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From r..@ai.mit.edu (Robert S. Thau)
Subject Re: Server Side java support
Date Tue, 02 Jul 1996 00:56:49 GMT
  One thing that rst didn't mention is the Java support that comes
  with FastCGI.

You're right.  I didn't mention it ;-).  This certainly is something
to consider, particularly if it's possible (I don't know, but it would
certainly be good to look into) to write glue code to run Jeeves
"Servlets" inside a Java process which looks to the server proper like
ordinary FastCGI.  Then again, I didn't mention the desirability of
allowing the webmaster to choose the Security Manager which is used to
run the Servlets, either.  (Matt Gray, who's involved in running the
student web server here, would love this).

Another interesting piece of technology to look at is Java ORBs
(that's Object Request Brokers, which is Object Oriented
religious-speak for remote-procedure-call packages).  In this sort of
scenario, your Java objects would live in some address space of your
own, and the server would be directed to handle some requests by
invoking methods of those objects through RPC.

What's particularly interesting about this scenario is that you might
want the *same* objects to respond not just to web requests which got
filtered through the web server, but also to RPCs which came straight
from applets downloaded to the client.  In particular, this could
allow a Java object which monitors the status of some dynamic process
(stock market quote server, whatever) to both produce a static report,
for ordinary web clients, and a more snazzy dynamically updated display,
via cooperation with downloaded applets.

(In both this scenario and the FastCGI scenario, it wouldn't be
necessary for the server-side Java objects to live in the same address
space as the web server itself, which would make implementation
somewhat easier).

People interested in exploring these technologies might want to look
at the Sun specs for Remote Method Invocation and Object Serialization
(and their recently announced IDL alpha release, whose announcement
points to docs on the other two).

(Jigsaw has half of this, BTW --- everything that you can refer to by
a URL on a Jigsaw server *is* a persistent Java object --- there's
something called the "Object Factory" which actually builds objects
corresponding to files in the file system, to give you basic web
service functionality.  However, there is no way for a client to
invoke methods on them other than the by doing an HTTP request on the
server).

rst

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