[tor-dev] Question to Java developers: what are good frameworks for Tor's server-side Java applications

Noah Rahman selimthegrim at gmail.com
Tue May 20 20:21:30 UTC 2014

Hi Karsten,

A lot of people I respect seem to use Dropwizard for this sort of thing.


As for deployment on Debian (dunno if it's in the standard Debian universe)


Hope that helps


On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM, Karsten Loesing <karsten at torproject.org>wrote:

> Hello devs,
> I'm seeking advice from people with experience in writing server-side
> Java applications.
> Let me give you some background about this request: for the past five
> years, I have been developing server-side Java applications which all
> process large amounts of Tor directory data and provide their output via
> a web interface.
> Examples:
>  - The metrics data processor (metrics-db) fetches Tor descriptors from
> the Tor directory authorities, the bridge authority, etc., performs some
> sanity-checks, and provides descriptors by type as tarballs.  We're
> talking about roughly 7 GiB new bzip2-compressed data per month.
>  - The metrics website (metrics-web) uses the output from the metrics
> data processor, stuffs everything into a database, computes aggregates,
> and presents results in graphs and .csv files.
>  - The Onionoo service processes the same data from the metrics data
> processor, but provides statistics per Tor relay, not for the Tor
> network as a whole.  The processing is done every two hours and may take
> 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on how overloaded the server is.
>  - The ExoneraTor service, again, uses the same data and puts it in a
> database to answer whether a certain IP address has been a Tor relay at
> some point in the past.
> That's what is done.  And here's how it's done under the surface:
>  - There's one or more cronjobs, each of which starts an ant task to
> process data.  Some of these tasks import data into the database, others
> store results in the file system.
>  - Each application uses a web application deployed in Tomcat to provide
> results to web users.  Most things are written in servlets, some use JSPs.
> My problem is that this approach is rather fragile and difficult to
> setup for new volunteers.  I'm aware of that, and I'd like to improve it.
> My question is: what Java frameworks should I be looking at for the
> applications described above?  Bonus points if something is in Debian
> stable.
> Note that "switch to $some_other_programming_language" is not a very
> useful answer to me, at least not for the larger applications.  There's
> just too much existing code and not enough developer time to port it.
> Thanks in advance!
> All the best,
> Karsten
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