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From Konstantin Kolinko <>
Subject Re: Welcome file list in web.xml treats index.jsp different from other filenames
Date Fri, 20 Apr 2012 18:56:45 GMT
2012/4/20 Christopher Schultz <>:
> To whom it may concern,
> On 4/14/12 3:37 PM, Net Dawg wrote:
>> To your question as to "what point merging algorithms are not
>> followed", please try this inside your application context and you will
>> probably see the same:
>>     <welcome-file-list>
>>      <welcome-file />
>>     </welcome-file-list>
>> This seems to tell Tomcat 7, in plain English, "there are no welcome
>> files, don't bother looking for them anywhere" ...
> You probably aren't getting a response because you didn't answer the
> question. Your opinion of how things should work isn't really relevant,
> here. Konstantin asked where Tomcat's behavior violates the servlet spec
> and you replied by telling him what you think ought to happen. That's
> not an answer, so you're being ignored.
> Can you find a place where your "seems to tell" scenario above is
> actually supported by language in the servlet specification? If so, tell
> us where. If the spec isn't clear on a subject, usually the safest thing
> to do is not change anything because users have become reliant on
> certain behavior. If and when the spec is clarified, a change will be made.

1. According to XSD, and as illustrated in Figure 14-9 on page #153
("175 of 230") of Servlet 3.0 Rev.a specification,  welcome-file-list
should contain at least one welcome-file element.

2. welcome-file type is xsd:string and said "contains file name to use
as a default welcome file".

So an empty string formally passes the XSD, but I nowhere see an
explicit saying on how to handle it.  It certainly is not a "file
name", but it passes the restriction of not having leading or trailing

The algorithm in ch. 10.10 may work with empty strings (running a
fruitless loop - looking for a resource that is already known to not
exist), but I am not sure that it is a well-defined behaviour.

I'd be nice to have this clarified from the specification team (elsewhere).

3. According to chapter 8.1.6 (page #64, 86/230) of the same spec,
welcome file list defaults to contain index.htm(l) and index.jsp.

Best regards,
Konstantin Kolinko

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