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From "Niall Pemberton" <>
Subject Re: NPE in forwardURL
Date Fri, 11 Jun 2004 23:54:17 GMT
I have to say I don't use velocity and so I don't really understand how your
using Struts without an Action, but anyway here goes...

When modules were introduced in Struts 1.1 ActionServlet was modified so
that every time a request was processed it stores the ModuleConfig as a
parameter in the request under the key Globals.MODULE_KEY [if you look at
the ActionServlet.process() method it calles RequestUtils.selectModule()
which does this].

So RequestUtils.getForwardURL() tries to retrieve the ModuleConfig from the
request under this key. When you don't go through an Action (or more
importantly ActionServlet) it can't find it.

I understand you saying (paraphrasing) "if the ModuleConfig is not in the
request scope it should use the application scope" in your context, but in a
Struts 1.1 context then it should be there and Struts code relying on that
seems reasonable to me. What seems strange to me is that you are using
Velocity's Struts tools outside of Struts. However if thats a valid use case
in the Velocity world then maybe a change to the Velocity tools to call the
RequestUtils.selectModule() method as the ActionServlet does would be the
best approach.

One further point

Short term I guess without going through ActionServlet you have to get the
default module config stored in the request under the appropriate key.

Having said all that, maybe this is a common Velocity issue and if you ask
the question on a velocity list there might already be a solution for your


P.S. A quick look at StrutsUtils in velocity and there is a selectModule()
method in there - maybe creating your own custom version of the
StrutsLinkTool which calls that method first is the right way to go.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher Schultz" <>
To: <>
Cc: "Christopher Schultz" <>
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 10:44 PM
Subject: NPE in forwardURL

Hello all,
I am in the process of upgrading from velocity-tools 1.0 to
velocity-tools 1.1 in my existing Struts 1.1-based application.

This app was working perfectly before the upgrade (just one JAR file)
and now I get an NPE whenever I use the velocity-tools's
LinkTool.setForward() method.

Here's the relevant part of the stack trace:

 at org.apache.struts.util.RequestUtils.forwardURL(

Line 593 of is:

 url.append(RequestUtils.forwardURL(request, fc));

I've added logging to the class and I generate this output just before
the call to forwardURL is made:

2004-06-11 16:50:16,081 [TP-Processor3] DEBUG crap-

So, I'm passing non-null values to RequestUtils.forwardURL.

Line 1534 and 1535 of are:

 ModuleConfig moduleConfig = (ModuleConfig)
 String forwardPattern =

I've added logging to the class and I generate this output just before
the call to getControllerConfig():

2004-06-11 17:18:34,609 [TP-Processor3] DEBUG crap- moduleConfig = null,

Where [doh] indicates that moduleConfig is null and therefore I can't
actually find out what moduleConfig.getControllerConfig() would be.

As I said, everything was working fine before the velocity-tools
upgrade, but the issue seems to be either with Struts or will some
configuration of Struts.

I have a very simple struts-config.xml file. I'll spare you the details,
but suffice it to say that I have the following in my config file:

- 2 form-beans
- 1 global-exception handler
- maybe a dozen global-forwards
- maybe a dozen action-mappings

That's it. I don't have any data-sources, controllers, or plug-ins
defined. I'm not attempting any voodoo (that I know of) or using any
weird custom anything.

I found this issue mentioned as bug 27080
(, and it was
RESOLVED INVALID, with the comment that, in order to use
RequestUtils.findForward, you must first invoke a Struts action.

By running the request first through a Struts action (really an action
mapping which is really a forward directly to the .vm page), I get the
following debugging output:

2004-06-11 17:38:12,166 [TP-Processor3] DEBUG crap- moduleConfig =

and the page loads correctly.

Now, the ModuleConfig displayed in the debugging output is the same one
that is available in the application scope, so it seems to me that I
should not have to direct my page access through a Struts action since
the ModuleConfig is available through the application (rather than the

Am I totally off the mark, here?

I don't claim to understand the subtleties of how Struts works in more
complex environments (like with multiple modules, etc.) but I would
think that a reasonable course of action would be:

 ModuleConfig moduleConfig =

 if(null == moduleConfig)
  moduleConfig = (ModuleConfig)application.getAttribute(Globals.MODULE_KEY);

 String forwardPattern =

Any comments?

(and thanks for reading this insufferably long email... I just hate it
when people don't do research and also don't post enough information)


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