Finally Got Newsmonster Running on a Linux Laptop
Dave Aiello wrote, "Regular readers of CTDATA.com will remember my attempt to get Newsmonster running on a Linux laptop during this past April. I gave up in frustration because Newsmonster insisted that my laptop did not have Java 1.4.1 on it."
"My laptop sure as heck had Java 1.4.1 on it. I installed the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition myself. Over six months later, I finally realized that because the Newsmonster code runs entirely within Mozilla, it was looking for the correct version of the Mozilla Java Plugin, not the J2SE environment."
"Realizing this was a critical breakthrough, but it didn't result in an immediate solution to my problem. Read on for the complete details of what it took to get Newsmonster to run...."
Dave Aiello continued:
I downloaded the latest Java Runtime Environment for Java version 1.4.1 as an RPM, careful not to move up to 1.4.2 because it more recent than the version of the J2SE SDK that I'm currently using. I installed JRE 1.4.1 and configured it to work with Mozilla. Then, I logged into my laptop as the root user and installed Newsmonster. So far, so good.
When I logged back in as myself and tried to use Newsmonster within Mozilla, I was able to run through the Newsmonster Welcome Wizard. But the key portion of Newsmonster, the Aggregator, failed to run with the following message:Unable to start aggregator: applet.setUseProxy is not a function.
Because I'm using J2SE 1.4.1 for a Tomcat-based web application development effort, I decided I didn't want to have the 1.4.1 SDK running on the same machine with the 1.4.2 runtime environment. I concluded that the problem was probably related to the runtime environment point release (1.4.1_05). So, I downgraded to 1.4.1_01 to see if it would solve the problem.
After uninstalling the 1.4.1_05 RPM, installing 1.4.1_01, creating a new symbolic link to the Java plugin for Mozilla, and restarting Mozilla, I am happy to report that Newsmonster is working on Linux.
So I learned that Java SDKs and runtime environments are completely separate from each other, at least on Linux. I also figured out that Newsmonster is sensitive to the particular version of the Java runtime, and to some extent, the version of Mozilla.
This is hard-earned knowledge. I hope that finally having Newsmonster running on Linux produces productivity benefits that justify my effort.