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From Patrick Luby <>
Subject Re: [5] launcher/deamon
Date Sat, 03 Aug 2002 16:04:18 GMT

I plan to post a patch to Ant for the enhanced data types (e.g. 
syspropertyset) and the conditional <java> task elements (e.g. 
sysproperty with "if" and "unless" attributes) back to Ant as I think 
they would really enhance the Ant <java> task. I just haven't had time 
yet but I will do so eventually.

As for making the launcher functionality optional, I am OK with whatever 
the community wants. But before the community takes it out, let me 
explain why we put it in the first place:

1. Make Tomcat 5 startup reliably on Windows (Windows batch scripts are
    notoriously flaky).

2. Emulate the Unix startup on Windows (Windows has no "&" background
    operator like Unix and you cannot redirect stderr to an output file)

3. Run background applications (like Tomcat 5 or GUI applications)
    without a DOS shell on Windows.

4. Eliminate maintainance of 2 sets of scripts (one set for Windows and
    one set for Unix).

 From the above list of features, you probably have noticed that the 
launcher does not add any new features for Unix platforms but really 
adds a lot of "fit and finish" to Tomcat on Windows.

So, I think the basic trade-off with using the launcher vs. scripts is 
that with the launcher you get a more native looking application on 
Windows at the price of losing the simplicity of scripts and adding one 
more dependency to the build.

My recommendation for the community would be to either use the launcher 
or use scripts and not try to accomodate both. I believe that keeping 
the old scripts *and* the launcher would cause a lot more maintenance 
and a more confusion among users.

If the community chooses not to use the launcher, feel free to remove it 
from the Tomcat 5 build and restore the old scripts.


Costin Manolache wrote:
> Patrick ( and all ),
> The 'launcher' is a very good idea - reducing the use of .bat/sh and
> having 'keepalive' functionality and a clean startup file are
> all great. 
> My only requirement is to keep the code clean and minimise dependencies.
> My understanding of the launcher is that it uses ant file to describe
> the paths, conditions, etc. I looked at the code in sandbox - and
> there are few issues ( many tasks that duplicate existing functionality
> in ant, etc ), and some should be contributed back to ant ( like the
> enhancements to Execute ). I support the idea - as long as tomcat 
> code is kept clean and this is optional.
> Right now we have a mess of launchers / entry points. 
> Costin
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Patrick Luby                     Email:
Sun Microsystems                         Phone: 408-276-7471
901 San Antonio Road, USCA14-303
Palo Alto, CA 94303-4900

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