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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <>
Subject Re: Tomcat shared libraries
Date Sun, 08 Dec 2002 20:53:16 GMT

On Sun, 8 Dec 2002, Dave Ford wrote:

> Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 12:38:31 -0800
> From: Dave Ford <>
> Reply-To: Tomcat Users List <>
> To: Tomcat Users List <>
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Tomcat shared libraries
> > Now the problem is this: Tomcat doesn't use libraries from anywhere but
> > within its scope.
> Rick, I was reading your discussion with Craig McClanahan and I agree with
> you - that a web app should be able to access classes outside the tomcat
> folder. Copying class into catalina/shared for each build is a pain (even
> with ant). Symlinks won't work on windows. Why couldn't tomcat add an entry
> into server.xml, to point to extra class location? Orion has had this for a
> few years now.

Before Tomcat went to the current policy of ignoring the CLASSPATH
variable (i.e. Tomcat 3.2), class path editing and understanding problems
were the #2 most popular issue on TOMCAT-USER, because a very large
percentage of newbies had real problems with them.  (What's #1?  it
remains problems configuring the web server connector.)

The current policy is straightforward and easy to understand, and that
whole class of problems has basically vanished.  That tells me the choice
to be hard nosed was a good one.

> > * Mung around with the batch files and add the required directories to the
> > classpath for Tomcat.
> How exactly did you do this? What batch file?

The standard startup script ($CATALINA_HOME/bin/ or
$CATALINA_HOME/bin/catalina.bat) delegate to a separate script
( or setclasspath.bat) to set up the system CLASSPATh and
other related variables.  You can customize this as needed, but you're on
your own for figuring out class loader hierarchy problems, as well as
things like running out of environment space on Win98.

> Dave Ford


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