Archive for category Tricks

Deploy your app to the root context

This is an easy trick which I am sure most of you already know.

Let’s take a Java application called MyAddressBook. Its generated war file could be called myaddressbook.war.

By default, when you deploy this web application to Tomcat, the URL to access it will be http://localhost:8080/myaddressbook/. And if you point a domain name such as ‘’ to this server, the URL would be

I don’t know for you but I don’t like to systematically have the subfolder ‘myaddressbook’ after my domain. But maybe I am too picky! 😉

The idea is to deploy our application in the Tomcat root context.
You have two ways of doing this:

  • Define a ROOT.xml file in your conf/Catalina/localhost folder, or;
  • Rename your war file to ROOT.war.

Note that the case is important, it has to be ROOT in UPPERCASE! 🙂

Once this is done, you will be able to call your application via the URL http://localhost:8080/
or Way better! 😎

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Be careful of SKIP_COMMENTS

In the early days, we used to hide JavaScript code from old browsers that do not support JavaScript.
The way of doing this was to put a one-line HTML-style comment without the closing characters immediately after the opening <script> tag and put //--> at the end of the script.

For example:

<script type="text/javascript">

However if you are using this trick with the initialization parameter facelets.SKIP_COMMENTS set to true, the code between <!-- and //--> won’t even be sent to the client!
It simply means that the code above won’t open an alert window because it has been skipped during the page rendering.

Here is what the client will receive:

<script type="text/javascript">

You have two solutions to avoid this situation:

  1. Set the SKIP_COMMENTS parameter to false (the default is true). This can’t really hurt, your page will just be heavier depending on how much HTML comments you put on your page;
  2. No need to hide the JavaScript code as all browsers are now supporting it and over 99.9% of users have it enabled – this is the solution I chose.

For information, below is the code to put in your web.xml file to set the SKIP_COMMENTS parameter to false:


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