I cant provide a solid answer on this, but I went to search google because I was curious about it to and on the 20th or so page of results, this link came back: http://www.isse.gmu.edu/~lili/642/Servlets.pdf IF you search that document for "serialized", it makes reference to if more service requests are recieved than the connection pool allows, then the requests are serialized (following this particular model). I dont know if this has any relevance to your question, but its an instance where servlet serialization is used..
I think i probably made that previous answer more complicated than it is... I think servlets are serialized so you can save their state in the destoy() method when it unloads.. and reload it in the init().
>>I think servlets are serialized so you can save their state in the destoy >>() method when it unloads.. and reload it in the init(). I thought that serialization is required only we are sending data (or information) to another machine because the references in the source machine may not make sense in the destination machine. But in the above case (unload and reload) the servlet exists on the same JVM. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
The abstract class javax.servlet.GenericServlet implements Serializable - presumably to allow for saving the state of a servlet instance under some circumstances. Of course for serialization to succeed, all instance variables would have to be serializable too. I have never heard of a circumstance in which this capability is actually used. Bill