Java Eats Its Dead

I have the misfortune of working periodically on a legacy Java application which uses Java 1.1.8 (!!!) and BEA WebLogic 4.5. It was decided more than a year ago that trying to move this mess forward to a later version of Java and WebLogic was going to be as much trouble as simply rewriting it and trust me, it really needs to be written from scratch. The first attempt was a train wreck. Needless to say, this combination is a spectacular pain to work with because it lacks such niceties as the collection classes (a Java 1.2 thing), and it didn’t use Log4J, Ant, or pretty much any of the things a Java developer might consider part and parcel of any application today.
I was working on some new code for this mess last week and today and I wanted to write some unit tests for the code I was about to write (good little “test-first” developer that I am) and I realized that while it was easy to get the latest JUnit, that when I looked around the JUnit website I couldn’t even tell where I would get the older versions nor would I know which ones were compatible with older versions of Java when I did find them. In fact, scratching around various places I found that most Java library websites seem to forget about older versions of Java soon after they are gone. That doesn’t really mean that they are gone, but they might as well be.

2 thoughts on “Java Eats Its Dead

  1. John Munsch

    I haven’t had to modify the deployment descriptors that I can remember (fortunately) but there isn’t a hint of XML anywhere in the project so I’m assuming that’s the case.
    BTW, I decided that this was important enough to me to see if digging through README files and logs of what had changed would help me figure out which version of JUnit would help me. I’ve confirmed that at least as late as JUnit 3 they still supported Java 1.1.8 and I’ve run all their samples, etc. with it. Hopefully that will help somebody somewhere someday.


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