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From Daniel Mikusa <>
Subject Re: How a script can determine latest version of Tomcat
Date Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:46:49 GMT
On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:48 PM, David P. Caldwell <> wrote:

> I have a small program that downloads and installs an arbitrary
> version of Tomcat, using the API provided by Apache to select the
> proper mirror, and so forth.
> The script currently takes the Tomcat version as an argument. My
> script provides a default (which in my case is the latest version of
> Tomcat 7), but I have to manually update that default whenever I
> notice a new version has been released.
> What would be the best way for the script itself to determine the
> latest available version? Obviously I would give points for "easy" and
> points for "robust," knowing that those two things might be in
> conflict.
> I can think of many horrifying ways to do it:
> * loop through integers starting with the last known version,
> attempting to download 7.0.x, until getting a 404
> * scraping and parsing the HTML at
>, which I expect is
> rather stable

I did this recently for Tomcat 8.  Here's the command I used, which works
on my Mac.

   LATEST_VERSION=$(curl -s | grep
"<h3 id=\"8.0." | xpath '/h3/text()' 2>/dev/null)

A slight variation works on Ubuntu if you install xpath.

   LATEST_VERSION=$(curl -s | grep
"<h3 id=\"8.0." | xpath -e '/h3/text()' 2>/dev/null)

I'm sure there are other ways to do it, this was just the first one I put
together that worked for me.


So my challenge isn't coming up with *a* way to do it, but coming up
> with the best way.
> Suggestions?
> -- David P. Caldwell
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