Cactus: not as spiny as it sounds!

It’s been a long time coming (I promised myself this two years ago!), but I finally took the plunge and started writing some Cactus test cases.

I had it in my head that it was going to require a lot of work, but thanks to a lot of recent usability enhancements by the Cactus team, and a well-written Maven plugin, setting up was a breeze.

Once I had a simple test case in place, I just had to add 4 or 5 properties to my project.properties file, and run maven cactus to test the case against Tomcat 4.1 and Resin 2.1. Piece of cake!

We use webapp deployment descriptors in Tomcat 4.1 (and in resin via an xml entity included in resin.conf) to configure all of the JNDI resources which were necessary when moving onto a more complicated test case. I originally fudged around with trying to keep one copy of these but decided in the end that a customised server.xml with them included was the best solution for now.

Making the cactus plugin aware of these files might be one of my other side projects. There have been a few small things that can still be improved (which I promptly entered into bugzilla 🙂 but overall it’s great.

I also have to say that the documentation is quite good too – something usually missing in open source projects – which made a huge difference.

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One response to “Cactus: not as spiny as it sounds!

  1. Thanks Brett for the nice feedback and also for those useful usability improvements you’ve suggested in bugzillla! Please keep them coming as you find shortfalls.

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