My romantic bliss with Java is just about over – at least for the web.

I wanted to make a web-based game that ran in the browser. I had several ideas about the game and about the site itself, based on my experience with similar ideas and seeing where they went wrong. As a Java aficionado I wanted a java based blogging system, a java-based forum and the game itself to written in Java.

My first great shock was finding out how little blogging software there is written in Java. You basically have a choice between 3: Roller, Blojsom and Pebble.

  • Roller requires an approximate 30mb download after all the pre-requisites are added in.
  • Pebble uses XML for post storage, a small user base for fixing problems, and incomplete documentation.
  • Blojsom seems to be the best of bunch: Small, lightweight and supports multiple users with an active mailing list.

So I went with Blojsom for it size, active mailing list and version 3 was being actively worked on (M2 had been just been released).

As per usual I installed it to localhost so I could iron out problems first, following the instructions. I made the necessary modifications to get it to work with MySQL4.1 (Blojsom is written for MySQL5+) and then set about changing the config to work with how I wanted my site to be laid out.

My site layout, in my opinion, is pretty standard. I want a folder for my blog(s), forums, user-accounts and the games themselves. Not difficult and certainly not uncommon.

While waiting for Blojsom to come out of beta, I found that to get my desired layout format of //site/forums I would need to install blojsom to root. Not good – I could forsee this as being a big problem down the road.
So I checked out java based forums. The big daddy in this arena is JForum. Installation was a snap – just needed my host to register the .page extensions to be handled by Tomcat and I was away. Again I installed to what I thought would be the ideal location – /forums and again I was frustrated by the general message from the development community that I need to install to root to have access to forums.

Now I think I could patch/configure it so it will work, but I want solutions that work out the box: Patching/manual configuring makes upgrading difficult (which is necessary in this day and age of security scares).

So I looked at WordPress and phpBB. WordPress was a breeze – a bit of configuration later and you are now reading the result. Likewise for phpBB.

So I am now in the process of learning PHP and will start converting my small collection of Java classes over to it.