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Doing J2EE without a DeployTool

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Apart from the frustrations of being the single developer on a project that is our company's first J2EE app, and besides the fact that it's my first time developing servlets, JSP, EJB and indeed, even Java (I used to do lots of VB)... I find it only adds to my problems and subtracts from my asprin bottle when I find that after hours of wondering why I'm so stupid, that it is a faulty and buggy deployment tool that has caused my griefs and woes. Thank God I have a senior developer that mentors me, and that this project has a high tolerance for slippage.

Anyways... if you've made it this far, good for you. The point of the post...

All the tutorials I can find are all based on a certain app server. J2EE default impl from Sun has a great developers guide, but it uses all the (sucky) GUI tools. WebLogic is similar, as are Orion, JBoss and JRun.

What I am looking for is a tutorial on J2EE, more specifically writing deployment descriptors and making jars, wars and ears, all with Notepad and the jar tool. And possibly ant?? I have no idea how to do all this by hand, and I think it would be very useful. Then I'd know when a tool is screwing me around. Also, our company has iPlanet, and based on theserverside reviews, iPlanet tools suck. My senior mentor works with it, and he also thinks that it is very poorly done. So knowing how to do this without the GUI tools and wizards would be a valuable skill.

So... how do I do all these whiz-bang things by hand? Any links for me? or even a book recommendation. (p.s. Ed Roman's book is for EJB1.0, and I'm on EJB1.1 - I've discovered there are enough differences to make things more confusing sometimes.)
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