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From Christopher Schultz <ch...@christopherschultz.net>
Subject Re: TomcatCon @ ApacheCon
Date Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:13:46 GMT
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Coty,

On 1/19/17 12:57 PM, Coty Sutherland wrote:
>> How about this: submit a topic to the Call for Papers[1] and
>> choose "Panel Discussion" for the "Submission Type". If you can
>> get some other maintainers coordinated, you can choose to prepare
>> some slides (maybe 5 mins each) and/or come with some
>> conversation questions to get things started with a panel. Open
>> up to the audience as well. I suspect you'll get a good
>> conversation going. I'll certainly be there unless I must be
>> elsewhere.
> 
> That sounds good to me. I'll put something together and submit as
> soon as I can after checking with other maintainers to see if
> they're interested.
> 
>> I know that some of the APR and httpd folks are absolutely rabid
>> about not breaking backwards-compatibility. Perhaps we could
>> bring them into the discussion to hear some of the things that
>> they look for when maintaining compatibility.
> 
> That would be interesting. I'll try and chase up some of the 
> complaints that I've heard recently to see if I can bring them to
> the list and sort them out.
> 
>> That's a new major release of Tomcat, though. We ought to be able
>> to break whatever we want, there. I think complaints about lack
>> of backward-compatibility are unwarranted in this particular
>> case.
> 
> I'm not sure I agree with that (and I'm positive that other groups 
> don't because I've heard complaints). It's the same major version
> (8), just a minor version update so the general expectation is that
> there aren't any breaking changes. If we were talking about the
> difference between 8 and 9, then sure we can do whatever is
> necessary as long as things were properly deprecated, etc.

That's a reasonable position to take IMO, it's just not the position
that the Tomcat team took.

Tomcat 8.5.x is essentially like the Debian back-ports system for a
particular release. We were doing some great new things in Tomcat 9,
some that would require e.g. newer Java versions, but Tomcat 8.0 had a
documented Java-version requirement that we couldn't change.

Tomcat 9, by definition, exists to support an as-yet-unreleased
version of the Java Servlet Specification. So we can't release it,
yet. But there is a LOT of good stuff in there that we weren't
comfortable back-porting to Tomcat 8.0 for the reasons above.

The result was Tomcat 8.5 which is essentially the best of both
worlds. One could argue that Tomcat 9 should have become Tomcat 10 and
Tomcat 8.5 should have instead been Tomcat 9.0, but our
versioning-scheme has generally followed the Servlet-spec version, so
that Tomcat X+1 supports the spec version following the one that
Tomcat X supported.

It's important that the Tomcat team understands these outside
perspectives. We may have made a different decision given that kind of
input. I'm glad that more maintainers, etc. are becoming a part of
this community. I think it's going to improve things for everyone.

I'm looking forward to meeting you in Miami!

Thanks,
- -chris

> On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:30 PM, Christopher Schultz 
> <chris@christopherschultz.net> wrote: Coty,
> 
> On 1/11/17 12:24 PM, Coty Sutherland wrote:
>>>> On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 3:14 PM, Christopher Schultz 
>>>> <chris@christopherschultz.net> wrote:
>>>>> +1
>>>> 
>>>> I'm glad someone is interested :)
>>>> 
>>>>> Perhaps we could have some representatives from the
>>>>> various distributions give a joint presentation.
>>>> 
>>>> That would be great. I'd love to meet the other distro 
>>>> maintainers.
> 
> [snip]
> 
>>>>> I think it would be a good idea to use some of that time
>>>>> to solicit feedback from the audience about what the
>>>>> distros could do to make things easier...
>>>> 
>>>> +1, definitely. I will to do anything that we can to drive
>>>> adoption of tomcat up (distro-specific versions or ASF).
> 
> How about this: submit a topic to the Call for Papers[1] and
> choose "Panel Discussion" for the "Submission Type". If you can get
> some other maintainers coordinated, you can choose to prepare some
> slides (maybe 5 mins each) and/or come with some conversation
> questions to get things started with a panel. Open up to the
> audience as well. I suspect you'll get a good conversation going.
> I'll certainly be there unless I must be elsewhere.
> 
>>>> The biggest concern that I've heard from various of the
>>>> involved people (and may be a reason why other distros don't
>>>> consume updates as frequently) is that tomcat is not that
>>>> great at maintaining backwards compatibility;
> 
> Understood.
> 
>>>> I hear this complaint a lot and I get push back from packages
>>>> that have dependencies on tomcat when I do push our new
>>>> revision updates.
> 
> I know that some of the APR and httpd folks are absolutely rabid
> about not breaking backwards-compatibility. Perhaps we could bring
> them into the discussion to hear some of the things that they look
> for when maintaining compatibility. In the Java world, there is no 
> binary-compatibility, for instance, but API compatibility is of
> course essential.
> 
>>>> I don't have any specific examples that I can think of right
>>>> now other than the update from 8.0 to 8.5 removing BIO.
> 
> That's a new major release of Tomcat, though. We ought to be able
> to break whatever we want, there. I think complaints about lack of 
> backward-compatibility are unwarranted in this particular case.
> 
> For the most part, Tomcat devs tend to feel free to modify 
> completely-internal APIs as necessary, but will make an effort to 
> maintain backward-compatibility for semi-internal APIs. It might be
> a good exercise to identify which parts of Tomcat should be
> considered (publicly) stable and which parts are okay to modify. 
> Backward-compatibility is relatively easy in Java for certain
> things. Major refactorings usually don't happen in a
> point-release.
> 
> -chris
> 
> [1] 
> http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apachecon-north-america/progr
am
>
> 
/cfp
> 
> 
>> 
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