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From "Bill Barker" <>
Subject Re: Using auto-configure with Tomcat 6.0
Date Thu, 12 Jul 2007 01:45:28 GMT

"Johnny Kewl" <> wrote in message 
> Hi Bill almost missed your reply...
> I'm subscribed to so many mailing lists, my incoming mail is starting to 
> look like a flash animation...
> Briefly, yes... I am looking at it....
> or more accurately I'm struggling with a cool exciting concept....
> Goes something like this.... auto JK config maybe a "toy" as you say, but 
> besides JMX, it was one of the few things that presented a partial model 
> of TC to another system.... that concept I find very appealing.
> I'm thinking... ok, well JMX (via the internal mbeans registering 
> themselves), represents the live model of Tomcat.
> and.... JMX has effectively demoted XML configuration to something that 
> now really just represents the persisted static model of TC.

This isn't how Tomcat-Standalone works, but it easily could be.  I haven't 
looked at the JBoss code, but I understand that they use JMX to embed Tomcat 
from the persisted static setup.

> So if one wants to make helper tools... those tools need to be interfaced 
> with and aware of both the live and static models of TC.
> As a simple auto JK tool, its, as you say, a toy.... but now add JK load 
> balancing to it, and mod_proxy with the ability to perhaps even configure 
> HTTPd, then someone will go, gee thats cool, lets make it easy to 
> configure

Configuring httpd is something that has been talked about for mod_jk3 
(currently just being discussed, slowly on dev@tomcat).  You can read about 
it at, 
and of course you can offer any suggestions (aka patches) on dev@tomcat or 
BZ just like any other Tomcat document.

> SSO, and the realm, and hey lets add JNDI to that.... and then people are 
> going to scream for a JMX interface to this easy configurator....

There is the JMXProxy in /manager, JConsole, etc.

> .....thats how I'm thinking....but it raising all sorts of issues in my 
> mind....
> Like maybe the whole concept of core beans registering themselves with JMX 
> is wrong.... or maybe there has to be JMX for the expert TC developer and 
> a JMX for the admin dude.

The more-or-less abandoned /admin webapp was meant to be a JMX interface for 
the admin dude.  Unfortunately, it lost it's developers to GlassFish, and 
now is still too tied to the TC 4.1.x (where it originated) way of doing 
things to be of much use in TC 6.x.  IMHO, it would probably need a re-write 
to be accepted for TC 6.x.

> For example (I havnt tried it), but what happens to TC if you change the 
> connected port, or reset a Realm through JMX... its live, so just how 
> badly

Well, for the connected port, you would have to stop and start the Connector 
for it to take effect (possible via JMX).  I haven't looked recently at what 
the Realms expose, but mostly I would think that they would take effect 
immediately (i.e. on the next Request).

> would that screw up TC.... or will TC raise an exception and just ignore 
> you.... just how smart are the core beans?
> Now JMX through the "easy configurator" or "TC modeler".... would be 
> something different, if you change the JK load sharing, it would say 
> "configuration illegal", or "new configuration will become active on a TC 
> restart.... do you want to restart when user activity has ceased".
> It would become the model of TC that people see.... it would become a 
> "modeler".... and it would become a safe layer between the live TC and 
> what people are trying to make it do?

Again, the starting point would be to look at the /admin webapp, which tries 
to do just that.  Like auto-configure, it is a popular option with users 
that currently doesn't have much love in the dev@tomcat community :).

> Thats how confused I've managed to make myself.... I need to do more 
> homework on the idea... I'd like to try turn something that programmers 
> are now finding boring, into something very exciting.... hopefully ;)
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Bill Barker" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 3:26 AM
> Subject: Re: Using auto-configure with Tomcat 6.0
>> That would actually be a very valuable contribution.  One idea that I 
>> looked at awhile back is a class that does minimal parsing of server.xml 
>> to embed Tomcat (via JMX, it's soooo much easier), insert the Listener, 
>> and then start the contexts to get the file, and then stop.
>> Well, the way that I found out is people on this list compaining that 
>> their auto-conf files generate warnings on httpd 2.2.x :).  Personally, I 
>> lurk on dev@httpd, but this isn't for everyone.  Of course, to find out 
>> more, you just go to and check the documentation 
>> and/or changelog.  To add a new attribute to the ApacheConfig class (from 
>> server.xml), all you have to do is declare the public getter/setter 
>> methods in standard JavaBean style.  Most standard type conversions are 
>> supported by Digester (e.g. adding setApache22(boolean) would allow 
>> apache22="true" is server.xml).
>> I look forward to reviewing your patch.
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