Web Server Thoughts

December 22nd, 2007

I like the idea of running numerous lightweight daemons behind a larger, multi-threaded server.

Other issues:

  • What's the best way to connect to a database? PHP?
  • Object persistence? Python WSGI? Larger object persistence.
  • Perform transformations, sort, etc. - XSL enabled browser?

Lightweight AJAX response handler? - POST of JSON?

Web Server

  • Authenticate mod_digest
  • Serve static files
  • Serve applications with built-in authentication (squirrelmail) over https
  • Serve data - php: db i/o, caching, xml, xsl transformations, etc. ; sessions
  • Receive POST data - need a good parser - php if no manipulation is required, python is the data being sent is a more sophisticated object
  • Manipulate data - python,superior object handling

Factors -

  • XSL Stylesheets are already static, don't need to download them over and over
  • The data is what is private
  • SQL would need to be adjusted for various amounts of data output

It is tempting to perform xsl transformations on the client side, but once there, what's the benefit? From the javascript perspective, the document it has access to is an HTML document, right? My guess is that by loading compressed XML, caching the XSL with an expires value, and caching the XML with a last-modified value, the performance would be sweet.

On the flip side, using javascript / ajax to update and manipulate browser content can be effective, but maybe a little messy. However, the user experience is nice, especially when only sending updates to the server, not downloading any new data.

So again to reiterate what I was saying before about the server, the client will user AJAX to POST data to the webserver, behind the scenes, yet use XSL and XML transformations to GET data from the server.

I would like to be able to create pages through both Javascript / AJAX actions, as well as through URIs.


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