Tomcat 5.5.1 Release Highlights
One of the most significant changes to Tomcat 5.5.1 is not requiring the Sun JDK in this latest release. The Tomcat developers want to require only the JRE rather than Sun's full JDK, to make the latest release more distributable by resellers and system integrators.
This latest release of Tomcat has reduced internal startup times, especially when compared with application startup times. While the Tomcat team looks to independent benchmarking organizations and research firms to provide benchmarks for publication, their internal tests show increased performance. Specifically, past testing has shown that web applications take an inordinate amount of time to create connection pools and pre-cache data. By streamlining internal startup times, the Tomcat team streamlined the calling stack size and removed unused parameters.
Tomcat developers, including Yoav Shapira, mention the licensing difference as the primary reason for moving to the new Eclipse JDT Java compiler in Tomcat 5.5. One of the side benefits of making the change to the Eclipse compiler is the ease of switching between JDT and ANT compilers, or completing a plug-in of a code class that implements the one org.apache.jasper.compiler.Compiler class.
Tomcat will continue with their major numbering scheme and Tomcat 6 will be available when Servlet Specification version 2.5 is launched. The features of Tomcat 6 will largely be defined by the servlet specification's content. In addition to the servlet specification's work, the Tomcat development team will continue working on security and showstopper bugs. In fact, each developer on the Tomcat team works on his or her specific areas of interest, which makes for strong coverage of the development. If you're interested in sharing suggestions for improvements, join the mailing list.