Rory Thomas

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since Apr 17, 2008
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Recent posts by Rory Thomas

Thanks Jeff, I'll keep an eye out on your site for updates, and check out that video. I look forward to trying it out!
10 years ago
Hi Jeff,

I have some Java experience (SCJP), and am currently working as a Adobe Flex developer and doing a Masters in Computer Science. I am hoping to do a thesis/independent study project next spring based on mixing Java and Flex in the Android 2.2 OS. Have you had any experience with the Flex side of things, and is it advantageous as a frontend over other options?

Thanks for helping the forum,
10 years ago
Hi folks,

I took the exam last Wednesday, and thought I would share my preparation story here. I was hoping for an 80%, but I'll take a passing grade regardless!

My Background: I have been doing Java for two years, but have only about four months of work experience with Java. I passed the SCJA in June 2008.

Started about five months ago, using the Bates/Sierra SCJP book as my primary tool. I read about 100 pages per week, and made approximately 850 flash cards with questions and answers from the materials. After the first time through the book, I then studied each chapter of cards for a few days, and then took the end-of-chapter quizzes. I probably averaged 50-60% on the quizzes. I did this a second time, and tended to increase my scores by about 10-20%. I reviewed all of my cards, and then started the practice tests. Took an ExamLab exam, and was in the low 40s. Took one from the book, got 61%. Reviewed cards, took another of each, another low 40s from ExamLab, and a 51% on the book exam. This had me very concerned about my ability to pass. However, I kept reminding myself that the exam is not as difficult.

Finally, I did some programming over the last few days. Not much, but I ran some small code pieces to refresh and clarify my understanding of certain topics. Inner classes, Threads and Exceptions were some of the topics I reviewed in this manner. This is something you should probably do earlier in the process.

The Exam:
60 questions. I marked 27 of them for review. I did change a few answers in my review. Exam took about 2:15 to get through, and I then did my review.

Got one question twice, and had another question that said “Choose two”, but was radio buttons (single selection). It would be nice to know how that one was scored.
The drag-n-drop questions can’t really be reviewed. If you review them, it wipes out the answers. This is ridiculous. I suspect, had I read more reports out here, that I would have known about that. Someone mentioned doing all the drag-n-drop questions last, and I would say that is good advice, since you can’t really review.

I had a draft version of the Mughai/Rasmussen SCJP Certification study book. It was a “rough cut”, so it had some issues, but generally I found it hard to read and learn from. Not sure if it would be as good as the Bates/Sierra book.

I understand why the practice exams are very tricky, and they do help with preparation, but sometimes I feel like I am outsmarting myself when looking for the tricks. ExamLab is an awesome free tool, but the exams are too tricky in my opinion. I almost felt like they were teaching me things that I did not need to know for the exam.

Is it worth it?
I am happy to have passed, and I will add this to my resume of course. However, I would be surprised if this makes the difference in a job interview. The knowledge I learned will be valuable, but the Certification itself is of limited value in my mind. Good luck to all, feel free to comment below with any questions about my experience.
11 years ago
Thanks Satish, and RJ as well.

I have found my host to particularly painful about this stuff (runs Struts 1, but not Struts 2 for example). However, maybe it's my issue!

I have used some JSON, so I will look into that option as well. Thanks for the advice, I look forward to checking out the book further.

11 years ago
Hi Satish,

I am relatively new to Flex, with about 18 months of Java. As I get started with trying to connect Java and Flex, I want to avoid having to learn BlazeDS at the same time. Is this easily done, or am I trying to do something the "easy way", which is in fact the harder way?

Another major concern is that my web host will likely not allow me run BlazeDS on a shared server, so I would prefer to work with Flex and Servlets only. I have been looking for a resource on this topic, hoping your book may be it!

11 years ago
And finally, they did nothing more than click the link I sent, and tell me that Login.action was not found. It's more than I expected, but I was hoping they would send me the log for that attempt.

Thank you all for the help, I suspect I need to find a new provider if I want to use new technologies.

11 years ago
Per support, they cannot share the logs with me, but they have shown a willingness to try to duplicate the error. I will be hoping that I hear something tonight, and will update if I do.
11 years ago
New information:

I have been using Tomcat 5.5.27 at home, but GoDaddy shared hosting shows 5.0.27

That said, I was using the same setup with Struts1, and all other projects, with no problems.
11 years ago

Joe Ess wrote:A quick Google search turned up this discussion which seems to indicate his problem was his local development environment did not match the GoDaddy deployment environment. I see you've switched to JDK 1.5, but what about the minor version?
Without those server logs we're shooting in the dark.

Thanks Joe. Glad to see this discussion only opened on Sunday, as I had my issue Saturday and hadn't found this in my searches online that day. I hadn't searched since then, so I missed it.

I will check minor version, and report back on the response on the logs.

My hosting is due to renew in August, and I may switch hosts if the issue is on their end!
11 years ago

David Newton wrote:What is in the logs on startup?

Unfortunately, this is one of the issues with GoDaddy shared hosting. They do an auto-restart at 3:30 am MST (I can't restart the server), but I don't think they allow us to see the Tomcat logs, only the Apache logs. I believe I have asked them about this before, but I have asked them again, and should have an answer later today. It certainly makes it harder to figure out the problem!

Thank you for your help as well, I will update with their response.
11 years ago
Hi Joe, thanks for the links, I will review those for future ideas.

Thanks for your willingness to help, I admit that I am not entirely sure if the error is mine or GoDaddy's. I have had issues with them before.

Details here:

This is a simple Login.jsp, with no database contact as there is only one person who will login, so I check their login info manually in the code. The index page redirects to the Login page

I am using Eclipse 3.4, Tomcat 5.5, Struts 2.
Per GoDaddy requirements, I changed my compiler and facets in Eclipse to Java 1.5, as they do not use 1.6 yet
I tested everything on my home server, same version they use, and everything is working.
On my host server, everything is there in the expanded WAR file: Struts jars, jsp files, class code for the two actions, struts.xml

I get a 404 error on the first screen (index.html redirects to Login.action):
description The requested resource (/Fergus/Login.action) is not available.

I am using the Struts-blank war to get this started, so the code is basically a tweaked version of that:
From struts.xml

This piece below forces all requests through a filter to confirm Login before showing the next page

Live site is:

Thank you for you assistance, this was basically a quick and dirty way to set up a private site to test some web design ideas, but has become "less quick".

11 years ago
I have a "Shared hosting" account with GoDaddy. I was able to get Struts1 up and running on there last year, but now that I am working in Struts2, it doesn't seem as possible. Two questions for my esteemed colleagues:

1. Has anyone managed to get Struts2 up and running on GoDaddy?
2. If not, does anyone have an affordable hosting solution suggestion for running Struts2?

For those who do not know, shared hosting means you can't install your own outside programs on your server, as it is shared by multiple clients. This makes it affordable ($6-7 per month), but not as flexible.

Thank you,
11 years ago
I have 13 years of software-related experience, most recently as a Six Sigma Black Belt doing process improvement work in the Unit Testing, Release Management and Metrics area. Prior to that, I was a lead SAS developer for 8 years, managing all aspects of the software development lifecycle. Twelve months ago I began working in Java, getting Sun Certified (SCJA, June 2008), and primarily developing web applications using the latest Java technologies including JSP, Servlets, Struts and MySQL. I am currently seeking an internship or full time role in Java development, or in a related position as a quality or release engineer in the Java space.

Summary: Sun Certified Java Associate (SCJA). Eight years as the lead SAS developer in a detail-oriented department with client-impacting deadlines. Experience with refactoring code, library design, code encapsulation, and project management. Twelve years as a proven leader in continuous improvement of process and coding practices.

Java/Web: J2SE 5.0; Eclipse; Servlets; JSP; iBATIS; Struts; UML; Swing; Apache Tomcat; HTML; XML; MySQL; JUnit

OS: Windows XP; IBM MVS; OS/390; z/OS with TSO and ISPF; DOS

Other Apps: SAS; JCL; MS FrontPage, Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Visio; Minitab; Rumba; FTP; Brio; ProSupport; GIMP

More details, plus links to my portfolio and resume available via my blog at:

Thank you,
12 years ago
Anyone having trouble, or better yet, success (!), using iBATIS with godaddy shared hosting? I seem to be having an issue.

My setup is working with no problems on my home machine:
Apache Tomcat 5.0
Java 1.5 (compiled as 1.5 to match what is available from GoDaddy)
Struts 1.3.8
ibatis 2.3.4

However, when loaded to my godaddy account, it gets a nullpointer exception when processing the DynaValidatorForm. Through some error checking and testing, I was able to determine that it appears that one of my beans is returning as null. I believe it may have to do with not having the iBATIS jar on the server, even though I have it included in my webapp's build path.

Although the issue could be user error with the database call, I suspect it is because I cannot use iBATIS with godaddy. Has anyone had success with this?

Again, everything works on my home setup, so I'm just trying to figure out if I'm just having trouble getting it up on GoDaddy, or if GoDaddy actually won't allow me to do this (they rarely give straight answers)

In case code helps:

Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede)
Struts 1.3.8
Hibernate 3.3.1.GA
Tomcat 5.5
JDK 1.6 (although compiling as 1.5)

Working in Eclipse for about 5 months, and with Struts in Eclipse for about 2 months. I feel good about my understanding of how these work together. I have a working Struts webapp searching a table and returning results. Before I begin adding functionality to this app, I decided I should incorporate Hibernate to handle the database activity. That said, I really just want to plug it into Eclipse and go. This is where I run into the issues. I have been trying to get this running for about 20 hours now, and am getting to the end of my rope.

I have downloaded the hibernate-distribution-3.3.1.GA, and added hibernate3.jar to the WEB-INF/lib folder in my project. This means it is part of the classpath for this project. I have also added it directly to the Tomcat 5.5/common.lib folder, as I read this somewhere along the way. I was concerned about a conflict there, but it doesn't seem to be an issue. I had also downloaded the Hibernate Tools, but don't really think those are an issue either.

I hate to include so much code here, but hopefully it might shed light on my situation. Within my existing Dynamic Web Project (Struts), I have the following files (among other previously existing java files): (package is com.rorycullen)



In addition, within the com.rorycullen package, I have a test program borrowed from Rose India Tutorial, with code changed for my data:

1. When I run the HibernateTest1 "As Java Application" in Eclipse, I get:
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException
at com.rorycullen.HibernateTest1.main(
this happens in the flush()

2. When I comment out the last two lines of code, I get this:
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoSuchFieldError: name
at org.slf4j.impl.Log4jLoggerAdapter.<init>(
at org.slf4j.impl.Log4jLoggerFactory.getLogger(
at org.slf4j.LoggerFactory.getLogger(
at org.hibernate.cfg.Configuration.<clinit>(
at com.rorycullen.HibernateTest1.main(

I have tried a lot of changes here, and researched all over the web for ideas. I have messed around with the slf4j jars in many different ways, with no luck.

My build path includes:
src folder
junit folder
Apache Tomcat (related jars)
JRE System Library
WebApp Libraries (what is in WEB_INF/lib)
  • antlr-2.7.2.jar
  • commons-beanutils
  • commons-chain
  • commons-collections
  • commons-digester
  • commons-logging
  • commons-validator
  • dom4j
  • hibernate3
  • hibernate-testing
  • javassist
  • jstl
  • jta
  • log4j
  • mysql-connector
  • oro
  • slf4j-api
  • slf4j-log4j12
  • standard
  • struts-core-1.3.8
  • struts-taglib
  • struts-tiles

  • One thing that I was able to run was a copy of the Rose India Hibernate tutorial, which I downloaded as a zip file and copied into a new generic Java Project. I was able to run this successfully, in that it at least did what it should (to the point where the code is flawed, but it did set up three new tables in my database, using However, this zip came with all of the jars already embedded, with a lot more that I believe I need. I did try setting up a new Struts project and copying in all of the Rose India jars to the WEB-INF/lib, but I was not able to run the code there.

    Sorry for writing so much, I hope someone has solved this problem before and can offer some assistance. I'll keep working on it and see what I can do.

    (Seems to be log-related, but I have been able to solve the riddle!)