Currently, the first request to the web app triggers getting the Freemarker Configuration, which causes it to be built for the first time.
Depending on circumstances, this might be a bit slow. It would be nice if when struts was coming up, it forced Freemarker initialization before it the server was declared ready to accept requests.
The way I hacked around this was to extend StrutsPrepareAndExecuteFilter so that in init(FilterConfig), I get the current FreemarkerManager, and call .getConfiguration(filterConfig.getServletContext()) on it.
As an aside, it was surprisingly difficult to get the Container to use to inject the FreemarkerManager instance in StrutsPrepareAndExecuteFilter. I'm guessing I'm just missing something.
I recognize not all struts apps are using freemarker, which is probably why it inits lazily, but it would be great to have an easy hook, and StrutsPrepareAndExecuteFilter is the obvious place since you have access to the ServletContext.