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Apache Tomcat 5.5.25 weird server effects

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Hi. Let me immediately declare - I'm a designer/owner of a website written in jsp pages running under Apache Tomcat 5.5.25. I make simple changes to code but don't understand much about configuration. My site is a commercial site called and hosted by a third party who use cPanel and automatically download latest versions of Tomcat and Apache.

For about a week, several important bits of my site have stopped working in a fundamental way. As we have made no changes to the code whatsoever for several months, it must have something to do with the server (either the upgrade or something else they have changed). The support guys there are not very helpful, saying it must be our code.

I have tried to squeeze time from the wonderful Meena who wrote the site but she is very busy and couldn't suggest anything straight away so I thought I'd see if any of you guys can point me in the right direction. I think what I need is specific things to tell the server support people to look at.

We have a common header.jsp which is included in all our jsp's. This lives in the top level PUBLIC_HTML directory. It works fine when accessed by any jsp in the same directory using <%@ include file="header.jsp"%>.

Below this level, we have a folder called glossary which in turn contains a folder for each glossary item with a file "index.jsp" for the item. For instance, glossary item for "Turkish" is at These files all include the header from 2 levels up using <%@ include file="../../header.jsp"%>. This used to work perfectly but now produces the error: File "/Turkish/../../header.jsp" not found. Suddenly the code seems unable to parse the ../../ notation!

We tried changing the include for this format <jsp:include page="../../header.jsp"/>. This is live at the moment for the "Persian" glossary item (see front page of . This gives a different exception..
org.apache.jasper.JasperException: /Persian/index.jsp(3,0) The value for the useBean class attribute justins.rugs.ViewNodesUtil is invalid. ViewNodesUtil is a java component (unchanged for 2 years!) which delivers utilities for looking at our stock database which is held in an xml file.

Just in case this post jogs anyone's memory, I'll mention two other weird effects that have appeared at the same time. On our "KeywordSelect page", we get all our keywords by listing the contents of the glossary directory thus...
String[] allKeywords = searchBean.listDefaultKeyWords(application.getReal Path("/glossary"));
This used to bring them back in alphabetical order, now they arrive in apparently random order. Why would this happen?

The last thing is that our password protected admin page has also stopped working with the "The value for the useBean class attribute justins.rugs.ViewNodesUtil is invalid" error.

Can anybody suggest a cure, or a likely culprit, or just an approach to take? or even a more relevant forum or site where I can get help. I'll be very grateful!
Oct 23 '07 #1
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