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Why is Tomcat called Tomcat?

I'm doing an Apache httpd and Tomcat deployment course these two days, and I'm quite used to the "how come it's called Java" question but for some reason I've never been asked (and never had for find out) how the Apache Tomcat server got IT'S name. Until today.

Researching ...

Tomcat was given that name by James Duncan Davison, software architect at Sun. He hoped that Tomcat would be open source (and it now is) and wanted to choose an animal as the name to make it easy for O'Reilly when they published the inevitable book. (For those of you who are not familiar with O'Reilly, they put animals on their book covers). He came up with Tomcat as an animal that could take care of, and fend for, itself.



While researching, I've also come up with some other interesting history. I've know since I started with Java that it was previously known as "OaK" - Oak after an Oaktree that grew outside the office in which it was hatched up, to be supreceeded by "Java" since the programmers who wrote it drank a lot of coffee from that island. I hadn't known that even earlier it had been known as "D" - the next language to take over from "C" ... but that this name had been dropped because it looked like a rather poor grade on a school report card - "Could do better" - and indeed they did with the later names.
(written 2005-11-17, updated 2006-06-05)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
A651 - Web Application Deployment - Tomcat Overview
  [4434] Public training courses - upcoming dates - (2015-02-21)
  [3997] Servlet v JSP (Java Server Page). What is the difference? - (2013-02-06)
  [2753] You do not just fly - that is just part of the journey - (2010-05-06)
  [2186] An FAQ on the Apache httpd and Apache Tomcat web servers, and on using them together - (2009-05-17)
  [2077] Why put Apache httpd in front of Apache Tomcat - (2009-03-12)
  [2016] Apache httpd and Apache Tomcat miscellany - (2009-01-30)
  [1941] Server - Service - Engine - Host, Tomcat - (2008-12-14)
  [1771] More HowTo diagrams - MySQL, Tomcat and Java - (2008-08-24)
  [1265] Apache, Tomcat, Jakarta, httpd, web server - what are they? - (2007-07-13)
  [659] Web Application Components - (2006-03-28)
  [576] Why run two different web servers - (2006-01-25)
  [49] Business is the predominant user of Tomcat, Perl and Tcl - (2004-09-15)


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