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From David Jencks <david_jen...@yahoo.com>
Subject Mavenized tomcat build
Date Fri, 10 Jul 2009 22:26:30 GMT
I am well aware that the tomcat developers regard ant as the one true  
build system, so please note that I am not suggesting that tomcat  
adopt maven.  However I think it is just barely conceivable that other  
projects are facing the same sort of problems as geronimo and might  
find this mavenization technique useful or that the tomcat developers  
might want to address some of the difficulties I encountered.

Backgound...

More than two years ago the tomcat community accepted a proposal I  
made to make annotation processing more flexible and work better with  
the geronimo integration, and applied it to trunk.  I naively thought  
that this meant it would eventually get released in a 6.x tomcat.   
Since then geronimo has been shipping with patched tomcat jars that  
are based on a released tomcat 6.0.x version with the annotation  
processing changes patched in.  However our process for producing  
these jars broke and our method for distributing the jars creates a  
lot of problems with maven infrastructure.  The cleanest solution  
appears to be for geronimo to set up a maven build that produces the  
tomcat jars we need under a geronimo groupId.

Problem...

Geronimo needs a repeatable process for getting tomcat source code  
into a maven project preserving svn history so we can then apply  
patches and know what we are building.

Results....
I wrote a maven archetype to set up the basic structure of a mavenized  
tomcat build and a bunch of bash scripts to svn cp the tomcat source  
from a tag into this maven project framework.  The contents of the  
maven subprojects attempts to follow the contents of the jars shipped  
by tomcat, although this is not completely possible (see below).

Archetype:
source
https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/geronimo/external/trunk/tomcat-archetype
snapshot
https://repository.apache.org/content/repositories/snapshots/org/apache/geronimo/ext/tomcat/tomcat-parent-archetype/1.0-SNAPSHOT

Sample result projects, patched with what I think are the annotation  
handling changes:
https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/geronimo/external/trunk/tomcat-parent-6.0.18
https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/geronimo/external/trunk/tomcat-parent-6.0.20
snapshot
https://repository.apache.org/content/repositories/snapshots/org/apache/geronimo/ext/tomcat/

Difficulties...
One of the great features of an ant build such as that used by tomcat  
where all the classes are compiled at once and then distributed into  
jars is that the contents of the resulting jars can be completely  
randomized and have circular dependencies so that they all have to be  
loaded in the same classloader.  AFAICT Tomcat has taken full  
advantage of this impressive feature with the catalina and coyote  
jars; at any rate I couldn't figure out how to disentangle them.  So I  
combined them in the mavenized project.
:-)

well, seriously, you might want to look into fixing this in tomcat 7.   
I don't know of any practical way to enforce or check this other than  
using a maven like project layout whether you use maven, ant, ivy, or  
something else.  Maybe an ant expert can come up with something.

thanks
david jencks



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