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Re: FLOSS and servlets: recommendations

Sorry; my initial repsonse to this went to Andrew, and not the list.

Andrew Vaughan wrote:
Hi Jack

I'm have no experience running servlets, but I am using Java on Debian, and can make a stab at some of your questions.

On Sunday 06 August 2006 00:06, MrDemeanour wrote:
I'm running Sarge, and my system is using the "main" repository. My
preference is for Tomcat, but unless I'm much mistaken, Tomcat isn't there at all. What's the reason for this, and why is there no
 decent explanation in the Debian-Java FAQ?

In Sarge, Tomcat4 shipped in contrib. http://wiki.debian.org/Java/ShouldGoToMain states "Works with Kaffe 1.1.3 but need non-free JDK to compile (com.sun.* classes)"

I've seen that page; I couldn't find a timestamp on it, but it looked
old-ish. Anyway, Tomcat 4 is deprecated on the Apache site. Maintenance
now occurs on Tomcat 5. I'd prefer to revert to Tomcat 4 - I don't like
the new logging arrangements in Tomcat 5 - but 5 is where development is
happening, and I guess that any Tomcat appearance in Sarge/main is going
to be 5.

This build dependency on non-free software means Tomcat4 couldn't go
 to main, and had to go to contrib.

This appears to have been fixed with Tomcat5.  Tomcat5 is in main in
 Etch and Sid and Tomcat5.5 is in main in experimental.

OK, thanks. I'd like to stick with Sarge, but if I want to use
main/Tomcat, then I need a Sid or Etch system.

Is there some place I can keep up-to-date on what is going on with
Tomcat 5.5 in Etch?

I know how to install Sun Java and Tomcat on a Debian system; but as I say, I'm using only main, and I don't want to start bringing in non-free or contrib material, for reasons related to maintenance
 and stability, as well as to politics. So what is the best servlet
 container that is consistent with the use of the main repository?
 Why is there no comment on this in the Debian-Java FAQ?

Hopefully someone using java servlets can answer this one.

Yes. I think I understand why jserv might not appear, but I don't know
why Jetty is absent. Can Jetty also not be built using free tools? It
seems that Jetty is available as a commercial product, so I wonder if
Jetty is partially encumbered with licensing problems? Or build
problems, like Tomcat was, maybe?

I've seen only one page where there was a  comparison of Jetty and
Tomcat in terms of performance; Jetty came out worse, but I'm not really
sure that the benchmark was valid for the way I want to use the server.
And again, it's a coupla years old.

I know very little about Jetty, other that what appears on their website.

I doubt there was a license issue with Tomcat4.  Any such issue which
 disqualified tomcat4 from main, would have also disqualified tomcat4
from contrib. Packages with non-DFSG-free licences have to go to non-free.

Yeah, I think I understand this bit now.

If I can't build a FLOSS servlet server using Debian today, then I'll have to stick with Tomcat on Windows, until a fully-FLOSS servlet server is possible on Debian. But how come Fedora seem to be able to offer one, and Debian can't? [excuse my cluelessness] Is
 Fedora significantly less committed to Free-Libre than the Debian
 project? Is that the reason?

Most likely Fedora Core is shipping Tomcat5, which seems to have removed the references to com.sun classes. Fedora Core 5 released about 9 months after Sarge.

OK, that's a sufficient explanation. Thanks.

I'm still at a loss to understand why it's so hard to find pages on the
web that deal with the state of servlets on free operating systems, and
are also up-to-date. The impression I have is that people who run
servlets on Debian today don't really care too much about freeness. They
all seem to be using Sun runtimes. But I haven't been searching on
"Fedora servlets" - perhaps FC5 is the way to go. Seems a shame.

But I'd sooner do it with Debian/Sarge/main, even if that means I can't
use Tomcat. And I don't mind participating in a testing effort. It's not
a commercial project that I'm doing, after all.


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