Faint idea to published website. An OpenWGA Tutorial, Part 1

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So This is the first part of the tutorial which will take us throught the setup of the development environment and which will see us create a new website in it, based on the basic website kit.

Important: If you find a quirk in this tutorial where things do not work as described for your platform/situation/whatever, please give me a short note in the comments of this posting. Thanks for helping to make this tutorial better!

1. What you need before we start

You need a running desktop/notebook computer. Ready? Ok. The sole software we need installed before we really start is a Java runtime installation. Both, OpenWGA Server and the development tool we are about to use are based on Java. Don't be afraid, the only part where you are really touching Java will be its installation, and this is as easy as installing any other software.

You should have a Java Version of 6 or higher (5 would also do but is really pretty old, replace it now). I'm using Ubuntu for an OS (quelle surprise), and Java 6 is already preinstalled here. But I'm switching to Java 7 now for the sole reason that I can:

bildschirmfoto am 2012-01-08 13%3A33%3A08.png

For the rest of you:

If I remember my time on MacOS well, then everyone of you having MacOS Leopard or later should also have a Java 6 runtime preinstalled. Ah yes, there was some trouble with Apple dropping Java development after that, but OpenJDK came to the rescue. But as I cannot find any download for this yet I by now assume that this is not effective for any current platform, is it? So, lets assume everything is also ok for you out of the box.

For any other platform (Yes, this includes Windows :-), you should head to to get a Java download and install it. We need a plain Java Runtime Environment (JRE), no JDK/FX/EE/NetBeans. So hit the button for Java on the top and get the appropriate download for your platform. Run the installer and follow the instructions. Right after that we are ready to go.

2. Install the Studio

OpenWGA comes with its own development enviroment for creating websites. It is called OpenWGA developer studio. And for the ones who know what this means: Yes, it is based on Eclipse, but I really recommend not to install it into an existing Eclipse runtime for various reasons.

Get it from the OpenWGA website. There are distributions for Linux (with "linux.gtk" in the name", there are separate versions for 32-Bit "x86" and 64-Bit OSes "x86_64"), Windows ("win32.win32", go on, ask me why twice) and Mac ("macosx.coacoa").

The distribution is just a ZIP archive file containing the studio. There is no installer. Use a zipping tool (built-in on Linux/MacOS, "WinZip" used to be the obvious choice back in my time on Windows) to extract it directly to the location from which you want to run it. Recommendations:

  • On Linux: To you home folder or a subfolder containing manually installed apps
  • On Mac: "Applications" folder if you have the rights, otherwise like Linux
  • On Windows "C:\Programs" if you have the rights, otherwise maybe just to the Desktop. There were some issues with pathnames too long when doing that but I think these got resolved. Go ahead, prove me wrong and tell me in the comments.

If you already have an earlier version of the studio (< 1.5), you should replace it with the current one. What I intend to show you will not work with those. The easiest way to replace is to simple remove the old extracted directory and replace it with the new. But do this only if you have NOT used a workspace directory inside your old studio directory - the directory, mostly named "wds-workspace", where the studio stores its projects. This should always be located in a separate directory where you store your data, not your applications. If you by now have it inside the studio folder, move it to some safe place outside. You will be able to pick it up later from there.

The archive extracts a single new directory named "OpenWGADevStudio" to the location you have chosen for extraction. Inside you find some executable file named "OpenWGADevStudio", which you should be able to run by double-clicking it.

3. Setup the studio

What happens now? The studio shows its splash screen and will ask you where to create a workspace directory:

bildschirmfoto am 2012-01-08 14%3A09%3A48.png

This is the directory where everything you create via the studio will get stored. It should in no case be created inside the folder of the studio itself, because then it may get lost when you update the studio. You should locate it where you store all your other "real data", like text documents or other developments. The studio recommends a directory directly below your user folder (at least on Linux) so that is ok with me for now. Relocating it later is just a matter of moving the directory and specifying it when starting the studio again.

So I just hit the "OK" button now to see whats going on after that. Not much later the software nags me again:

bildschirmfoto am 2012-01-08 14%3A14%3A29.png

So what is this? Well the studio does not only let you create websites, it of course also lets you review it in its published state. For this purpose it also needs the OpenWGA server component, which is what will finally publish your website on some server machine in the end. This dialog just tells you that the studio will download this component right now directly from the OpenWGA website, which in most cases you can just confirm by clicking "OK". 

After that the studio UI comes up and will show you a dialog showing the download progress. If you are like me on Linux you may see a part of the UI saying "Failed to create SWT browser widget". This is the "getting started" view, which  normally shows you a separate tutorial, and may not work on some Linux distributions because a needed component (XULRunner) is not installed in the correct version. We do not need it here, so no worrying about this necessary.

Here is what the empty studio UI looks like on my machine immediately after setup:

bildschirmfoto am 2012-01-22 12%3A46%3A52.png

On to the next page...

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Last comments

  • Oliver:
    Als Antwort auf "Anonym" vom 27. Dezember 2015 (..
  • anonym:
    Habbo als abzocke zu deklarieren finde ich schon..
  • anonym:
    Wenn du es dir leisten kannst und es dich glückl..
  • Jebote:
    ja sicher kommen alle auf diesen 5 jahre alten a..
  • Micha:
    @Ingo, na klar. Alles legitim und voll ok ;-) Mu..

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