ApacheCon North America is almost concluding, and my experience this year has not disappointed. It’s been great to be able to meet up with lots of other project committers. Many committers make the trek to ApacheCon wherever it is in the world and, given that we normally work together just via the project mailing lists, it has been great to be able to discuss current issues and new ideas face to face. Of course, all of these discussions will be making their way (if they aren't there already) to the Tomcat dev mailing list so the everyone in the community can participate.
Personally, I have spent a great deal of my time in presentations. I have spoken about progress on Tomcat 8, delivered another session on clustering and two on security covering vulnerabilities and security response at the ASF. As always, slides are available from http://people.apache.org/~markt and there should be video and audio recordings available as well at some point. Most sessions were reasonably well attended and the conversation and questions flowed after the presentations. Here are some of the questions and answers I found most interesting:
There has been some discussion on various forums and mailing lists about the End of Life for Java 6 and what it means for Apache Tomcat users. In response to these questions, we have put together this article that aims to summarize the key questions and give you some of the background and answers you need to plan how to best handle this transition in your deployments.
Here is a quick summary: If you want to run a supported version of Java—one with updates for bugs and security issues—then you will need to upgrade to Java 7. If this isn’t an option, you will have to purchase some form of support contract. Generally, upgrading to Java 7 will be the better long term option but the right decision for your business will depend on your circumstances.
For every Tomcat release, the formal build and testing is performed on the latest release of the minimum Java version required by the relevant specification. That means that the Tomcat 6 releases are built and tested with the latest Java 5 update and that the Tomcat 7 releases are built with the latest Java 6 update. There are also several continuous integration systems building and testing Tomcat with a variety of Java versions as well as all the local testing that the committers perform. In addition to all of this testing, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) runs a number of services on Apache Tomcat—again using a variety of Java versions including the ASF Jira instance that runs on Java 7 and Tomcat 7. While I can recall several issues with running Tomcat on older, unsupported Java versions, I cannot recall a single reported problem that was traced to running Tomcat on a newer version of Java. Running Tomcat 6 or Tomcat 7 on Java 7 is very low risk.