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From Thomas Treitlinger <>
Subject Re: Tomcat 5.5.23 request.getAttribute("foo") returns unexpected NULL
Date Mon, 23 Aug 2010 16:19:54 GMT
Hello Chris and Konstantin,

thanks for all your suggestions - we finally tracked down the issue,
and it turns out the root cause here was a flawed deployment process.

In order to preserve the application's context.xml file during
software upgrades, our service engineers stop Tomcat, then remove the
$TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/my-app folder and the my-app.war file. Then they
drop in the new war file and restart Tomcat.

What was missing here was to also remove the application's work folder
in $TOMCAT_HOME/work/Catalina/localhost/my-app, which contains all the
generated servlet code for JSPs. When we checked file stamps for the
faulty JSP, the generated files turned out to be much older than

So in brief... the JSP that was running was the wrong version, and the
'missing' attribute was never actually set by the JSP.

Nothing wrong with Tomcat 5 after all!

Thanks for your help guys,

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