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From Martin Pool <>
Subject Re: HTTP + XML + SCP = HTTP/ng
Date Fri, 11 Feb 2000 05:44:43 GMT
On Thu, Feb 10, 2000 at 04:03:23PM -0800, Dean Gaudet wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Feb 2000, Martin Pool wrote:

> > Given the state of Java and HTTP today I wonder whether it would be
> > better to build a toolkit of Java classes for building HTTP servers,
> > rather than using AJP to plug into Apache.
> that's what i was advocating.

Certainly when I was active in JServ I think there was a feeling in
the back of our minds that ``we shouldn't do our own http handling
because we don't want to compete with the Apache httpd'', although of
course there were other reasons.  Most of those reasons have now gone
away; Java is more or less stable and fast enough to write the whole
web server in pure Java.

If we see Apache as a family of products then that concern goes away;
we can offer a configuration of JServ that talks to Apache and another
that runs standalone.  Depending on other factors -- what fraction of
the site is servlets, whether they need SSL, and so on -- people can
choose one or the other.

> > Where's Apache going to go in the future?  Is it going to be a single
> > big do-everything program, or a cluster of complementary projects?  
> i hope not, but unfortunately there's a little bit of momentum... i've
> made a couple attempts to suggest ways we could split it up.  but i don't
> have the energy to evangelise the topic.

From context I guess you mean you hope it won't be monolithic.  In
that case I'm with you.

> so one of the points i brought up earlier in the thread hasn't been
> addressed:  what problems are people trying to solve?

That's the question I'd really like to hear answered about CORBA
> aren't the php and java back-ends just content handlers today?  they don't
> even touch other API phases right?

As far as I know that is true, for both of them.

> - they require more code, which clobbers L1 cache efficiency (which i'm
> willing to bet will eliminate any perceived benefit you're hoping for by
> making things binary)

The other important point is that it makes them very difficult to
audit and secure.  There's a document somewhere that describes the
results of sending random data to commercial CORBA ORBs; almost all of
them fall over immediately.

> about the only extension to HTTP which i think we might want to consider
> is Simon Spero's SCP -- session control protocol.  (you can find a version
> of it named TMP used without credit in rfc2371).  SCP allows you to
> optimise front-end/back-end communications by multiplexing multiple
> streams into one tcp session... big performance boost from this.

JServ talked about using the W3C's MUX protocol to achieve a similar
thing in the httpd-jvm connection.  But honestly, why bother?

Poluting the higher-level protocol (http) with performance workarounds
for the lower-level protocol (tcp) seems pretty ugly.  Good
implementations of persistent connections seems more useful.

Martin Pool, Technical Support Engineer, Linuxcare, Inc.
+61 2 6262 8990,
Linuxcare. Support for the revolution.

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