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From Justyna Horwat <>
Subject Re: [BULK] - Re: what is catalina?..
Date Tue, 04 Feb 2003 02:29:08 GMT
I talked to the original Tomcat author, James Duncan Davidson, about the 
name choice. He gave me a surprising answer. Here's a bit of history...

Tomcat was born in response to the need for an independant servlet 
specification implementation. James wrote it hoping that it would 
eventually be open sourced. He figured that since most open source 
projects had O'reilly books about them that he should name it after an 
animal. Essentially he was thinking of an animal that would go on the 
cover of an O'reilly book. He came up with "Tomcat" since the animal 
represented something that could take care of itself and fend for 
itself. That's how he came up with the name.

I asked him about the jet fighter. James said that though the F-14 is 
his favorite fighter, the name is just a coincidence.

< >

Sean Dockery wrote:

>I would speculate that the Tomcat name is, as in, F-14 Tomcat...
>At a recent Sun Developer Days I attended, one of the presenters who was
>pumping the Sun ONE application framework talked about the framework's
>history.  Until the re-branding of the framework to Sun ONE blah blah blah,
>the framework was known as JATO--which stands for Java Assisted Take Off.
>That originated from the engineers who were enamored by the JATO
>acronym--which stands for Jet Assisted Take Off in USAF (and perhaps
>civilian airline) lingo.  The engineers felt that using the JATO framework
>would propel (pun) your project far ahead of your competitors.
>I wouldn't be surprised if the name Tomcat was similarly conceived from F-14
>This is mere speculation; only the original Tomcat authors know for sure.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Craig R. McClanahan []
>Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 16:56
>To: Tomcat Users List
>Subject: RE: [BULK] - Re: what is catalina?..
>On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Sankaranarayanan (Ganesh) Ganapathy wrote:
>>Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 10:50:20 -0800
>>From: "Sankaranarayanan (Ganesh) Ganapathy" <>
>>Reply-To: Tomcat Users List <>
>>To: Tomcat Users List <>
>>Subject: RE: [BULK] - Re: what is catalina?..
>>While on this topic - how did the name Tomcat come about?
>I'm afraid that one was before my time as well -- "tomcat" was Sun's
>internal code name for the servlet/JSP container before it was contributed
>to Apache, and I don't know what the history of the name was.
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