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From "Caldarale, Charles R" <>
Subject RE: Configure read/write-access in TomCat
Date Wed, 18 Aug 2010 19:59:39 GMT
> From: André Warnier []
> Subject: Re: Configure read/write-access in TomCat

> the process by which Tomcat, for each deplayed webapp, first reads 
> and "processes" the conf/web.xml, then reads and "processes" the 
> applications WEB-INF/web.xml, and then "merges" both according to
> some internal logic, is specific to Tomcat, and is NOT very well
> documented at present in the on-line documentation ?

I don't think I'd say it's not well documented, but the documentation is not sufficiently
detailed to cover all possibilities.

> Well actually I do.

I'm shocked :-)

> - I do not know enough of Tomcat and even Java to write 
> something coherent and correct

Java knowledge isn't required here.

> - I find the process of contributing Tomcat documentation 
> changes rather overwhelming, technically speaking.

I'd agree it's a bit obtuse for the first-timer.

> And whereabout would I find the original Tomcat code which does
> this, on the off-chance I might actually understand it enough to
> write something not totally wrong ?

I'd start here:


> Or, might the process better be described as :
> As Tomcat deploys each web application, it first installs 
> the default servlet and its associated web.xml descriptor 
> CATALINA_BASE/conf/web.xml for this web application, then
> it overrides this setup by any servlets and descriptor 
> (application/WEB-INF/web.xml) provided by the application
> itself (if any).  In case of overlapping or conflicting 
> settings, the web application specific settings have precedence.

The word "installs" is inappropriate, as is the focus on the default servlet.  There are several
servlets defined in conf/web.xml (the DefaultServlet being just one of them), along with quite
a bit of other tidbits such as welcome files and MIME mappings.  Deployment does not involve
"installing" servlets, but rather building name space maps to translate URLs into classes,
along with processing all the other junk in web.xml and the <Context> element.

 - Chuck

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