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Welcome to Geoff Hayward's Weblog

Commenting on Java, JavaFX, Java EE, Joomla, and IoT.

I have been experimenting with the Twitter Bower package manager as part of the tech stack to be used with a Java EE JSF project.

This post is a note on how I set up the Web Application project to use the Bower package manager.

I began by setting up a new Mavan Web Application. I used the NetBeans 'New Project' wizard. Once the new Web Application project was created I added JavaServer Faces to the project via NetBeans' Properties > Framework menu.

Next I added a .bowerrc file to the root of the webapp as:

{
  "directory": "resources/components"
}

This .bowerrc file changes the default location that Bower will store the components it downloads. This change made Bower fit with a Mavan Web Application folder structure. Next I added a bower.json file to the root of the webapp.

{
  "name": "bower-setup-test",
  "authors": [
    "Geoffrey Hayward"
  ],
  "private": true
}

The bower.json file keeps a record of each dependency and its version that is added to the project. See the bower.json spec for details.

Then from the root of the webapp I ran the command: bower install bootstrap --save. The --save saved the dependency to bower.json file.

Why Bower? Good question. To reduce the size of the tracked GIT repository and to make the web component libraries explicit. Each time a file is forked from the dependency, such as a bootstrap LESS variables file, you add it to the bower.json ignore property. Likewise you then begin tracking the forked file in GIT. Everything that is managed by Bower (that is not forked) is in (or should be in) the .gitignore file.

My Thoughts: Post Experiment

My thoughts to using Bower with a Java EE JSF project are Bower adds complexity to a Java EE JSF project that may not bring any value. But, with that said Bower certainly would come in handy for a front-end framework heavy project; particularly when some control over what should and should not be edited is needed. In other words I am undecided for now, but have no plans to start using Bower just yet in this context.



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