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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <>
Subject Re: WebDAV, DefaultServlet and Resources
Date Thu, 27 Jul 2000 03:49:59 GMT wrote:

> Remy Maucherat wrote:
> >
> > WebDAV support
> I'd just like to suggest that it be labeled an example at this point?  The
> mission of Tomcat (and therefore Catalina) is to provide a reference
> implementation for Servlets.  WebDAV is clearly outside that mission.

Labelling aside, any support for WebDAV in Tomcat (or Catalina) should be
clearly identified as not required by the spec.  For that matter, there are
many other existing Tomcat features that are outside the bounds of the spec as
well:  the very idea of serving static resources, the servlet invoker
(/servlet/xxx), the ability to run an app under a security manager, automatic
reloading when classes are changed, and so on.

> I'm also a bit queasy about providing an example which require more than
> the standard servlet API; but I believe this can be worked.

One of the other roles that Tomcat/Catalina can play is an experimental
testbed to identify concepts that might be worth considering for future
standards efforts.  For example, one of the fallouts of the Catalina effort to
date is a suggestion (currently being considered for servlet 2.3) to expose
the "last modified" time of a given resource in a portable manner.  Among
other things, this would go a long ways towards making it possible to create a
JSP servlet that can tell when a page has been modified and needs recompiling,
without doing low level I-O (outside the servlet API) to check this.

But, to deal with the "reference implementation" issue, one of the things I'm
also working through is how to create a build of Tomcat (or Catalina) that is
the absolute minimum functionality required to meet the servlet spec's
requirements.  Having such a thing will be useful to other servlet container
implementors (who will be able to identify what's a spec requirement and what
is simply an implementation feature) as well as developers and users -- who
tend *not* to read the specs, and therefore assume that any feature of servlet
container XYZ is guaranteed to be supported by all of them.

> - Sam Ruby

Craig McClanahan

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