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From Costin Manolache <>
Subject Re: Fedora "tomcat"
Date Mon, 17 May 2004 00:14:15 GMT
Remy Maucherat wrote:
>> It is very nice they are bundling java tools and tomcat - but I thing 
>> it is a big problem ( for tomcat developers, fedora users and  tomcat 
>> users ) that they distribute such a badly modified tomcat ( and call 
>> it tomcat)
> But for a daemon, which is often more complex and needs to be really 
> reliable, it would need more time to mature :(

People using Fedora and Tomcat 4.1.27 will not know that what they're 
using is an imature technology because of GCJ and because fedora messed 
up the layout of tomcat. They'll think it's tomcat that is a problem.

>> I don't think it's a RedHat or Fedora issue - they are probably trying 
>> to do what's best for their project ( fedora ). I don't know of they 
>> are intentionally trying to create "lockin" by having their own 
>> variation or just thing they know better how tomcat layout should look 
>> like - but the real question is if we should care about it and do 
>> anything about it.
>> I have no doubt that other distributions will follow RedHat example and
>> start to include their own layouts and changes - look at httpd example 
>> ( you can hardly find 2 distributions to place the conf or htdocs 
>> files in the same place ). Well, that's probably more rant for my 
>> weblog..
> Good point.
>> If the release manager could take this extra work and include an RPM - 
>> or at least we could point to Henri's RPMs - and then we could make it 
>> clear that if a distribution wants to bundle tomcat, they should use 
>> the official RPM or something that is equivalent in layout, file 
>> permission, scripts, etc.
> How hard would it be to automate it ?
> The problem is that the script must be run from Windows to generate the 
> installer.

Long back we had something part of the build.xml to generate both RPM 
and solaris PKG ( don't know if this was before or after having tomcat 
in apache ). It's not very hard - if you have cygwin I think it's doable 
even on windows.

The real hard part is agreeing on a layout and pushing for this to 
happen - i.e. making it clear in the web site that a distro that doesn't 
follow the layout shouldn't be used, and providing alternative RPMs for

Any standard layout is ok for me - I allways preffered the /opt model ( 
Apple is using something similar AFAIK for applications, so is windows), 
   but linux distros have this stupid FHS standard that allows them to 
put files in almost any place - but excludes /opt model.

I think any layout is good - as long as we can tell people "look in 
/etc/tomcat/" instead of "try to find where your 
distribution installed tomcat config files". Or "place your webapps 
files in /var/tomcat/webapps/XXX". Or write additional RPMs that install
different modules automatically.

>> Probably this can't be enforced ( we don't have any trademark on the 
>> name ), but we can at least mention somewhere that what they 
>> distribute is not actually tomcat. I see this as a fork using the same 
>> name as the original product.
> Yes, I think the ASF has very little control of the usage in most cases.

We do control the website and it can be used to inform people and 
distribute the "right thing". I know we give up control over the code 
and apparently the name ( I am not very sure how they call their 
modified version "tomcat", but I assume we have no trademark ).

Apache ( and many other open source projects ) don't seem to have the 
will or care about how their software is distributed or about the 
resulting fragmentation and support problems.

>> Sun does provide a RPM and .tgz that works on all distributions I 
>> tried. If the JDK itself can be made cross-distribution, I don't see 
>> why we couldn't have a binary package that could be installed on all 
>> distributions. I think there are even tools to convert from .rpm to 
>> .deb and .tgz - to support the other package formats.
> True, their stuff works on every distribution.
>> It is absurd to have one package for each variant using RPM, with 
>> different layouts and content.
> Indeed :(
> The issue has been around forever, which means that the vendors haven't 
> done much to solve the issue. And since all Linus cares about is the 
> kernel ;)
> (good thing some unifying has been going on in the UI department, 
> otherwise, I can't imagine the mess it would be ;) )

Linus cares about the kernel - we should care about tomcat :-)

On all distributions I know, the kernel is in /boot, modules in 
/lib/modules/VERSION, the start sequence is the same, etc.

But what you are saying is the essence of the problem and 
missunderstanding - the "vendor" for tomcat is ASF, not Fedora.
All commercial vendors I know distribute their own packages ( RPM or 
install shield or whatever ) - they don't let re-distributors sell a 
completely modified package with the same name as the original.
If security or stability problems are found - they'll be attributed to 
tomcat and apache.

People confuse what "vendor" means - it should be the author of the 
software, not agregators that take many packages and sell them togheter.


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