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From "Andrew Stevens" <>
Subject RE: Is It Possible to reload WEB-INF/classes and WEB-INF/lib without restart?
Date Tue, 02 May 2006 16:40:20 GMT
>From: Adrien Guillon <>
>Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 11:00:11 -0400
>    Hello All,
>    I posted on the cocoon-user list regarding this topic, and I will 
>to that post with a solution once I find one.
>    Basically, I am experimenting with writing my own actions / generators 
>transformers to extend Cocoon for my needs.  These are written in Java, and
>compiled to class files.  However, I have noticed that recompiling the 
>file, and placing it back into WEB-INF/classes does not mean that the 
>are picked up immediately.  I can force this with a restart of Cocoon.
>However, this instance of Cocoon is already in production, so a restart is
>not always possible.

If it's that important to avoid downtime in your production system, is it 
load balanced across two (or more) servers?  Not only will that protect you 
against a server crash, but each one could take over serving the site while 
you restart the other...

>  I have defined my own sub-sitemap for development, and
>leave the production side alone.

Still sounds risky to me.  You may plan to only work in your own 
sub-sitemap, but it's practically inevitable that one day you'll edit the 
wrong sitemap by mistake and break the live site.  Heck, even if you are 
editing the right one you can still drag down the production site with a 
badly performing pipeline.  All it takes is e.g. a pipeline aggregation that 
includes a map:call to itself, or an XSL with a dodgy xsl:template that 
writes out an entire >1 megabyte input document for every contained element, 
and you could crash the whole application with an OutOfMemoryError...

>    Is there a way to force Cocoon to reload these class files, or is a 
>the only option?  The only other alternative I see right now, is to copy
>Cocoon to another server and do my development there (which I would rather
>not do).

That sounds the safest approach to me, but then again I'm not paying for the 
extra hardware ;-)  Only you know if the (admittedly slight) extra risk is 

As to your question about reloading, are you using the ParanoidCocoonServlet 
(which manages its own classloader) or the standard one?  What container are 
you running in?  Class reloading is probably a container-specific 
configuration issue; I know that in Websphere 5 you can enable/disable it at 
the application level.  You'll probably find that reloading still involves a 
restart of the app, though, to make sure none of the running servlets & 
filters are using the old class definitions.  Also, you could try adding a 
?cocoon-reload=true parameter on any request if that's enabled in the Cocoon 
configuration, but I believe it's normally switched of by default to avoid 
potential DOS attacks from somebody forcing endless restarts of an app in 


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