How can I initialize custom "application scope" objects for use in a Struts application?
One way would be to subclass the ActionServlet, to to initialize whatever application scope objects you might need. Just remember to call the super.init() method!
A better approach would be to write another servlet, and auto-load both the Struts controller and your own servlet through the web.xml file. The Example application does this to load a "database" servlet, which is then accessed throughout the application. This way you can initialize application-specific things through your specialized servlet, and leave the normal Struts controller servlet alone.