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From Marek Czernek <>
Subject Re: Documentation for Catalina Base
Date Tue, 31 Jul 2018 07:37:17 GMT
Hi Christopher,

thanks so much for finding the time to reply. Find my reasoning inline.

On 07/30/2018 06:25 PM, Christopher Schultz wrote:
> Hash: SHA256
> Marek,
> On 7/30/18 3:22 AM, Marek Czernek wrote:
>> Hi there,
>> recently, we noticed the lack of documentation for Catalina Base,
>> and I wanted to find out more about it. Other than a strangely
>> obscure txt file [1], I did not find the concept and usage of
>> Catalina Base documented in the Tomcat docs.
> Do you mean the CATALINA_BASE environment variable, which is copied
> into a running JVM as the "catalina.base" system property?
Yep, you got it.

<snipping to make this email a bit shorter>
>> 2) If not, is there any reason for it not being documented? While
>> I don't want to duplicate text, I do not consider a txt file
>> somewhere a sufficient docs.
> What, it needs to be in TeX, too?
:)) Joking aside though, documentation should say several things at the 
very least:

 1. What it is
 2. How to use it
 3. When to use it

All the documentation links you provided simply say that such variable 
exists and that you can use it to create multiple instances of Tomcat. 
So in the HTML docs, I'm missing information on:

1) How do you set it up

2) What exactly must be in catalina.base such that Tomcat actually 
starts (since if you point it to an empty directory, Tomcat fails to start)

3) What are the advantages of catalina.base, i.e. why does it exist. 
Saying that 'if you want to multiple instances of Tomcat, use 
catalina.base' is, in my mind, missing why you'd want to use 
catalina.base instead of simply copy-paste the whole tomcat directory as 
many times as you want. I mean, we want to foster good practices, don't we?

When we have beautiful HTML documentation that is deep and well-written, 
I wouldn't expect that users are suddenly required to read a  shell/bat 
script, or some txt file that they randomly found while googling, to get 
full information on catalina.base.

So I personally see two options here:

1) We can document it in the Tomcat upstream documentation

2) We can document it in our downstream documentation

(and you might say that the third option is don't document it at all, 
which I will raise internally and will see what would that yield - I'll 
take the recommendation of the community very seriously)

If the Tomcat community believes that catalina.base is, in fact, well 
documented, I'm of course OK with that; that's why I'm asking here.

What do you think? Do I make sense? :)


>> If the answer to both of my questions is no, we'll create a patch
>> against the Tomcat docs.
>> [1]
> Patches are always welcome, but I believe it is currently
> properly-documented.
> Is there something specific you were looking for and could not find?
> - -chris
> Comment: GPGTools -
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Marek Czernek

JWS/JBCS Associate Quality Engineer, RHCA

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