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From "Chris Brown" <>
Subject Re: Why unpackWars=true default?
Date Wed, 22 Jan 2003 08:32:50 GMT

To clarify, when I said I "consider" WARs as if they were EXEs, I mean that
in many cases I think it's good practice to have a WAR file that doesn't try
to modify itself internally (bit like having an EXE or whatever that
modifies its contents or self-modifying assembler code...).

Some webapps benefit from customisation, and are good candidates for
unpacking, others are best left as a single unit which store environment
settings externally.

My main gripe with the unpackWARs setting is that if WARs are unpacked, it
makes it more troublesome to upgrade, because a newer version of the WAR
file is ignored if any previous version has already been unpacked (until the
unpacked files are deleted).  If the WAR file is updated, it's *probably*
safe to assume that this was done voluntarily, and so any previous unpacked
version should be removed then replaced.

I don't really care if it's considered a deployment format or an executable
format ; whether it's unpacked on disk, in memory, or whatever is
irrelevant, as long as it works : it's up to the servlet engine to implement
this as it wants (given that JSPs need to be compiled, obviously something
needs to be created outside the WAR).

Having said that, if we're meant to deploy as unpacked files, why bother
with methods such as ServletContext.getResource() (when we could just use
getRealPath if we systematically unpacked these files) ?

- Chris

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "Tomcat Developers List" <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 1:31 AM
Subject: Re: Why unpackWars=true default?

> On Tue, Jan 21, 2003 at 09:14:29AM -0500, Shapira, Yoav wrote:
> > >consider the ".war" file like an ".exe" or executable JAR file.
> >
> > And I think this is where my interest comes from.  Your considerations
> > are exactly the opposite of Costin's (I think it was Costin anyways),
> > who considers the .war file a *deployment* format only, like an RPM or a
> > Windows Installer file, not to be run as an executable.
> I thought the raison d'etre of war's was acting like a single .exe.
> Or at least the default -- just as you're not expected to unpack jars.
> Matt

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