OK, now it all makes sense. Thanks for opening my eyes. The comments in the 
.java file say it ALL.

 From: Konstantin Kolinko <knst.koli...@gmail.com>
To: Tomcat Users List <users@tomcat.apache.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:57 AM
Subject: Re: Strange compilation dates for JSPS
2013/2/12 Ray Holme <rayho...@yahoo.com>:
> While debugging a problem in Tomcat 7.0.35 (just upgraded), I noted OLD files 
> in the work/Catalina/localhost/APP/org/apache/jsp directory.
> I thought I had cleaned things out to make sure all was rebuilt. So I 
> manually stopped tomcat; manually cleaned the directory (rm -rf *); and 
> restarted.
> Lo and behold things were regenerated again (as expected) but the dates were 
> MOST peculiar.
> My system date is 2/12/2013 (today) but all the .java and .class files 
> generated show 2/28/2012.
> I have two questions:
>    WHY is this back-dated? (this seems counter productive and not helpful to 
>the user trying to figure things out)
>    HOW is this back-dated? (I don't even know how to back date a file myself 
>- I know "tar" does this but have never figured out how to do it)
>                (and yes I have been using Unix and Linux a long time)

Implemented in 7.0.17

You may read a comment at the top of generated *.java files there.

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