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From "David Bank" <DB...@DPI.STATE.NC.US>
Subject Tomcat intermittent failures
Date Tue, 09 Apr 2002 17:55:51 GMT
Good morning, afternoon, evening, or whichever local timeperiod you are
currently experiencing. I've just joined the list, seeking help on a
rather perplexing Tomcat problem we've been having. All assistance will
be greatly appreciated.

Our environment
Windows 2000 Server (sorry) with SP2 (we're moving to Linux, I
Apache v1.3.23
Tomcat v3.3a (running as a NT service)
Sun JDK 1.3.1_02

Our problem
Occasionally, especially after editing a JSP file or files, Tomcat will
suddenly fail to find the .java and .class files that go with a
particular JSP. Looking in the "work" directory reveals that the files
exist, but when we attempt to access that particular JSP thru Apache, we
get 404 - File Not Found. 

We have had some success in causing this problem to go away by shutting
down the Apache and Tomcat services, deleting the appropriate .java and
.class (and .ver) files, restarting the Tomcat and Apache services, and
hitting Reload on the browser. Sometimes (about 50% of the time) when we
do this, Tomcat suddenly "finds" the files and the JSP runs, new .java
and .class files are created, and we get the proper output. The
remaining 50% of the time, it falls to one of two happenstances. Either
(30%) we do the shutdown-services-and-delete routine followed by a
reboot and the problem goes away, or (20%) we keep retrying on different
clients until the problem suddenly vanishes.

This problem is intermittent. Sometimes we'll get it with FOO.JSP but
not BAR.JSP. We'll then take a corrective action (described above) and
suddenly we'll get it with BAR.JSP but not FOO.JSP. Both JSP files are
very similar, and there's nothing exotic about our coding. Sometimes the
problem goes away with some waiting.

This happens with both IE and Netscape clients, and with clients on
different networks and behind different firewall/proxy situations, so we
don't think that firewall, proxy or other network architecture issues
are contributing factors. This happens to clients on the same LAN as the

Needless to say, we're quite perplexed, and don't understand what is
going wrong. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please

David Bank
NC CATS Project Manager
Accountability Services - Testing
NC Department of Public Instruction
301  Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC  27601

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