I had the same problem. It may be that the core jar wasnt supposed to contain the FilterDispatcher or maybe it has not only be deprecated but has been extradicted to an alien planet. In either case, I resolved my issue with it by using the xwork-2.0.4.jar instead of the xwork-core-2.1.6.jar. I was not able to locate any information about what the heck happened to it - but then again, once I find a work around I tend to stop looking... In this case, I found your post during my "quest" to find out what happened.
That's a Very Bad Idea (and I'm surprised it works) as S2 depends *heavily* on XWork, and the two are developed very closely together. The original poster isn't deploying the Freemarker library; if you're claiming that downgrading a small portion of the S2 dependencies fixed that precise error, without causing others, id be very suspicious of your deployment.
Joined: Mar 07, 2010
Oh sorry. I see that now. It was a FreeMarker null pointer rather than the same null pointer I was getting. Mine was for the FilterDispatcher defined in the struts-default.xml.
I definitely agree that using an old jar will very likely cause additional errors and is not my preference (which is why I still ocassionally look for a real answer). But, thus far, I still haven't found details about why the xwork-core-2.1.6.jar does not contain the FilterDispatcher class or any documentation about in which jar that class now resides or the new class which takes its place (if there is one).
found it (and it wasn't that hard to find really - but I tend to fumble around a day or two before I search with the right google search string)