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Tomcat 6 Developer's Guide Paperback – December 15, 2009
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This book is the best and most complete tomcat analysis book I've read. It is for developers and sysadmins, and it gives both the high level and very detailed views of the system. It starts by taking you through building your own tomcat from source (using ant and eclipse) and extensively explains the servlet spec, JNDI and all parts of the container. It also unravels a very dark corner of java (which directly relates to web containers), the classloader, in a way which does make sense.
The book shows all the configuration details, in a pragmatic way. Some of the options and usage patterns are not that well written on the official tomcat documentation site.
While reading it I improved my tomcat configuration on production by reducing the memory footprint of the container. I also vastly improved my understanding on the servlet spec, web containers and tomcat itself so I had a chance to improve parts of my production code.
The book is very well written and the only disadvantage is that at some parts you feel like the author steps through the code describing it in English. Fortunately these parts are few and short.
All in all, the amount of knowledge this book gives is great and nowhere else to be found is such cohesive way.
The instructions for downloading the Tomcat source code and building it are very clear. It provides a specific branch you can checkout from the Tomcat Subversion server, which is the exact version of Tomcat that was used when writing the book. This allows you to follow along without worrying about dealing with differences between what you see in the code and what you see in the book. And it also includes instructions for getting the project properly configured with Eclipse.
The later chapters of the book go into a lot of detail about the various classes that make up the Tomcat source code, so be prepared for some serious code spelunking. Anyone who is interested in doing serious coding in the Tomcat codebase will gain a lot from these chapters.
I'd recommend this book to people who want to work on the Tomcat source code and need something to guide them through it. I'd also recommend the book to JavaEE developers who use Tomcat on a regular basis and who want to expand their knowledge.
Here is the port: [...]
While I was able to get the port to work without reading the book, I in fact read the book in parallel with the port. And in so doing I was able to acquire a deeper appreciation and understanding of Tomcat internals and how Tomcat actually works. The book is very well written, and the information is paid-out wisely to bring the reader along in their understanding.
The book is based on Tomcat 6, which is not the latest major version. But that really doesn't matter. The basics of Tomcat remain the same, and the reader can fill in specific Tomcat7 information by reading the source code. Is the book perfect? Probably not. But as a glass half full person, this book easily gets the reader to the requisite 80% mark in their understanding of Tomcat internals.
I recommend this book to any curious, serious developer of Java webapps that run on Tomcat. It's one of those book I expect to own for a long time, and is likely on the "loan with care" list so I don't lose track of who has it.