after spending another minute on this, i changed the statement from:
public static Logger LOG = Logger.getLogger(BaseAction.class);
public static Logger LOG = Logger.getLogger(BaseAction.class.getName());
This pushes the exception up from the log4j Logger class into my BaseAction class. for some reason, BaseAction.class, seems to be null when the class is being instrumented via jboss aop.
i've changed the interceptor to have scope="PER_VM", and that seemed to resolve the issue.
what would be really cool is if i could trap the classnotfound or npe exception via aop, and then identify the location of the .jar of the class being loaded which cannot find a dependant class.
or maybe just add a static method to each class that displays the location of the jar it's loaded from each time it's loaded.
I've tried this in a standalone app, and had no problems. What does your packaging look like?