Discussion:
virtual hosting options and a fantasy ....
(too old to reply)
Tim Moss
2003-03-04 22:20:53 UTC
Permalink
I get the feeling this thread might run for a while...
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 7:43 PM
Tomasz, et. al.
I can think of a dozen different ways (maybe not soo many) to implement
name based virtual hosting, and the choice really comes down to who you are
and what you are trying to do.


Yep, and I personally think that trying to get one 'product'/'application'
(whatever you want to call it) to do everything is starting to tread on
dangerous ground:

The danger being that an application that was once very good a few things,
gains the capability to do lots of other whizzy things but ends up doing
none of them particularly well.

I personally think that where possible it is best split functionality out by
server (or even machine) to allow them to be tuned to the n'th degree (both
at a code and configuration level) for the specific purpose they are built
for.
This also reduces the need for some of those crazy internal
interdependencies you hit which makes maintaining these systems a headache.

However separate processes clearly tend not to be as tightly integrated as a
single one - so there are of course, pros and cons of each.

The solution you go for is likely to be based on which of the various
considerations you mention is most important to you, and its unlikely (in
practice anyway) that they are all going to be of equal priority.


Also, don't forget that there are hardware appliances out there that perform
many of the functions you are discussing - it all depends to some extent on
how big (or rather full) you wallet is,


So:
(all, forgive me if I'm stating the obvious!)
Maybe you have and or want ....
1. One machine and many completely different websites run for completely
different users (requires high security isolation from server instance
to another)

As you suggest separate virtual machines gives you the isolation (security
often comes down to good practice and the detail of configuration)
2. One machine and machine completely different websites run for the same
user (security not as important)

AOLserver will do this with either name based virtual hosting or IP based
virtual hosting
3. One machine and many different websites but not completely independent
websites? (may want to share code, db, and some images)

Again AOLserver will do this for you (well certainly v4 from what I can
tell), with various ways to share code, db and files
4. Variations of 1-3 above but where you want high uptime for all servers
and don't want one coming down to affect others?

If you are serious about high uptime you want more than one machine to
reduce the effect of hardware failure.
To ensure that a site failing has the least effect separate processes for
each site seems to be a solution, but that doesn't stop for example one of
those processes turning rogue and consuming all the resources, rending the
other processes unusable....

According to the hype AOLserver is fast, efficient and reliable - I've yet
to put it into production so I can't yet verify whether this is the case or
not. ;-)
5. You're need to add/remove sites at runtime.
I don't think AOLserver (4) allows you to do this out of the box, but there
are C,Tcl and hybrid modules available that should.
6. You want high uptime and so you have more than one machine at maybe
more than one geographical location and you want all these to be running
the same dynamic website.

Again, there's more than one way to skin a cat. EdgeCaching, reverse proxy
caching, source based traffic routing etc. etc.
7. You want a reverse proxy to stitch together many independent
technologies (tomcat, jboss, aolserver,apache, zeus/nuke,snmp management,
bob's special little webserver) that each provide an html stream in their
own process all under the same port 80 url) (nsvhr does this well.)

I think there's room in this area for a whole suite of products to be born -
I've got a couple of ideas for one or two of them - just need the time and
the money to turn them into reality....
Okay, a baker's 1/2 dozen of reasons for virtual hosting.
There's probably at least as many that you haven't though of (don't get me
wrong not a criticism at all - but someone out there is bound to be putting
pretty much every permutation into practice)
Unless you need to share db or session information, or unless you have
very small machines, I don't see AOLserver as the best way to provide most
of these solutions. Though I've tried hard in the past to make it do so....

You have the upper hand on me here as I don't have the practical experience
of AOLserver that you do, but if it performs as well as is claimed then, as
you say, with the help of one or two well chosen friends it ought to be able
to do the job most admirably.

The question is do you really want to try and get AOLserver to do it all by
itself (without external help)?
But between SQUID and Apache as reverse proxies and the Linux Virtual
Server project, I think there are some great, almost industry standard ways
to provide a lot of virtual hosting solutions. And with that comes
documentation and books and developers that already grok this.

Completely agree, as mentioned above there are other hardware and software
load balancing, traffic directing, caching, port mapping appliances and
applications out there. Some are free others cost $$$$$s
Having said that, I've never used SQUID to do this, I've only done the
most rudimentary work with Apache.


I've not used SQUID myself either (I've used hardware based reverse proxy
caches instead CacheFlow, Nortel etc.)
My experience with Apache has completely put me off it for any serious use
(talking about version 1.x here not 2).
The multi-process design does not lend itself towards high traffic
performance, and whilst you can get it to do all sorts of weird and
wonderful things (great for hackers and developers etc.) in one installation
I came across just turning off the parsing for server side includes increase
performance by 600% - up to the level that the multi-threaded NES/iPlanet
gives you *with* SSI support.
And when I last checked on the LVS, it seemed wonderful, but I needed more
of a cookbook, more of a put together solution than what was provided then.

Always the problem with OpenSource in general, if you are lucky it will run
out of the box, but you then need to start configuring it, recompiling it to
enable the features you really want, which requires finding the whole tree
of packages and libraries it depends on, and so on.

Been through a certain amount of this recently with AOLserver itself on
WIN32 - thanks mainly to Jamie R and various web resources I've got there in
the end, but its certainly no 5 minute job.
My understanding of virtual hosting ala aolserver 4 is that it is like
Apache's -- many completely independent websites all with one single point
of failure.

You can share code and maybe (not sure of this, or whether its intentional!)
bits of the memory space.
Good for use of resources; maybe bad for uptime and maybe management.
Maybe bad for security too.
It seems as though Tomasz's option tries to provide for more complex
websites that may want to share data. That's good!
I think it's good to provide the Apache level -- It's good because Apache
does it and so it becomes a burden/faq not to provide it. But that maybe
the only reason.

I think its a common enough things to want to do - but we shouldn't get
blinkered and fooled into thinking this is the *only* way to approach the
problem - you may be better off in various circumstances turning off the
inbuilt vserver functionality, and using an external friendly process to do
that work for you. At least it is possible..
Or maybe my coffee is just too cold and bitter this morning. Like my
heart.

hehe - change your blend!
I think it's more interesting to provide for the ability to create more
interesting/sophisticated websites ala datasharing and reverse proxying and
the load and geographical scaling (6 & 7) above. (CS/Engineer speaking
now.)
More interesting, but does anyone need it? (mba speaking now) (btw if the
answer is yes and you have fund$ my email address is
***@theashergroup.com.)

me too! ;-) see above
I dunno (dominant (?) personality taking over once more)
I would love to know more (that means "get my hands in a gpl like way") of
how AOL itself provides for high uptime with their AOLserver instances.

Hear hear!
From my limited experience AOLserver is a very capable server, but for the
newbie (like me) once you've got it up and running, other than the OpenACS
(and my personal jury is still out on that one) there's a dearth of 'real'
code out there to play with, learn from, use in conjunction with the core
server.
What monitoring code, what reverse proxy code, what heartbeat code, what
restart code is around and might be useful by the community.
Or I would try to work with the Linux Virtual Server project.
Because that project apparently aims to be the industry standard (i.e. a
large user base, some commercial support across hw and docs) for
providing 6-7 in terms of
a) monitoring systems
b) heartbeats
c) restarts
d) failovers
e) reverse proxying at several levels, from the
Apache/SQUID/nsvhr-nssock method of just piping each byte through
an intermediate proxy, to a much more interesting and scalable
across many machines method of screwing around with the underlying
TCP packets' routing so that on a network wide basis,
webserver responses respond directly to the client browser and no
longer need to get piped back through the intermediate proxy.
(That's sort of like the nsunix trick, done through routing,
and so applicable to very large sites.)
What is the old saying about slicker than shit through a goose?
I mean, um, that's really cool. If it really works, I know, I just
know that we would all be walking around with groupies on our
elbows.
Kinda heavyweight though for the simpler scenarios you mention
I'd love to see various AOLserver modules, documentation, admin pages, dbs
set up to cooperate well with the Linux Virtual Server.

Well Tomasz and I had an off-list discussion about some of the excellent
ideals of his whole MiniACS project (not just the virtual hosting side of
it). I've still not had the time to take a detailed look at what he's done,
but it sounded great.

My angle was that the OpenACS has many widely required, and pretty widely
tested, mature chunks of Tcl code that would be useful to many AOLserver
users (certainly newbies wanting to quickly pull a site together). e.g. user
management, session management, API/Schema browsing, templating etc. etc.
However they might not, (I certainly didn't) without fully understanding it
want to take on the whole OpenACS framework to just get some of these fairly
standalone pieces as separate Tcl modules.

(PS. I've managed to grab the OpenACS session management stuff and get that
working by itself - its about 20 of their Tcl files with some pretty minor
changes - with a some cleaning up it could become a standalone Tcl module
for AOLserver)

Tomasz's angle was more or less the opposite, sort of, I forget now,
different anyway, but equally valid. Sorry it was a while ago!
No I remember, (T. correct me if I'm wrong!) MiniACS gives you an
OpenACS-like framework to build you application in, but is much simplified,
and also pulls in many of the operational functional features you need to
build/maintain high traffic/high availability sites e.g. virtual hosting,
integration with version control, site staging etc.
We'll never displace Apache,
Grrr, we ought to be able to! Who wants to use any language other than Tcl
anyway?!
but if we had a highly available, highly scalable server,
Uh oh! You mean we haven't?!
I think we could get some interesting press and projects coming our way.
what about $$? It would be nice if that came our way too (well my way
anyway!)





just my 2p'orth

regards,

Tim Moss
SiteSpeed Ltd
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Jerry Asher
2003-03-04 19:42:30 UTC
Permalink
Tomasz, et. al.

First, I've taken the gross impropriety of fwding this to the list
because there are folks there much more knowledgeable than me.

Second, this isn't particularly in response to your email, which
describes a useful virtual hosting option for AOLserver, but rather
describes why, today, I am reading about reverse proxies with Apache 2.0.

I can think of a dozen different ways (maybe not soo many) to implement
name based virtual hosting, and the choice really comes down to who you
are and what you are trying to do. Maybe you have and or want ....

1. One machine and many completely different websites run
for completely different users (requires high security
isolation from server instance to another)
2. One machine and machine completely different websites
run for the same user (security not as important)
3. One machine and many different websites but not completely
independent websites? (may want to share code, db, and
some images)
4. Variations of 1-3 above but where you want high uptime
for all servers and don't want one coming down to affect
others?
5. You're need to add/remove sites at runtime.

6. You want high uptime and so you have more than one
machine at maybe more than one geographical location and you
want all these to be running the same dynamic website.

7. You want a reverse proxy to stitch together many
independent technologies (tomcat, jboss, aolserver,
apache, zeus/nuke,
snmp management, bob's special little webserver)
that each provide an html stream in their own
process all under the same port 80 url)
(nsvhr does this well.)

Okay, a baker's 1/2 dozen of reasons for virtual hosting.

Unless you need to share db or session information, or unless you have
very small machines, I don't don't see AOLserver as the best way to
provide most of these solutions. Though I've tried hard in the past to
make it do so....

But between SQUID and Apache as reverse proxies and the Linux Virtual
Server project, I think there are some great, almost industry standard
ways to provide a lot of virtual hosting solutions. And with that comes
documentation and books and developers that already grok this.

Having said that, I've never used SQUID to do this, I've only done the
most rudimentary work with Apache. And when I last checked on the LVS,
it seemed wonderful, but I needed more of a cookbook, more of a put
together solution than what was provided then.

My version of nsvhr/nsunix was great for the speed and efficiencies and
the stability and the ability to manage virtual hosts at runtime, but
nsunix doesn't scale beyond one machine, and nsvhr doesn't allow
cooperating websites to share db/code/session information. So I'm
pretty much done with it. It did a great job at being a reverse
proxy and letting me stitch together aolservers, apaches, and
specialized little webservers. Fast and relatively stable (modulo
goddamned problems that IE's notion of TCP would introduce.)

My understanding of virtual hosting ala aolserver 4 is that it is like
Apache's -- many completely independent websites all with one single
point of failure. Good for use of resources; maybe bad for uptime and
maybe management. Maybe bad for security too.

It seems as thogh Tomasz's option tries to provide for more complex
websites that may want to share data. That's good!

I think it's good to provide the Apache level -- It's good because
Apache does it and so it becomes a burden/faq not to provide it. But
that maybe the only reason. Or maybe my coffee is just too cold and
bitter this morning. Like my heart.

I think it's more interesting to provide for the ability to create more
interesting/sophisticated websites ala datasharing and reverse proxying
and the load and geographical scaling (6 & 7) above. (CS/Engineer
speaking now.)

More interesting, but does anyone need it? (mba speaking now) (btw if
the answer is yes and you have fund$ my email address is
***@theashergroup.com.)

I dunno (dominant (?) personality taking over once more)

Fantasy time:

I would love to know more (that means "get my hands in a gpl like way")
of how AOL itself provides for high uptime with their AOLserver
instances. What monitoring code, what reverse proxy code, what
heartbeat code, what restart code is around and might be useful by the
community.

Failing that, if I had to do my nsvhr/nsunix work again, I would hope my
car would stall on the tracks and the Southern Pacific would help me out
right now. Or I would try to work with the Linux Virtual Server project.

Because that project apparently aims to be the industry standard (i.e. a
large user base, some commercial support across hw and docs) for
providing 6-7 in terms of
a) monitoring systems
b) heartbeats
c) restarts
d) failovers
e) reverse proxying at several levels, from the
Apache/SQUID/nsvhr-nssock method of just piping each byte through
an intermediate proxy, to a much more interesting and scalable
across many machines method of screwing around with the underlying
TCP packets' routing so that on a network wide basis,
webserver responses respond directly to the client browser and no
longer need to get piped back through the intermediate proxy.
(That's sort of like the nsunix trick, done through routing,
and so applicable to very large sites.)
What is the old saying about slicker than shit through a goose?
I mean, um, that's really cool. If it really works, I know, I just
know that we would all be walking around with groupies on our
elbows.

I'd love to see various AOLserver modules, documentation, admin pages,
dbs set up to cooperate well with the Linux Virtual Server. We'll never
displace Apache, but if we had a highly available, highly scalable
server, I think we could get some interesting press and projects coming
our way.


Jerry
You may take a look at my proposal to the virtual hosting solution. So far
this is only proposal and I dont't know if it would be incorporated into
core. I've got working copy of 3.5.1 with those patches, indeed I reviewed
them one more time and going to preprare a distro including them. You can
take a look at older AOLserver version that we use in production for over
a year (at http://miniacs.zjednoczenie.com/snapshot.html). I'm totaly
dedicated to have my modification included into core. Now they are kept as
separate patches which are applied to standard AOLserver distribution.
Yesterday I've fixed also additional modules to work with my proposal.
They expose new commands or options to handle AOLserver urlspace in single
server.
ns_register_filter ?-vserver vserver? when method url adp ?arg?
ns_register_proc ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url proc ?arg?
ns_register_adp ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url adp ?arg?
ns_register_proxy ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url proxyURL
?arg?
ns_url2file ?-vserver vserver? url
ns_url2file_map ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? url path ?arg?
ns_url2file_map ?-vserver vserver? url
ns_register_adp is already included in AS 4.x - it works like
ns_register_proc but for adp srcipts.
ns_register_proxy is to allow to proxy part of or whore urlspace to
another httpserver using nsvhr mechanisms. With ns_vserver command it is a
generalised nsvhr command implemented by Jerry Asher.
ns_url2file_* allows to file and handle directory aliases. It is based on
http://www.tcl.tk/man/aolserver3.0/c-app2.htm
You can map individual url to file with
ns_url2file_map -noinherit url file arg
or alias url prefix to directory with
ns_url2file_map urlprefix dir arg
With ns_url2file_arg url you can retrive the argument.
Of course these command are vserver-aware and accept -vserver switch.
--tkosiak
Here is response from Nathan Folkman appropos my
Thanks! I'll put it on the Core Team agenda for next week's meeting.
This week's meeting is already booked with bug scrubbing. I'll keep you
posted.
- Nathan
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 18:46:15 +0100 (CET)
From: Tomasz Kosiak
To: Nathan Folkman
Subject: vservers
I've got a implementation of virtual host support for AOLserver. When
compared with AS 4.x vservers it is complementary approach. It allows to
define separate filter/urlspace in one AS 4.x server. It means that tcl
code base and conn threads are shared in my approach.
Some time ago I've presented this to Jim Davidson. He has said that he
will present it to AOLserver Core Team. I wonder if you reveived my
proposal (copy is in attachement).
What do you think about it?
--tkosiak
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Edward Wilson
2003-03-05 15:15:37 UTC
Permalink
It concerns me seriously when virtual hosting was at
one time supported, then taken out, now being put back
in by the volunteer society. Once I implement a
solution, I need to know that certain necessary
features aren't going to go away leaving me without a
work-a-round.

Why would the AOL team think so selfishly by removing
virtual hosting? Do they not care that others rely on
their server?

--
ed


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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-05 15:51:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Wilson
Why would the AOL team think so selfishly by removing
virtual hosting? Do they not care that others rely on
their server?
You are quite passionate about this, aren't you? ;-) Although there was
virtual serving in 2.3, it was not hostname based. Personaly, I find that
instead of putting extra directives in one config file, moving them to
different config files and having some more lines in my start-up scripts
not really a big deal and certainly not something that significantly
breaks moving code from 2.3 to 3.0. The trade off is worth it considering
how much more lean and mean 3+ is! As an added bonus you get a completely
seperate environment!

I don't find AOL selfish at all for making any changes, they build a
kick-ass server for themselves and share it with the world, thank you very
much. They will not make application breaking changes because they are
their own major client and don't want to break their own apps. Looking at
the track record, maintaining almost 100% code compatibility from 1995 to
2003 (dispite architecture changes) is unheard of in the world of web
application servers!

Bas.

PS: You are perfectly welcome to still run 2.3 if you want to! ;-)



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Daniel P. Stasinski
2003-03-05 15:53:16 UTC
Permalink
I can't speak for AOL, but until the recent election of the core
team, I have never once looked at AOLserver as either "open
source" or something developed for *my* own needs. It was
designed specifically for the needs of AOL, period, yet they were
kind and generous enough to give it away for free with all source
code included. It was damned nice of them too. Thank you AOL!

With the core team in place, development emphasis is now based on
both the needs of AOL as well as those of the community. With
that, needed features are being re-implemented.

Daniel P. Stasinski
Software Engineer
Mayor Pharmaceutical Laboratories
***@mayorlabs.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Edward Wilson" <***@YAHOO.COM>
To: <***@LISTSERV.AOL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 8:15 AM
Subject: Re: [AOLSERVER] virtual hosting options and a fantasy
....


It concerns me seriously when virtual hosting was at
one time supported, then taken out, now being put back
in by the volunteer society. Once I implement a
solution, I need to know that certain necessary
features aren't going to go away leaving me without a
work-a-round.

Why would the AOL team think so selfishly by removing
virtual hosting? Do they not care that others rely on
their server?

--
ed

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Nathan Folkman
2003-03-05 16:08:33 UTC
Permalink
We're trying! ;-) Virtual server and Win32 support are two good
examples of our renewed commitment to trying to better balance internal
needs and requirements with those of the Community at large. It's not
always going to be perfect, and we won't always be able to satisfy
everyone, but we are committed to maintaining a more open dialogue with
everyone. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with us over the years, and
who continue to help us improve the server.

- Nathan
Post by Daniel P. Stasinski
With the core team in place, development emphasis is now based on
both the needs of AOL as well as those of the community. With
that, needed features are being re-implemented.
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Tomasz Kosiak
2003-03-10 11:38:41 UTC
Permalink
Few days ago there was a post from Jerry Asher titled "[AOLSERVER]
virtual hosting options and a fantasy ...." mentioning my proposals. I
would like to present them fully to the public.

Indeed I've got two AOLserver improvement proposals. They are based on
how we use AOLserver at Zjednoczenie.com, but are probably useful in
general. We will also provide our implementation for both proposals
which is in fact quite simple, because it utilizes mechanisms already
available in AOLserver C code.

I. Support for name-based url filters and handlers.

For certain applications it is essential to manage several different
url-spaces which are accessed by different DNS names (HTTP host
headers). Real life examples are our Content Management System (CMS)
manging many websites with different url-spaces or quite a few of
sites we've build that present different url-space with different DNS
name (co-branding).

In those application you have to be able to handle many different
url-spaces in one AOLserver 3.x series server (one collection of tcl
libraries, nsvs, db pools, etc.), not from separate servers what is
available in AOLserver 4.x series server.

Currently in one server you cannot register two filters or url handlers
under the same url pattern to handle request from different sources
identified for example by HTTP host header.

I propose to add ?-vserver vserver? switch to tcl procs managing url
filters and handlers, eg.

ns_register_filter ?-vserver vserver? when urlpattern proc ?arg?
ns_regster_proc ?-noinherit? ?-vserver? urlpattern proc ?arg?

It would allow to manage many url-spaces identified by vserver
string. Current implementation of urltrie in nsd/urlspace.c (data
structure to handle url-space) already allows to have many url-spaces
identified by server parameter value (vserver string).

Additional command ns_server has to be added to manage mappings from
HTTP host header to vserver string.

ns_vserver register VSERVER HOST ?HOST? ; # register host -> vserver mapping
ns_vserver unregister HOST ?HOST? ;# unregister host -< vserver mapping
ns_vserver get HOST ; # gets VSERVER for given HOST
ns_vserver delete ?-noinherit? VSERVER ; # unregister all hosts related to given VSERVER which is needed to delete the vserver
ns_vserver hosts ?-noinherit? VSERVER ; # list of registered hosts for given VSERVER
ns_vserver base VSERVER ; # get base vserver for given vserver

By using specially crafted vserver names it is very simple to
implement url-space inheritance, eg. vs11::vs1::server1 means that
vs11 inherits from vs1 which inherits from server1 and in opposite
server1 is base for vs1 which is base for vs11.

II. Enhanced url-space management API

When you try to re-use certain AOLserver application components in
many project you have to be able to map specific website url-space to
your fixed components file-system layout. This is the approach taken by
OpenACS and its packaging system. To achieve it OpenACS uses its own
request processor fully rewritten in TCL though there is full
internal support for virtual url-spaces (urltrie structure defined in
nsd/urlspace.c) in AOLserver. But there is also very limited API for
using it. I propose to define a few Tcl commands which will expose
this functionality.

ns_register_filter ?-vserver vserver? when method url adp ?arg?
ns_register_proc ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url proc ?arg?
ns_register_adp ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url adp ?arg?
ns_register_proxy ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url proxyURL ?arg?
ns_url2file ?-vserver vserver? url
ns_url2file_map ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? url path ?arg?
ns_url2file_arg ?-vserver vserver? url

ns_register_filter and ns_register_proc are already there and are
referenced for completeness

ns_register_adp works for adp like ns_register_proc for Tcl procs and
was already added to AOLserver 4.x series after my proposal some time
ago

ns_register_proxy is and interface to TCP proxying as implemented by
nsvhr module. It would allow to handle part of url-space by some
back-end. I disagree that there are already other solutions that do
that better. They do it really good indeed but they don't provide you
with the possibilities that gives you having that in AOLserver. For
example with ns_register_proxy command you can easily integrate IMP
webmail running on Apache under /webmail url subtree. By using
AOLserver filters you can implement single authorization for your
application and /webmail urlspace. Using Apache, Squid or LVS as a
front-end you cannot achieve it.

ns_url2file_* family allows to define directory and file mapping. For
example you can map url prefix to whole directory tree or map single
url to single file with -noinherit option. These command expose in Tcl
functionality of alias.c module described in old AOLserver C manual
available for example from
http://www.tcl.tk/man/aolserver3.0/c-app2.htm.

Those commands become very useful when used with ?-vserver vserver?
option described in my first proposal.

In my company Zjednoczenie.com we implemented both proposals for
AOLserver 3.5.1. The implementation only extends current Tcl API,
doesn't require changes to C API and adds no substantial overhead in
request processing. So I would be pleased if it would be incorporated
into the core.

Here are details about our implementation.

You get our implementation of those proposal from

http://miniacs.zjednoczenie.com/download/vserv2.tgz

This is AOLserver distribution prepared internally at Zjednoczenie.com

On RedHat Linux you can build it with (I've build it on other
Linuxes/Unixes but then it needs some tweaking):

tar xzf nsdz7.tgz
make prepare ; make

Our modifications are kept as patches that are applied to standard
AOLserver tarball during build process or separate modules. I will
describe them briefly:

* vserv-0.2:
vserv.patch - patch to AOLserver core enabling vservers
vserv.c - ns_vserver command implementation

To use vserver we will have to change Ns_UrlSpecificGet to
Ns_VServerUrlSpecificGet. They have the same API but the former
implements vserver inheritance. In few places we'll had to change
Ns_ConnServer to Ns_ConnVServer to get vserver instead of server from
the request. There is no change to C API, because we simply pass
vserver instead of server in may places. We could always get server
from vserver by simple string operations.

* nsvhr:
nsvhr.c.binary.patch - patch to allow binary file upload through nsvhr
nsvhr.c.patch - patch with ns_register_proxy command

* nsurl2file:
nsurl2file.c - based on alias.c, ns_url2file_map and ns_url2file_arg

* nsregisteradp:
nsregisteradp.c - implements ns_register_adp command for 3.x series
AOLserver, in 4.x series it is already included into the core

* as_location:
as_location.c - installs custom LocationProc essential for name-based
virtual hosting that returns location rather from HTTP host header
then from config file settings (works like Apache directive
UseCanonicalName Off described in
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/mod/core.html#usecanonicalname).

I've prepared a test cases for both proposals. After adding the
following

127.0.0.1 localhost hostA hostA1 hostA2 hostB hostC hostD

to you /etc/hosts you can run it by

make test

It is based on Tcl test framework and may be useful as a part of
general test case framework for AOLserver.

Presenting this proposal I would like to thank Piotr Szuca
<***@radix.com.pl> for doing vserver implementation, Damian Czupryn
<***@hotmail.com> for his work on quite a few AOLserver
enhancements and my colleges from Zjednoczenie.com for testing all of
this in real life applications.

I'm open to discussion about presented proposals and their
implementations.

Tomasz Kosiak
<***@zjednoczenie.com>



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Wojciech Kocjan
2003-03-10 12:21:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
Few days ago there was a post from Jerry Asher titled "[AOLSERVER]
virtual hosting options and a fantasy ...." mentioning my proposals. I
would like to present them fully to the public.
This indeed is a big problem, even bigger since from what I see every
company using AOLserver for multiple websites is using custom solutions.
I'll investigate your patches later and see what I think of those. For
now, here's my story :-)

I also came upon such problems, however I've decided not to patch the
core in any way (at least not for these problems :).

I've came up with a couple of solutions, that really make my life easier:

1/ virtualhosting (some of you may know my module called nssmartvh):

I've worked out some C code that calls Tcl for host->docroot conversion
(so that writing custom schemes is not hard at all).
This allows me to do simple mappings like:

www.mobile-netsport.pl -> /var/www/stable/mobile-netsport
www.dq-e.com -> /var/www/stable/dq-e

I've also done an external config file which holds all the rules of
host->docroot conversion.

This allows me to work on *.dqe/*.adp files and static files.

2/ custom urlspace and mod_rewrite like module

This one is coded in C, and works in two parts:
2.1/ url_rewrite:

This part allows me to rewrite paths to files (in url2file) based on uri
and host.

For example I can do this:
test.mobile-netsport.pl/ -> /var/www/stable/mobile-netsport/test.adp
test.mobile-netsport.pl/* -> /var/www/stable/mobile-netsport/*

2.2/ url_filter redirect

This one is the trickiest part. It allows me to redirect requests based
on host and uri:

For example for dq-e.com /test can be rewritten to /test/index.adp

It can also be used a substitute to 'index.php/1'-like urls.

2.3/ tcl_obj aware cache'ing

Since my company uses db caching extensively, I've decided to write
nscache-clone, which would allow storing lists in some tcl-neutral way
(similar to tsv in thread extension) so that it can be shared between
threads and not stored as a string.

It uses two-level cache - one global which stores data in a custom way
and thread-local caches which store data s Tcl_Objs with refcount=1
(Tcl_DecrRefCount() is done when an entry is flushed so it does not leak
memory).

2.4/ session support

C+Tcl code for storing sessions with built-in authentication and user
related code.

All of this is available at www.dq-e.com/nsdqe/nsdqe1.0.tar.gz



2.1 and 2.2 all consider the same problem as Tomasz mentioned -
AOLserver does not handle real vhosting well.

I agree that his improvements should be done - though I think they
should be done as other commands and work on domain groups - something
similar to tags in Tk's canvas/text.

I also think that some standard modules should be bundled with AOLserver
- session management, rewrites (those can be quite easily be written in
Tcl, but it all takes time :).

I also think that AOLserver should include some code to manage multiple
code bases - something between package require and modules/tcl/; a code
that can be "dropped" when idle to save memory.

--
WK
(written at Stardate 57189.5)

"Data typing is an illusion. Everything is a sequence of bytes."
-Todd Coram



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Tom Jackson
2003-03-10 18:25:04 UTC
Permalink
I like the additional exposed api's very much. However, the virtual
hosting changes to the core are unnecessary and don't have the entire
effect required for virtual hosting. The main problem is the virtual
hosting changes only adjust the filters, they don't affect the
pageroot, making the fastpath registered proc ineffective. Static
content therefore is not handled by this virtual hosting suggestion.

I just added the nsrewrite module to sourceforge cvs. This module is a
very small and simple extension module for AOLserver that doesn't muck
with the core at all. It provides the same functionality by changing the
request url. Once the request url is changed, the next registered filter
or proc in the chain fires on the new url. The documentation for
nsrewrite gives an example of a simple virtual hosting module: a few
lines of tcl code. Each virtual server gets a new pageroot and you can
easily register new filters or procs that only fire on one virtual server.

The code provided by Tomasz is actually very nice. Instead of using this
code to provide virtual hosting, it would be better to extract the newly
exposed tcl api and include those in AOLserver. Additionally it would be
nice to also expose the use of the trie data structures and api to tcl
so that this would be made generally useful to tcl applications.

--Tom Jackson
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
Few days ago there was a post from Jerry Asher titled "[AOLSERVER]
virtual hosting options and a fantasy ...." mentioning my proposals. I
would like to present them fully to the public.
Indeed I've got two AOLserver improvement proposals. They are based on
how we use AOLserver at Zjednoczenie.com, but are probably useful in
general. We will also provide our implementation for both proposals
which is in fact quite simple, because it utilizes mechanisms already
available in AOLserver C code.
I. Support for name-based url filters and handlers.
For certain applications it is essential to manage several different
url-spaces which are accessed by different DNS names (HTTP host
headers). Real life examples are our Content Management System (CMS)
manging many websites with different url-spaces or quite a few of
sites we've build that present different url-space with different DNS
name (co-branding).
In those application you have to be able to handle many different
url-spaces in one AOLserver 3.x series server (one collection of tcl
libraries, nsvs, db pools, etc.), not from separate servers what is
available in AOLserver 4.x series server.
Currently in one server you cannot register two filters or url handlers
under the same url pattern to handle request from different sources
identified for example by HTTP host header.
I propose to add ?-vserver vserver? switch to tcl procs managing url
filters and handlers, eg.
ns_register_filter ?-vserver vserver? when urlpattern proc ?arg?
ns_regster_proc ?-noinherit? ?-vserver? urlpattern proc ?arg?
It would allow to manage many url-spaces identified by vserver
string. Current implementation of urltrie in nsd/urlspace.c (data
structure to handle url-space) already allows to have many url-spaces
identified by server parameter value (vserver string).
Additional command ns_server has to be added to manage mappings from
HTTP host header to vserver string.
ns_vserver register VSERVER HOST ?HOST? ; # register host -> vserver mapping
ns_vserver unregister HOST ?HOST? ;# unregister host -< vserver mapping
ns_vserver get HOST ; # gets VSERVER for given HOST
ns_vserver delete ?-noinherit? VSERVER ; # unregister all hosts related to given VSERVER which is needed to delete the vserver
ns_vserver hosts ?-noinherit? VSERVER ; # list of registered hosts for given VSERVER
ns_vserver base VSERVER ; # get base vserver for given vserver
By using specially crafted vserver names it is very simple to
implement url-space inheritance, eg. vs11::vs1::server1 means that
vs11 inherits from vs1 which inherits from server1 and in opposite
server1 is base for vs1 which is base for vs11.
II. Enhanced url-space management API
When you try to re-use certain AOLserver application components in
many project you have to be able to map specific website url-space to
your fixed components file-system layout. This is the approach taken by
OpenACS and its packaging system. To achieve it OpenACS uses its own
request processor fully rewritten in TCL though there is full
internal support for virtual url-spaces (urltrie structure defined in
nsd/urlspace.c) in AOLserver. But there is also very limited API for
using it. I propose to define a few Tcl commands which will expose
this functionality.
ns_register_filter ?-vserver vserver? when method url adp ?arg?
ns_register_proc ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url proc ?arg?
ns_register_adp ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url adp ?arg?
ns_register_proxy ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? method url proxyURL ?arg?
ns_url2file ?-vserver vserver? url
ns_url2file_map ?-noinherit? ?-vserver vserver? url path ?arg?
ns_url2file_arg ?-vserver vserver? url
ns_register_filter and ns_register_proc are already there and are
referenced for completeness
ns_register_adp works for adp like ns_register_proc for Tcl procs and
was already added to AOLserver 4.x series after my proposal some time
ago
ns_register_proxy is and interface to TCP proxying as implemented by
nsvhr module. It would allow to handle part of url-space by some
back-end. I disagree that there are already other solutions that do
that better. They do it really good indeed but they don't provide you
with the possibilities that gives you having that in AOLserver. For
example with ns_register_proxy command you can easily integrate IMP
webmail running on Apache under /webmail url subtree. By using
AOLserver filters you can implement single authorization for your
application and /webmail urlspace. Using Apache, Squid or LVS as a
front-end you cannot achieve it.
ns_url2file_* family allows to define directory and file mapping. For
example you can map url prefix to whole directory tree or map single
url to single file with -noinherit option. These command expose in Tcl
functionality of alias.c module described in old AOLserver C manual
available for example from
http://www.tcl.tk/man/aolserver3.0/c-app2.htm.
Those commands become very useful when used with ?-vserver vserver?
option described in my first proposal.
In my company Zjednoczenie.com we implemented both proposals for
AOLserver 3.5.1. The implementation only extends current Tcl API,
doesn't require changes to C API and adds no substantial overhead in
request processing. So I would be pleased if it would be incorporated
into the core.
Here are details about our implementation.
You get our implementation of those proposal from
http://miniacs.zjednoczenie.com/download/vserv2.tgz
This is AOLserver distribution prepared internally at Zjednoczenie.com
On RedHat Linux you can build it with (I've build it on other
tar xzf nsdz7.tgz
make prepare ; make
Our modifications are kept as patches that are applied to standard
AOLserver tarball during build process or separate modules. I will
vserv.patch - patch to AOLserver core enabling vservers
vserv.c - ns_vserver command implementation
To use vserver we will have to change Ns_UrlSpecificGet to
Ns_VServerUrlSpecificGet. They have the same API but the former
implements vserver inheritance. In few places we'll had to change
Ns_ConnServer to Ns_ConnVServer to get vserver instead of server from
the request. There is no change to C API, because we simply pass
vserver instead of server in may places. We could always get server
from vserver by simple string operations.
nsvhr.c.binary.patch - patch to allow binary file upload through nsvhr
nsvhr.c.patch - patch with ns_register_proxy command
nsurl2file.c - based on alias.c, ns_url2file_map and ns_url2file_arg
nsregisteradp.c - implements ns_register_adp command for 3.x series
AOLserver, in 4.x series it is already included into the core
as_location.c - installs custom LocationProc essential for name-based
virtual hosting that returns location rather from HTTP host header
then from config file settings (works like Apache directive
UseCanonicalName Off described in
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/mod/core.html#usecanonicalname).
I've prepared a test cases for both proposals. After adding the
following
127.0.0.1 localhost hostA hostA1 hostA2 hostB hostC hostD
to you /etc/hosts you can run it by
make test
It is based on Tcl test framework and may be useful as a part of
general test case framework for AOLserver.
Presenting this proposal I would like to thank Piotr Szuca
enhancements and my colleges from Zjednoczenie.com for testing all of
this in real life applications.
I'm open to discussion about presented proposals and their
implementations.
Tomasz Kosiak
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Tomasz Kosiak
2003-03-11 15:50:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Jackson
I like the additional exposed api's very much. However, the virtual
hosting changes to the core are unnecessary and don't have the entire
effect required for virtual hosting. The main problem is the virtual
hosting changes only adjust the filters, they don't affect the
pageroot, making the fastpath registered proc ineffective. Static
content therefore is not handled by this virtual hosting suggestion.
Thta is not exactly true. They adjust both url filters and handlers
registered in urltrie. You can easily enhance fastpath registered proc to
take pageroot from arg given to registration and then you can serve static
content from virtual host pageroot. You can achive that and even more with
my second proposal, ns_url2file_map command which is vserver aware.

Anyway my proposal is not strictly virual hosting solution. It allows some
kind of virtual hosting - handling many urlspaces in one server. Very
often you may need virtual hosting as available in AOLserver 4.x which
gives you further separation. Both aproaches are complementary in my
opinion.
Post by Tom Jackson
I just added the nsrewrite module to sourceforge cvs. This module is a
very small and simple extension module for AOLserver that doesn't muck
with the core at all. It provides the same functionality by changing the
request url. Once the request url is changed, the next registered filter
or proc in the chain fires on the new url. The documentation for
nsrewrite gives an example of a simple virtual hosting module: a few
lines of tcl code. Each virtual server gets a new pageroot and you can
easily register new filters or procs that only fire on one virtual server.
But this doesn't solve problem of having no real pageroot. I've got
subdirectories in packages (like in OpenACS) that I would like to expose
at some URL prefixes. Fixed filesystem layout is essential for application
modularity and for code version control with CVS. I have no idea how to
manage it the other way.

--tkosiak



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Tom Jackson
2003-03-11 18:01:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
Thta is not exactly true. They adjust both url filters and handlers
registered in urltrie. You can easily enhance fastpath registered proc to
take pageroot from arg given to registration and then you can serve static
content from virtual host pageroot. You can achive that and even more with
my second proposal, ns_url2file_map command which is vserver aware.
I was speaking of the code I have seen, obviously you can write code to
handle static content. The fact is you can write code to do it without
mucking with the core. However, to adjust pageroot, you would need to
modify the core.
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
Anyway my proposal is not strictly virual hosting solution. It allows some
kind of virtual hosting - handling many urlspaces in one server.
Your code is good, I'm not questioning your solution. The issue with
virtual hosting is that any two developers will have two different well
thought out ways of providing virtual hosting. Making changes to how the
core works and changes to the core api (not additions to) is a very
heavy handed way of supporting a single virtual hosting solution.
AOLserver already fully supports virtual hosting using registered
filters and registered procs. The fact that you have to write a few
lines of code to tweak that support isn't very important.
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
But this doesn't solve problem of having no real pageroot. I've got
subdirectories in packages (like in OpenACS) that I would like to expose
at some URL prefixes. Fixed filesystem layout is essential for application
modularity and for code version control with CVS. I have no idea how to
manage it the other way.
I guess I don't understand what you can't do. What is the problem of 'no
real pageroot'? Since you mention OpenACS, I am guessing that you want
to maintain your code in modular packages and 'mount' those at multiple
places, creating a virtual filesystem. If that is what you are after,
just use the OpenACS rp filter, why modify the core code?

--Tom Jackson



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Tomasz Kosiak
2003-03-11 22:41:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Jackson
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
Thta is not exactly true. They adjust both url filters and handlers
registered in urltrie. You can easily enhance fastpath registered proc to
take pageroot from arg given to registration and then you can serve static
content from virtual host pageroot. You can achive that and even more with
my second proposal, ns_url2file_map command which is vserver aware.
I was speaking of the code I have seen, obviously you can write code to
handle static content.
It is already there in my proposal. Yoy can set new pageroot for any
vserver with somtehing like this:

ns_url2file_map -vserver vs1::server1 / /path/to/vs1/pageroot

The fact is you can write code to do it without
Post by Tom Jackson
mucking with the core. However, to adjust pageroot, you would need to
modify the core.
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
Anyway my proposal is not strictly virual hosting solution. It allows some
kind of virtual hosting - handling many urlspaces in one server.
Your code is good, I'm not questioning your solution. The issue with
virtual hosting is that any two developers will have two different well
thought out ways of providing virtual hosting. Making changes to how the
core works and changes to the core api (not additions to) is a very
heavy handed way of supporting a single virtual hosting solution.
I belive my proposal doesn't break any C or Tcl API so it is rather
addition not change to the core. I'm surprised myself that so much
functionality could be achived by so small changes. So that's why I
propose to include it in the core.
Post by Tom Jackson
AOLserver already fully supports virtual hosting using registered
filters and registered procs. The fact that you have to write a few
lines of code to tweak that support isn't very important.
Yes you *can* do it. But my proposal aims at doing it simpler and in more
standard way. Using registered procs you have to write your own
implementation for every type of request handler (like in OpenACS). But it
will be probably not as functional as the one proposed which already
exists in AOLserver core.
Post by Tom Jackson
Post by Tomasz Kosiak
But this doesn't solve problem of having no real pageroot. I've got
subdirectories in packages (like in OpenACS) that I would like to expose
at some URL prefixes. Fixed filesystem layout is essential for application
modularity and for code version control with CVS. I have no idea how to
manage it the other way.
I guess I don't understand what you can't do. What is the problem of 'no
real pageroot'?
I mean that with nsrewrite you can map from some url to the other url, but
you can't map to files outside of your pageroo. Or you have to define your
pageroot to include all package dirs which is not very wise in my opinion.

Since you mention OpenACS, I am guessing that you want
Post by Tom Jackson
to maintain your code in modular packages and 'mount' those at multiple
places, creating a virtual filesystem. If that is what you are after,
just use the OpenACS rp filter, why modify the core code?
OpenACS rp_filter is quite complex piece of TCL code. It duplicates
functionality of urltrie to handle URL space. I wonder if it would be ever
created if you have urltrie functinality from AOLserve core exposed in TCL
API. My proposal could be usefull for people not using OpenACS, who do not
want to maintain such complex code as rp_filter themself.

I'm glad we can discuss my proposal so it would be easier to decide
what to do with it.

--tkosiak



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Tom Jackson
2003-03-05 17:08:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Wilson
Why would the AOL team think so selfishly by removing
virtual hosting? Do they not care that others rely on
their server?
Nothing was lost in removing virtual hosting, except the difficulty of
mantaining
a single config file for all those hosts. Since each server takes up as
much memory
running separately as when combined, resources are not saved. This is
very different
from Apache which could easily run thousands of virtual hosts without
increasing
memory useage (since is spawned a new process for each request anyway).
With
the style of virtual hosting in the pre 3.0 series, any change to a
virtual server would require
a restart of the entire process, bringing down every virtual host in the
process. Since each
virtual server was initialized separately, the time to restart was
proportional to the number of
virtual servers.

I don't know what the current situation is with the new implimentation,
but if it is the same, I can't see
why it would be useful. I believe the config file problems are greatly
reduced.

In the mean time several users, including myself, developed virtual
hosting using registered filters. This proved
to be very efficient, even when written in tcl.

--Tom Jackson



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alfred
2003-03-05 17:30:08 UTC
Permalink
FWIW - I have one client with approximately 10,000 domains being served
from a single Aolserver instance. We point all the domains to a single IP
and use a filter to pull the right gobbledy-goo from the database. Seems
to work fine - Aolserver ~3.4...
Post by Tom Jackson
Post by Edward Wilson
Why would the AOL team think so selfishly by removing
virtual hosting? Do they not care that others rely on
their server?
Nothing was lost in removing virtual hosting, except the difficulty of
mantaining
a single config file for all those hosts. Since each server takes up as
much memory
running separately as when combined, resources are not saved. This is
very different
from Apache which could easily run thousands of virtual hosts without
increasing
memory useage (since is spawned a new process for each request anyway).
With
the style of virtual hosting in the pre 3.0 series, any change to a
virtual server would require
a restart of the entire process, bringing down every virtual host in the
process. Since each
virtual server was initialized separately, the time to restart was
proportional to the number of
virtual servers.
I don't know what the current situation is with the new implimentation,
but if it is the same, I can't see
why it would be useful. I believe the config file problems are greatly
reduced.
In the mean time several users, including myself, developed virtual
hosting using registered filters. This proved
to be very efficient, even when written in tcl.
--Tom Jackson
signoff aolserver
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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-06 09:39:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by alfred
FWIW - I have one client with approximately 10,000 domains being served
from a single Aolserver instance. We point all the domains to a single
Yeah, but I bet you don't let the individual users of each "virtual
server" write their own code to run, do you? :)

Bas.



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Larry W. Virden
2003-03-05 16:56:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Wilson
Once I implement a
solution, I need to know that certain necessary
features aren't going to go away leaving me without a
work-a-round.
You may want to investigate alternatives to getting free
software from a public server or cvs.

Some alternatives include:
1. purchasing a server - but then, you still don't have the certainty
that you require I guess.

2. purchasing support - then at least you could work with someone
to reimplement features that are missing

3. freeze at a particular version of the software that meets your
needs, and just live with bugs and without new features,
or even attempt to 'back port' fixes and features to your
frozen version yourself.

4. write your own server.

3 of the 4 can give you the assurances you need.
--
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Larry W. Virden <mailto:***@cas.org> <URL: http://www.purl.org/NET/lvirden/>
Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting should
be construed as representing my employer's opinions.
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Jeff Hobbs
2003-03-06 00:05:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry W. Virden
Post by Edward Wilson
Once I implement a
solution, I need to know that certain necessary
features aren't going to go away leaving me without a
work-a-round.
You may want to investigate alternatives to getting free
software from a public server or cvs.
And I would be glad to provide you full aolserver support with
customizations for the small sum of <raise_pinky>one meeeeellion
dollars</raise_pinky>. ;^)

Jeff



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Dossy
2003-03-06 01:07:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Hobbs
And I would be glad to provide you full aolserver support with
customizations for the small sum of <raise_pinky>one meeeeellion
dollars</raise_pinky>. ;^)
"Uh, sir, Vignette Corporation already makes a Tcl-enabled application
server for several million dollars already."

/me waits for the "<raisePinky>one HUNDRED meeeeelion
dollars</raisePinky>" response.

-- Dossy

--
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"He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)



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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-06 09:35:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dossy
"Uh, sir, Vignette Corporation already makes a Tcl-enabled application
server for several million dollars already."
Have you seen "V7"? As a complete surprise, it can do something pretty
much straight out of the box. Although, in true Vignette style, not very
good and not very usefull. However, there is NO Tcl support in their next
version anymore. So now they charge a pinky ammount for what is just a
simple J2EE application, which only runs on J2EE servers that you have to
pay another load on money for!

Here are some ideas to attract more CEOs, VPs of marketing and people with
an MBA in general to use AOLserver:
- Give them quotes on aolserver.com on how it increased their ROI by
reducing their TTM.
- Have an annual mass, tax deductible, brain-dead three day sales
presentation disguised as a politicaly correct technical and strategy
workshop and call it "AOLserver Attic"
- Say we support Java simply because we have figured out Tcl blend and
then load a different JVM for every thread. (though Vignette can not do
multithreaded Tcl, so they run a seperate daemon instead...)
- Support ASP by simply running IIS in the background and requesting any
.asp pages from it
- And most important off all: don't give any clues as to what is actualy
on offer untill we have actualy made the sale. Not willing to write off
the investment, they will keep paying their ever increasing license fees.

Bas "I made a lot of money creating sites in Vignette for companies that
didn't know any better" Scheffers. ;-)



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Dossy
2003-03-06 10:46:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bas Scheffers
Post by Dossy
"Uh, sir, Vignette Corporation already makes a Tcl-enabled application
server for several million dollars already."
Have you seen "V7"? As a complete surprise, it can do something pretty
much straight out of the box. Although, in true Vignette style, not very
good and not very usefull. However, there is NO Tcl support in their next
version anymore. So now they charge a pinky ammount for what is just a
simple J2EE application, which only runs on J2EE servers that you have to
pay another load on money for!
I hear so many different rumors, I've started to just ignore them all.

One rumor is that V/7 will have zero Tcl support at all. Another is
that the page generator will be implemented in Java but call out to a
Tcl interp. for any Tcl code (basically moving Tcl out of the core).
Another is that Tcl will stay where it is and there'll be better
multiplexing between Java/JSP and Tcl pages.

I'll believe it when I see it. If Vignette stays in business long
enough for V/7 to see the light of day, I'll be amazed. I'm waiting for
them to go tits-up so I can convince my organization to migrate our
large investment in Tcl code from Vignette to AOLserver. *evil grin*
Post by Bas Scheffers
- Have an annual mass, tax deductible, brain-dead three day sales
presentation disguised as a politicaly correct technical and strategy
workshop and call it "AOLserver Attic"
Hey, I'd /love/ an AOLserver conference if I could get my employer to
pay for me to attend it! :-)
Post by Bas Scheffers
Bas "I made a lot of money creating sites in Vignette for companies that
didn't know any better" Scheffers. ;-)
Rock on. I love Vignette. Developing sites in Vignette pays for my
car, my mortgage, feeds my family, etc. :-)

-- Dossy

--
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Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
"He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)



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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-06 10:54:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dossy
I hear so many different rumors, I've started to just ignore them all.
The documetation is actualy up on the support site. I read it, and not a
trace of Tcl anywhere. Completely different architecture and no IDE
anymore. The company I am at now had a "workshop" (I wasn't there) on
implementing V7. Interestingly enough, however, this was a PowerPoint
workshop, no sign of any software!
Post by Dossy
Hey, I'd /love/ an AOLserver conference if I could get my employer to
pay for me to attend it! :-)
But can it be somewhere other than Texas!? Although I went in 2000 to the
one in Phoenix, and stayed for another two weeks driving to the canyon,
vegas and ending up in Sanfran. Gotta love those conferences! ;-)

Bas.



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Dossy
2003-03-06 11:14:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bas Scheffers
Post by Dossy
I hear so many different rumors, I've started to just ignore them all.
The documetation is actualy up on the support site. I read it, and not a
trace of Tcl anywhere. Completely different architecture and no IDE
anymore. The company I am at now had a "workshop" (I wasn't there) on
implementing V7. Interestingly enough, however, this was a PowerPoint
workshop, no sign of any software!
This is funny because chatting with some VPS folks, they say "no, Tcl
support will be in V/7, it's just not clear how, yet."

Vaporware ...
Post by Bas Scheffers
Post by Dossy
Hey, I'd /love/ an AOLserver conference if I could get my employer to
pay for me to attend it! :-)
But can it be somewhere other than Texas!? Although I went in 2000 to the
one in Phoenix, and stayed for another two weeks driving to the canyon,
vegas and ending up in Sanfran. Gotta love those conferences! ;-)
I dunno, it was a great excuse to go to Texas -- if it weren't for
Vignette, I don't think I'd ever voluntarily visit Texas.

If we do a get-together, North Carolina's a good choice, I think. Cheap
airfare for me from New Jersey, and Hilton Head is supposed to be a nice
place to go.

-- Dossy

--
Dossy Shiobara mail: ***@panoptic.com
Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
"He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)



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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-06 11:24:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dossy
I dunno, it was a great excuse to go to Texas -- if it weren't for
Vignette, I don't think I'd ever voluntarily visit Texas.
Although I hear Austin is the most tolerable place there! ;-)
Post by Dossy
If we do a get-together, North Carolina's a good choice, I think. Cheap
I'll meet you there. last (and only) time I was there (in August '02) I
came down with mono and was stuck in a friend's place in Chapel Hill for a
week before paying through the nose to get back home instead of visiting
another friend in Charlotte, burning tons of film and going to a wedding
in Maine. Maybe I'll have more luck the second time around! ;-)

Bas.



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Peter M. Jansson
2003-03-06 15:21:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bas Scheffers
So now they charge a pinky ammount for what is just a
simple J2EE application, which only runs on J2EE servers that you have to
pay another load on money for!
When Java-bashing, we should keep in mind that JBoss is a J2EE server that'
s freely-available, which kinda kills the "pay another load of money"
argument, and it runs inside either Tomcat or Jetty, which are both free
(and maybe even Free).



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Dossy
2003-03-06 15:27:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter M. Jansson
Post by Bas Scheffers
So now they charge a pinky ammount for what is just a
simple J2EE application, which only runs on J2EE servers that you have to
pay another load on money for!
When Java-bashing, we should keep in mind that JBoss is a J2EE server that'
s freely-available, which kinda kills the "pay another load of money"
argument, and it runs inside either Tomcat or Jetty, which are both free
(and maybe even Free).
IIRC, Vignette's only going to support IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic.
Those licenses are far from cheap.

I could be wrong, though. Vignette might get smart and support JBoss or
Orion or Tomcat, but I'm doubtful.

-- Dossy

--
Dossy Shiobara mail: ***@panoptic.com
Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
"He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)



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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-06 15:29:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter M. Jansson
When Java-bashing, we should keep in mind that JBoss is a J2EE server
that' s freely-available, which kinda kills the "pay another load of
money" argument, and it runs inside either Tomcat or Jetty, which are
both free (and maybe even Free).
I am not bashing J2EE, it's a sound technology but, for the web overkill
most of the time, IMHO.

I work for a company with a J2EE product, we love Orion, probably the best
around. To make it more marketable, we want it to also work on other J2EE
server. Unfortunately, a lot was left open in the specifications and while
99.999% of the code is valid, deployment descriptors are not. In
Vignette's documentation, they only ever mentioned support for IBM and BEA
and that is where the "load of money" comment comes from.

It's rather silly that, considering that probably 90% of Vignette
customers run Oracle, they do not support the Oracle 9i J2EE server, for
which you do not need to pay anything extra. This server actualy is....
Orion! The only thing different from the default Orion seems to be the
example config for an Oracle database pool. You even start it with "java
-jar orion.jar"!

Bas.



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Dossy
2003-03-06 15:33:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bas Scheffers
It's rather silly that, considering that probably 90% of Vignette
customers run Oracle, they do not support the Oracle 9i J2EE server, for
which you do not need to pay anything extra. This server actualy is....
Orion! The only thing different from the default Orion seems to be the
example config for an Oracle database pool. You even start it with "java
-jar orion.jar"!
Oracle got smart ... didn't 8i and 9i's web admin interface just run
Apache Tomcat on a nonstandard port?

Oracle's forcing companies to use free and/or open source software
without knowing it! I love it.

-- Dossy

--
Dossy Shiobara mail: ***@panoptic.com
Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
"He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)



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Edward Wilson
2003-03-06 15:48:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dossy
Oracle got smart ... didn't 8i and 9i's web admin
interface just run
Apache Tomcat on a nonstandard port?
Not Tomcat, they bought a small European company that
made a light/fast servlet container. The next closest
substitute is Tomcat; but it's definitely not Tomcat.

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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-06 16:09:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Wilson
Not Tomcat, they bought a small European company that
made a light/fast servlet container. The next closest
substitute is Tomcat; but it's definitely not Tomcat.
They didn't buy the company (http://www.orionserver.com/), they just paid
them a shitload of money to allow them to include it with Oracle and
rebrand it. My company has the same deal with them, but that's not due to
millions, simply the fact that we (or rather one Java guru in our company)
has helped out so much debugging it. If you are wondering why they haven't
released any new versions/patches in a while, that is because 1) they are
taking a holiday on their Oracle millions and 2) it is just that damn
good! Although I suspect some changes will be comming to make good use of
Java 1.4's non-blocking I/O. (which Tcl has had for years, ofcourse!)

Bas.



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alfred
2003-03-06 16:49:43 UTC
Permalink
I assume this thread of conversation falls under the 'fantasy' part of the
subject line? Can we start a new thread please? J2EE or Vignette or Other
Technologies or something. This hasn't had anything to do with virtual
hosting for about 20 messages now :)



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Edward Wilson
2003-03-06 01:09:32 UTC
Permalink
Sorry, I didn't mean to offend the Aol server Team; I
do thank them for their generosity.

I misunderstood something I read--sorry once again.

Thank you everyone for not flaming me off-line.

Best wishes to all!

--
ed

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Larry W. Virden
2003-03-06 11:54:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dossy
Hey, I'd /love/ an AOLserver conference if I could get my employer to
pay for me to attend it! :-)
If the kind readers here wouldn't mind 'slumming' there's always
the Tenth Annual Tcl/Tk Conference <URL: http://mini.net/tcl/6274 > .
--
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Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting should
be construed as representing my employer's opinions.
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Dossy
2003-03-06 14:51:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry W. Virden
Post by Dossy
Hey, I'd /love/ an AOLserver conference if I could get my employer to
pay for me to attend it! :-)
If the kind readers here wouldn't mind 'slumming' there's always
the Tenth Annual Tcl/Tk Conference <URL: http://mini.net/tcl/6274 > .
Ann Arbor, Michigan? Argh. Not exactly my idea of a "hot summer
getaway destination" ... ;-)

Looks like I can get a flight from EWR to DTW on Continental for $265
round-trip, though. Northwest for $255 ... what's the discount that's
mentioned on the webpage: "Northwest will offer a discounted fare to
Tcl/Tk attendees."

-- Dossy

--
Dossy Shiobara mail: ***@panoptic.com
Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
"He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)



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madhusudhanarao sunkara
2003-03-06 17:57:03 UTC
Permalink
hi,
i guessed you are right they are talking something
diffenernt other than aolserver virtual hosting.
there is nothing to do with the discussion
Madhu Sudhanarao.S
Azri.biz
Subject: [AOLSERVER] Topic gripe .. was Re: [AOLSERVER] virtual hosting
options and a fantasy ....
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 11:49:43 -0500
I assume this thread of conversation falls under the 'fantasy' part of the
subject line? Can we start a new thread please? J2EE or Vignette or Other
Technologies or something. This hasn't had anything to do with virtual
hosting for about 20 messages now :)
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Karthik
2003-03-06 21:53:10 UTC
Permalink
Hello,
I have an AOL-Server running which loads an applet in a browser window aftter
the user types in the correct username and password . I use the AOL-Server
authentication module - which throws up the password window. I am not sure -
how to pass the username to my applet code. Any suggestions ?

This is the flow - I type in hostname:portnumber/xyz.html - AOL server throws
up the authentication window and I type in the username and password - click OK
and then my applet loads from xyz.html.

I need to pass the username that the user enters to my java code as an applet
parameter. How can I do it ?

-k



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Rob Mayoff
2003-03-06 22:04:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Karthik
I need to pass the username that the user enters to my java code as an applet
parameter. How can I do it ?
Instead of typing in "hostname:port/xyz.html", you should type in
"hostname:port/xyz.tcl". Make xyz.tcl a Tcl program that generates the
HTML that loads the applet. xyz.tcl can get the HTTP username using
[ns_conn authuser] and put it in a PARAM tag in the APPLET entity. For
example:

set username [ns_quotehtml [ns_conn authuser]]
ns_return 200 text/html "<html>
<head><title>My Applet</title></head>
<body>
<applet code='myapplet.class' width='400' height='300'>
<param name='username' value='$username'>

<!-- Alternate text for Java-deficient browsers. -->
Get Java, Loser!

</applet>
</body>
</html>"

In your applet, you can access that parameter using the getParameter
method of the Applet class.



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Alexander Leykekh
2003-03-07 15:52:02 UTC
Permalink
Just an FYI - the work is nearly complete on an JK2 family module for
AOLserver 4.0. Obe possible option in nsjk2 is to start Tomcat in-process
and be able to evaluate Tcl code from Java (e.g., can have an .adp include
in a .jsp). The module supports multiple virtual servers in AOLserver 4.0.

Regarding some of the points I saw in another thread:
-- having a JVM instance per-thread: serious application server with many
classes/servlets loaded will have prohibitive memory requirements.
-- small application server vs. full-featured one, like Tomcat -- the latter
has much better chance to adhere to standards should you need portability in
future, or decide to couple servlet-capable Web server with Java application
server.

Alex



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Bas Scheffers
2003-03-07 17:02:44 UTC
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Post by Alexander Leykekh
-- small application server vs. full-featured one, like Tomcat -- the
latter has much better chance to adhere to standards should you need
If everyone here chose (percieved) standards over good technology, non of
us would be here to begin with.
Post by Alexander Leykekh
portability in future, or decide to couple servlet-capable Web server
with Java application server.
If the J2EE server has a built in http server, that can be much more (and
is!) efficient then using a plugin. When you do not want to use a web
interface, don't use it and it sits idle, nothing lost.

That is not to say that I don't think a JK2 module for AOLserver is not a
good idea, it is a great idea. More and more enterprise back-ends will be
using J2EE and if AOLserver can interface with those, that is a greta
thing.
Post by Alexander Leykekh
Alex
signoff aolserver
http://listserv.aol.com/
http://www.aolserver.com/
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