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From Matthew Sacks <>
Subject [PROPOSAL] Kitty to Enter the Incubator
Date Wed, 08 Sep 2010 00:29:32 GMT
Hello, Peary Chiu and myself would like to announce the Proposal for the Kitty, Production
Tomcat utility. Our proposal is as follows (we have also attached a PDF for convenience):

kitty, lightweight, Production-class Java application server performance diagnostic &
administration utility


A lightweight, production focused, Java-based application server performance diagnostic and
management utility


Provide a lightweight utility for managing Tomcat and Geronimo application servers with powerful
performance diagnostics and troubleshooting abilities primarily for supporting Tomcat in production/high
volume use.
(future) Provide support for all Java application servers


The answer is simple, there is not a lightweight, command line administration utility that
can be utilized across open source application servers. There are many utilities which have
been created such as jmxsh, but they do not solve the problem of having a lightweight administration
/ debugging client for troubleshooting these open source application servers such as Apache
Tomcat and Geronimo.


There needs to be a lightweight, administration client that targets production use based on
the experience of those administering Tomcat (and other open source Java application servers)
in high-volume, large scale production environments. Such an administration tool will help
further these open source application servers in production, large-installation grade implementations
and better support such “industrial-grade” use.

Initial Goals

kitty is an existing open source project, with two contributors. We would bring in more folks
with experience in managing high-volume production Web sites to contribute to the architecture
of the kitty project. Currently we have two committers both with high-volume, production Web
experience. We’d also leverage feedback from the community in this context and integrate
that into the utility to provide a truly powerful management and performance diagnostic utility
for Tomcat/Geronimo and other Java application servers.

We will add common diagnostic hooks into the application as a first step, for example, show
available memory, threading problems, JDBC, and Web application diagnostic hooks.

The application will run in script mode (future) for automation purposes, or interactive mode,
so it can be used for ad-hoc troubleshooting.

Supported Platforms
Apache Tomcat 6.0+

Future Support

Apache Geronimo
All other Java application servers

Known Risks

Currently the application is coded in Jython. Jython makes a suitable fit for many command-line
administration tools. We plan on creating a pure, Groovy-based port of kitty in the next few
weeks, primarily for ease of compilation to Java classes. 

We understand that developing this in Jython makes it faster to develop the utility, but increases
it’s complexity for compilation. We are in the process of converting the project to Groovy
to address this issue, within two weeks from the date of this proposal.

Initial Source

External Dependencies

Jython 2.5.1 


- README (Documentation)
- How Kitty was Born

Initial Committers

Matthew Sacks (
Peary Chiu (
Jim Jagielski (
Stuart Williams ( 

Required Resources
Website Space

Mailing Lists


Subversion Repository

Issue Tracking

Jira; project known as ‘kitty’


Matthew Sacks (self)
Peary Chiu (self, also employed by Edmunds Inc)
Jim Jagielski (ASF/ VMware)
Stuart Williams (VMware/ASF)


Jim Jagielski

Sponsors: Nominated Mentors

Jim Jagielski
Stuart Williams
Mark Thomas


Apache Incubator

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