That kind of question is more likely to get a fast answer in the Apache/Tomcat forum. However, in answer to your questions: "http:" is required to tell the server what protocol you will be using. Other common ones are "https:" (secure http) and "ftp:" (file transfer protocol). However, most web browsers will automatically assume/negotiate, so the user typing in a URL can skip that part. It IS however, good practice to include it in hyperlinks and other stuff you send out, as a matter of clarity and to avoid inexplicable errors if the assumption process goes wrong. Browsers also assume they will be talking to the user's TCP/IP port 80 when using the "http:" protocol. In Tomcat's server.xml file you'll find a way to specify port 80 instead of 8080. 8080 is a popular port for "testing" servers and such, as is 8008. So actually, if I type in "www.javaranch.com" to by browser's navbar, what is REALLY being processed is "http://www.javaranch.com:80/"
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