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My question is, does the J2EE or Servlet Spec address this issue? Is it not reasonable to assume that if the WAR works on one J2EE Server (assuming all proprietary configuration is performed) that it should work on all J2EE Servers? The EAR does work on Sun's Reference Implementation that comes with the J2EE SDK.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
assuming all proprietary configuration is performed
Your problem is a configuration issue not a spec. issue isn't it? A spec. compliant War by will run in any web container. OK there's always some confuguration to do but you anticipate that. The configuration you need here is to change Apache Http Server config stuff to direct the request for a static resource through to the Web Container, rather than trying to serve it itself, since its in the War rather than in a directory somewhere avaliable to the web server. Or alternatively remove the web server from the process.