Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks

General Good Ways of Working

  • If working on something which could be contributed to Brooklyn, do it in a project under the sandbox directory. This means we can accept pulls more easily (as sandbox items aren't built as part of the main build) and speed up collaboration.

  • When debugging an entity, make sure the brooklyn.SSH logger is set to DEBUG and accessible.

  • Use tests heavily! These are pretty good to run in the IDE (once you've completed IDE setup), and far quicker to spot problems than runtime, plus we get early-warning of problems introduced in the future. (In particular, Groovy's laxity with compilation means it is easy to introduce silly errors which good test coverage will find much faster.)

  • If you hit inexplicable problems at runtime, try clearing your Maven caches, or the brooklyn-relevant parts, under ~/.m2/repository. Also note your IDE might be recompiling at the same time as a Maven command-line build, so consider turning off auto-build.

  • When a class or method becomes deprecated, always include @deprecated in the Javadoc e.g. "@deprecated since 0.7.0; instead use {@link ...}"

    • Include when it was deprecated
    • Suggest what to use instead -- e.g. link to alternative method, and/or code snippet, etc.
    • Consider logging a warning message when a deprecated method or config option is used, saying who is using it (e.g. useful if deprecated config keys are used in yaml) -- if it's a method which might be called a lot, some convenience for "warn once per entity" would be helpful)
    • See the Java deprecation documentation

Entity Design Tips

  • Look at related entities and understand what they've done, in particular which sensors and config keys can be re-used. (Many are inherited from interfaces, where they are declared as constants, e.g. Attributes and UsesJmx.)

  • Understand the location hierarchy: software process entities typically get an SshMachineLocation, and use a *SshDriver to do what they need. This will usually have a MachineProvisioningLocation parent, e.g. a JcloudsLocation (e.g. AWS eu-west-1 with credentials) or possibly a LocalhostMachineProvisioningLocation. Clusters will take such a MachineProvisioningLocation (or a singleton list); fabircs take a list of locations. Some PaaS systems have their own location model, such as OpenShiftLocation.

  • Finally, don't be shy about talking with others, that's far better than spinning your wheels (or worse, having a bad experience), plus it means we can hopefully improve things for other people!

YAML Blueprint Debugging

  • Brooklyn will reject any YAML blueprint that contains syntax errors and will alert the user of such errors.

  • However, it is possible to create a blueprint that is syntactically legal but results in runtime problems for Brooklyn (for example, if an enricher's enricher.producer value is not immediately resolvable).

  • If Brooklyn appears to freeze after deploying a blueprint, run the jstack <brooklyn-pid> command to view the state of all running threads. By examining this output, it may become obvious which thread(s) are causing the problem, and the details of the stack trace will provide insight into which part of the blueprint is incorrectly written.

Project Maintenance

  • Adding a new project may need updates to /pom.xml modules section and usage/all dependencies

  • Adding a new example project may need updates to /pom.xml and /examples/pom.xml (and the documentation too!)

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