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From Mark Thomas <ma...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Problem on Tomcat 6.0.20
Date Wed, 03 Feb 2010 06:45:16 GMT
On 02/02/2010 22:57, Dan Armbrust wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 3:23 PM, Caldarale, Charles R
> <Chuck.Caldarale@unisys.com> wrote:
>>> From: Richard Sickler [mailto:richard.sickler@avagotech.com]
>>> Subject: Re: Problem on Tomcat 6.0.20
>>>
>>> I removed a file and a directory named WebApplication2, and that
>>> cleared up that problem.  On to the next undocumented feature!
>>
>> It's fully documented:
>>
>> Context elements may be explicitly defined:
>> ...
>>    * ... If the web application is packaged as a WAR then /META-INF/context.xml will
be copied to $CATALINA_BASE/conf/[enginename]/[hostname]/ and renamed to match the application's
context path. Once this file exists, it will not be replaced if a new WAR with a newer /META-INF/context.xml
is placed in the host's appBase.
>>
> 
> Documented, yes.  Astonishingly silly and surprising behaviour?  Also yes.
> 
> Good luck getting them to improve it.
> https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=45979
> https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=32284
> 
> Near as I can tell, this surprising and bizarre behaviour occurs
> because Remy likes it that way.
> 
> In my opinion, Tomcat should remember if it copied the file out of a
> war file... and if the war file is replaced, it should overwrite the
> file with the new file from the new war file.

There are two opposing opinions on what is the correct behaviour here.
That is one, the other is that if I want to edit the context.xml Tomcat
should a) make this easy so I don't have to muck about with the WAR and
b) not overwrite my changes.

> Is it trivial?  Not exactly, Tomcat would have to somehow keep track
> of if the file was manually modified or not... but really, it just
> needs to keep a hash of the file somewhere so it can check if the file
> has been changed since it put it there.

The simpler solution is just not to expand it. Tomcat doesn't need to
expand it to read it.

> I think Tomcat should also log a warning message when it doesn't copy
> a context.xml from a war file... because the developer has made a
> mistake at this point - someone manually changed one version, but
> didn't change the one in the war file.

That is a good idea for an enhancement. As ever, patches welcome.

> The current "design" leads to people having problems like you have -
> because beginning developers aren't (and really) shouldn't have to be
> aware of this nasty gotcha of Tomcat.

And overwriting an edited context.xml has similar gotchas.

One idea I have seen proposed in the past is to make the extraction of
context.xml configurable per host. That should be fairly simple. Again,
patches welcome.

I've added https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=48662 to
track these ideas. Feel free to add to that.

Mark

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