Right now the WMS will not work at all if JAI is not installed. This is bad, since users generally want to see it working right out of the box.
The first fix we can do is easy, just have the server support SVG if jai is not enabled (it is necessary to return all the other types). Right now trying svg out causes a class loading error, due to the JAIDelegate trying to load stuff and croaking when the GetMapDelegate looks for which delegate should handle a request.
An even better solution would be to have jai available as a jar, which will certainly be slower than the installed versions, but will allow users to see something. Users who actually want a fast wms (some GeoServer users probably only care about the WFS, the wms just as a way to check up on their data) can install the jai into the jre.
CodeHaus Comment From: cholmes - Time: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:55:22 -0600
<p>Fixed in 1.1.1 with a catch block. Gabriel fixed in 1.2, though I don't quite understand it, since without jai it'll return images. But my testing of it worked - we should try to remember to test it again before 1.2.0 release, just use a jvm w/o jai and image i/o</p>