and edit the file with any editor.

    For Windows:
    % notepad HEAD\root\projects\web-client\source\java\org\alfresco\web\ui\repo\tag\PageTag.java
    
    For Unix variants:
    $ vi HEAD/root/projects/web-client/source/java/org/alfresco/web/ui/repo/tag/PageTag.java
    
    At this point, you can decide what you want your new page footer text to say. The quickest edit is to completely remove all footer contents by changing line 115:
    private static String alfresco = null;
    
    to:
    private static String alfresco = "";
    
    Why this works is that static alfresco variable holds the contents of the page footer HTML (images and text), which is output by the overridden JSP tag library method doEndTag. If the alfresco variable is null, which it is the first time the code is run, the doEndTag method calls a private helper method, getAlfrescoButton, to populate it.

    If you want to change the footer text to something of your own choosing, or perhaps you want to retain the Alfresco copyright notice because you won't be changing the web client's look and feel, you will want either to set the alfresco variable to the text of your choosing, or edit the getAlfrescoButton method and/or some of the variables it uses to build up the footer text.

    For example, if you want to retain the copyright statement but remove the warning text, edit the ALF_COPY constant on lines 103-112 to remove the text you don't want:
    private final static String ALF_COPY  = "Supplied free of charge with " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#support'>no support</a>, " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#certification'>no certification</a>, " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#maintenance'>no maintenance</a>, " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#warranty'>no warranty</a> and " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/communityterms/#indemnity'>no indemnity</a> by " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com'>Alfresco</a> or its " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/partners/'>Certified Partners</a>. " +
    "<a class='footer' href='http://www.alfresco.com/services/support/'>Click here for support</a>. " +
    "Alfresco Software Inc. © 2005-2009 All rights reserved.";
    
    If you want to keep some of the text but remove the web beacon image or SourceForge graphic, you will need to edit the getAlfrescoButton method or set the alfresco variable as discussed previously.

    Fortunately, the getAlfrescoButton method does not add structural HTML text to the footer, so setting the alfresco variable directly with your chosen text is a viable option. If you use HTTPS on your website and you want to use an image in your footer, have a look at the technique used in the getAlfrescoButton method to change the image URL based on the request scheme. It's a handy way to avoid having web browsers complain about an encrypted page using non-encrypted components.

    With the code edited, you are ready to rebuild Alfresco.
  4. Rebuild the web client application
    Here is where you need Ant. Use the build target to rebuild the project modules. The default target will attempt to deploy the rebuilt WAR file, so make sure to use the "build" target.

    For Windows:
    % ant -f HEAD\root\build.xml build
    
    For Unix:
    $ ant -f HEAD/root/build.xml build
    
    You will see several warnings about the use of deprecated methods and the like. But the code should build correctly.

    The Ant task should rebuild the Alfresco JAR files and the WAR file. The rebuilt alfresco-web-client.jar file is the one that contains the repository JSP tag you want to replace. The Ant task creates this JAR file in the directory HEAD/root/projects/web-client/build/dist.
  5. Copy the alfresco-web-client.jar to your Alfresco webapp
    Copy the JAR file to your exploded WAR file directory location under the WEB-INF/lib directory. If you deploy Alfresco as WAR file rather than exploded WAR, you can use the full alfresco.war file that you also will find in the HEAD/root/projects/web-client/build/dist. directory.
You're done. You should now be able to restart your application server and visit your Alfresco website:

Alfresco page without footer

Gone is the footer from this and all Alfresco web client pages.