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From dhalg...@bigfoot.com
Subject re: mod_webapp [LONG]
Date Mon, 08 Oct 2001 18:02:57 GMT
On 8 Oct 2001, at 17:52, Mike Dewhirst wrote: 

> > May I propose you get your facts straight on a single webpage
> > at the http://jakarta.apache.org website for all of the
> > combinations  

IMHO, while phrased somewhat confrontationally, this *would* seem 
a good  suggestion.  If indeed, these questions have been asked 
frequently, wouldn't  it behoove someone with access to add them to 
the Tomcat HOWTOs? I  would think the HOWTO docs that have 
already been completed would have  been much more difficult than 
this... 

> > Why should I waste my time digging through
> > your messy archives? 
 
Darn good question. 

> Becuase it's free and no one is forcing you to use it and 
> you should be greatful that several people have taken a lot
>  of their time to write a pretty descent piece of software. 

I think the reply, while making some valid points, misses the fact that 
if  someone who has access to Jakarta webpages/Tomcat pages 
went through  the "messy archives" once, then this thing could be 
laid to rest permanently,  and the effort wouldn't have to be 
duplicated by every single potential Tomcat  user on the planet. 

I don't think anyone would argue that some effort expended on 
extracting  whatever info is in the archives and putting it where it's 
supposed to be isn't  worth it. 

The question is, who *can* do so from a standpoint of  

a) having the subject matter expertise to be able to do so
    authoritatively, and  
b) who can make the changes to the website, and get new 
    information into a new "Apache - Tomcat HOWTO" page... 

for the record, this is the current FAQ Q/A - 

"What does apache need to work with Tomcat? "

"The question really should be the other way around. But this is all  
answered in the Tomcat installation file which you can find with in 
the  distributions of Tomcat. In other words, simply reading the 
installation  documents generally answer questions like this." 

This out-of-date entry is a snipe hunt...do you have any idea how 
much time  I wasted because of that?   

> And if it doesn't have an M$ style plug-n-play  
> click-and-don't-have-to-think interface I don't see 
> that as such a big problem. 

It's not if you are a developer who wants  to learn more about 
Apache and  Tomcat internals.  It is if you are a user who wants to 
*use* the software.   

I'm not meaning to flame, but I see this attitude a lot for some reason 
around  folks who use open-source stuff a lot.  It'd be a valid point if 
we were trying  to find tricky ways to encourage everyone to learn 
c/c++ programming and  design, the intricacies of makefiles, 
etc...but we simply aren't.  Users have  an app they want to use.  
That's it.  Adding further __unnecessary__ steps  to the learning 
curve does nothing except create friction between  
developers/maintainers and the user community, and reduce 
people's  interest.  I'm trying to learn servlet/web app development.  
I'm having to use a  lot of my spare time to do this, because I don't 
have a job that lets me do  learn on company time.    

I don't have the time to learn/dig/toil/beg/plead/pray for ways past a 
problem  as ....frustrating unnecessary as this....*everyone* using 
Tomcat with  Apache needs this info.   

I mean, I may not know how the Apache-tomcat 
communication/integration  is supposed to be set up, but I am fairly 
confident that someone who does  would have been able to write up 
a quick description of the process in less  time than it takes to send 
a short "you should be glad we're forcing you to  work through this 
mess on your own" message...once you count the number  of times 
that reply has been seen in one form or another on the list. 

Again, I'm not flaming, Or at least, I'm honestly trying not to.  
(frustration  may be clouding my judgement, i freely admit) I'm just 
suggesting that there  are  

a)   people, probably on this list or at least on the development team, 
      who could solve this doc problem in under 15 minutes of typing,
      and  
b)   those of us who need that information aren't going to be able to 
      guess the right answers, and  
c)   we frequently don't have the hours or days to spend looking for 
      where the answer to something like this is buried in list	archives 
      going back through months of message when we've got much 
      bigger, more serious learning challenges / development projects 
      to work on. 
d)  We aren't asking for something as complicated as instructions 
     on how to develop our apps....just how to get the software 
     installed properly. 

> Erm, can we stop here? I was just making a suggestion, 
> not starting a  flame war. Honest. 

While I agree that the whole conversation should and can easily be 
kept to a  civil tone, I think that stopping short of some much needed 
docs just leaves  the whole issue smoldering, ready to erupt again 
the moment another  desperate user trys subbing to this list, only to 
find that the question, "Are  there instructions on how to set this 
up?", has been asked before, and the  answer was "No, because we 
can't be bothered. And how dare you ask." 

I'd suggest that incomplete documentation will probably break/halt 
more  development projects than an infrequently encountered bug.  
The point being  of course, that instructions are always worthwhile... 

--Aaron 

ps -- and of course, just to re-iterate, I appreciate the efforts the 
developers  are putting into this...Jakarta in general and Tomcat in 
specific kick ass, I  simply *love* that something like Jakarta exists 
at all, ...and .if I could help,  or complete the documentation, believe 
me I would, but I can't - I *am* a  newbie to this...give me a few 
months...   : ) 

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