A multi-threaded, standards-based, freely available (but not open-source) web server for Unix (including Linux), from NaviSoft (who was bought out by AOL). Tcl APIs make it easy to write scripts that execute in-thread, so they're faster than CGI (but you can write CGI if you want), and it has good database bindings. Everything would be a good AOLserver project.

Philip Greenspun of Arsdigita (http://www.arsdigita.com) is a strong proponent of AOLserver (http://AOLserver.com). He went so far as to write a great introductory document on AOLserver at http://www.arsdigita.com/asj/aolserver/introduction-1.html

Arsdigita also provides a helluva lot of free code to be used with AOLserver in The ArsDigita Community System (ACS) and OpenACS. A lot of useful stuff right out of the tarball.

AOLserver is a excellent webserver that has sadly not advanced much since the mid- to late-90's. When it was released (as Naviserver) in 1995, AOLserver had the same core features it has today: an excellent threading model, an embedded language interpreter (Tcl), an extensive API, and a unified database interface with pooled connections. At the same time, NCSA HTTPD was king, and Apache was at 0.6.5 with almost none of its modern features and a freshman fork-on-request design. Depending on how you weight the feature set, one might say that Apache has reached AOLserver's level only by last year (threaded (2.0.x), has central caching, languages, mod_dbi for pooling, etc.) As for AOLserver, since 1995 more languages have been added, lots of performance improvements have been made, a templating engine was added, and the API has kept match with new web specifications, but nothing revolutionary has happened -- nothing that would, in the consumer market, warrant a major release number increment. It merely went from excellent to excellent as the years went by, and coders quietly built applications on top of it instead of revising its design again and again. Is this the future of programming? That we get something right and then leave it alone? Or is it merely an absence of vision?

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