Afundamental advantage of using the Struts framework for Java Web application development is its declarative nature. Instead of binding components of an application together in code, Struts applications use a centralized XML configuration file to declaratively connect components together. Unfortunately, modifying Struts configuration files by hand can be tedious and error prone. If you mistakenly leave off a closing bracket for a tag or misspell a tag or attribute name, Struts is unable to parse the configuration file and thus does not function properly. Trying to correct errors like these for a typical application, whose configuration file is usually quite long, can be time-consuming because of the many details involved. For this reason, I created the Struts Console GUI tool to simplify the creation and maintenance of the Struts configuration file. Struts Console provides a simple and intuitive graphical interface with which to edit Struts configuration files.
Struts Console has evolved significantly since its initial release and continues to evolve today. Originally, Struts Console supported editing of only Struts configuration files. Since then Struts Console has been updated to support editing of Tiles and Validator configuration files as well as JSP Tag Library Descriptor (.tld) files. Struts Console is written in Java and thus can be run on any platform that supports Java GUI applications (e.g., Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and so on). In its original release, Struts Console could be run only as a stand-alone application. Subsequently, Struts Console has been updated to support being run as a plugin in most of the major Java IDEs. Following is the list of IDEs that Struts Console can be used with:
Borland JBuilder (versions 4.0 and later)
Eclipse (versions 1.0 and later)
IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere (previously known as WebSphere Studio Application Developer [WSAD]) (versions 4.0.3 and later)
IntelliJ IDEA (versions 3.0 build 668 and later)
NetBeans (versions 3.2 and later)
Oracle JDeveloper (versions 9i and later)
Sun Java Studio (previously known as Forte or Sun ONE Studio) (versions 3.0 and later)
The following sections explain how to acquire, install, and use Struts Console, both as a stand-alone application and as a plugin inside all the supported IDEs. Because IDEs are continually evolving, some of the instructions for using Struts Console inside the IDEs may change over time. If any of the instructions found in this appendix do not work for you, visit my Web site at http://www.jamesholmes.com/struts/ for the most up-to-date instructions.