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G-WAN, Another Free Web Server

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the dioing-it-in-a-hundred-k dept.

Software 217

mssmss writes "Has anyone used G-WAN — a free (as in beer), supposedly fast and scalable Web server? The downside is it supports only C scripts, which the author claims is a plus since most programmers know C anyway. There is currently only a Windows release and no clear answer in their FAQs whether there would be Linux/Solaris releases. As an interesting aside, releasing a Web server while at the same time fighting a losing battle (PDF) with a large bank over a piracy claim of $200 million (the bank is alleged to have done the piracy) is quite a feat."

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217 comments

Big Plus! (4, Insightful)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264300)

Yes, writing scripts in C is a great idea.

That's why no [perl.org] scripting [php.net] languages [python.org] were ever invented, and C is the natural [apache.org] choice [microsoft.com] for any web framework.

History is on the author's side here. He can't lose!

Re:Big Plus! (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264452)

Absolutely. What makes me especially excited about trying G-WAN is that whenever it crashes I'll have the extra fun of figuring out whether the reason it crashed was because my own C code crashed, or because the code in his web server crashed. But wait, there's more! Adding to this really enjoyable programming problem will be the extra challenge that comes with the fact that his code is closed source, so if the crash occurs inside his code, I'll be able to get in there with a debugger and spend an afternoon figuring out what happened and whether there's any way to change the data my code gives to his code so that his code won't crash crash. I can see many really enjoyable weekends ahead of me in my parents' basement, with a bowl of nachos and a liter jug of root beer. Good times!

Re:Big Plus! (4, Interesting)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265216)

Absolutely. What makes me especially excited about trying G-WAN is that whenever it crashes I'll have the extra fun of figuring out whether the reason it crashed was because my own C code crashed, or because the code in his web server crashed.

Finding where a program crashed is way easier than finding a logic error, and those can occur in any language. Actually, debugging crashes can lead to discovery of certain kinds of logic and/or runtime errors that would be difficult to find if your runtime environment is protecting you from ever seeing a crash (heaven forbid).

I'm as much a fan of high-level languages, nice runtime environments, and useful abstractions as anyone, but I also happen to think that C gets more flak than it deserves. I really think universities are doing their graduates a disservice by educating them in the safe, comfortable confines of Java if they don't also teach them C. In my own subjective experience, the most capable and successful programmers I know (in any environment) are also the ones who are very comfortable in environments without garbage collection and restricted memory access.

On the plus side ... (3, Insightful)

devloop (983641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265270)

Finally a platform with built-in buffer overflow support!

Let the exploits games begin!

Re:Big Plus! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264492)

Some of the most reliable and, surprisingly, cleanest web apps that I've worked with were written in pure C, as Apache modules. But this insurance company did have the money to hire real programmers, not just scripters and web designers.

Using C helped force the developers to avoid the extreme overarchitecturing that basically every Java- or ASP.NET-based web app suffers from. The code was simple, right to the point, and left very little room for bugs to creep in.

The system was also very fast, requiring just a single web/application server to support several thousand simultaneous users. The only reason multiple web servers were used was for failover purposes.

When I first joined them, after a number of years of using Java and Perl, I thought they were fucking nuts. But after working with them for a few years, I saw first-hand that they took the correct approach. Their web apps contained significantly fewer bugs than I would've expected from a similar-sized and similar-complexity web app written in Perl or Java. They also produced code far faster than would be expected, because they didn't get bogged down in design patterns and excessive architecture and all the crap like that we see from too many Java developers. Their web apps were damn fast, even without them bothering to tune them.

There's a place for using PHP, Perl, Python, Java, Ruby and C# for web development. It's when you want to throw some shitty web sites together really quickly, without much concern about maintainability or user experience, using the shittiest and cheapest Indian outsourcing firm you can find. Otherwise, it's a better idea to use a few talented programmers and C.

Re:Big Plus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264708)

The key is they hired real programmers. The "C experience required" weeded out the script kiddies and copy/pasters, but surely it would have been reliable and clean if they had used perl or java or something else. Ok, maybe not java.

A lot of web apps are primarily string processing and db interfacing; a scripting language is a more natural fit in that scenario.

Re:Big Plus! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30265070)

A lot of web apps are primarily string processing and db interfacing; a scripting language is a more natural fit in that scenario.

Scripting languages tend to be written in C. I've written my share of HTTP app servers as native code and some in scripting languages (one in C/lua a few years back -- fast). Frankly, the typical web stack is a rickety, cobbled together piece of shit! Web server, rewrite engine, scripting host, language framework, database abstraction library over an underlying database lib... It's often cleaner and leaner to write the entire app as a daemon which handles a subset of HTTP and then to reverse proxy.

I've been playing with Google's go language recently; even given it's current state, I'll not hesitate to state my preference for go over any scripting language for a web app.

Re:Big Plus! (3, Insightful)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264878)

Yes, your anecdotal evidence clearly suggests that scripting languages have a place as sub-standard languages to design a web-enabled application. Never mind all the professional Drupal developers. Or people that use Joomla. Yeah, platforms like those two are total wastes and it would have been infinitely wiser to write it as an Apache module.

I'm baffled that you point to using C as the root reason that your developers' code had less bugs. Speed I'll concede, but not bugs. Give your guys some credit. I'll bet them using C isn't why they write good code.

Re:Big Plus! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264980)

Anyone using or advocating the use of Drupal or Joomla cannot be considered a "professional" in any sense of the word.

Professionals care immensely about quality, reliability, security and safety. Both Drupal and Joomla fail horribly in such areas. Their code is poor, the language they're implemented in is poor, and thus anything built upon them will have many inherent problems.

We had one of these "professionals" come do some consulting for us. He suggested Drupal during a meeting. In response, I opened up a web browser, and found the changelogs for the most recent releases of the stable versions of PHP and Drupal. In front of management, I asked him to explain why stable versions (some of these stable releases were several years old, too) of the software he was recommending contained over 100 bug fixes. He couldn't provide a suitable answer, and thus management gave him the boot. And so we're not using Drupal.

Are you fucking kidding me? (4, Informative)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265058)

I asked him to explain why stable versions (some of these stable releases were several years old, too) of the software he was recommending contained over 100 bug fixes. He couldn't provide a suitable answer, and thus management gave him the boot. And so we're not using Drupal.

You are out of your mind. Bug fixes to a stable release is your metric of quality?

May I ask what OS you guys are using in your bug-free paradise? You know, the OS that doesn't need any bug fixes after release. That one. I'd like to go buy myself a copy because that sure sounds great.

Re:Big Plus! (2, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265162)

> software he was recommending contained over 100 bug fixes

So, did you guys replace windows, exchange, office with other products? Wait a minute...

Oops, my bad. You were talking about Joomla and Drupal. Somehow I did a mental s/Joomla/windows/g;s/Drupal/Office/g' in my head - subconsciously, I might add. And the whole time I was like - "Those bastards! The SP[123] and the freggin updates.windows.com" and not letting me shut down my computer without applying patches every other day (or so it seems)... But you're right. I googled a bit for a list of all the bugs for Windows and Office and couldn't find it. Occams Razor: there are none! That's professional! The Drupal/Joomla punks have the bugs listed on their OWN website!! How amateur!!

Re:Big Plus! (1, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264524)

Hey, look on the bright side: at least you don't have to write your scripts in asm.

Re:Big Plus! (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265012)

True, but damn - an ASM-only web server would be hella fast! (and hella boring).

Actually, no (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265098)

I did write a MASM interpreter once. Perhaps I was doing it wrong, but it was _not_ fast. What it was: an abomination with all the convenience of assembler combined with the speed of interpreted BASIC. It was an interesting intellectual exercise, and that's all.

If you want a superfast scripting web language, try APL. You could probably fit all the APL code ever written in your CPU cache.

Re:Big Plus! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264582)

Well, atleast for C you can get thousands of open source scripts and internet libraries to set up your website or help hack your own...... yup......

Re:Big Plus! (-1, Redundant)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264586)

Um, no, you're wrong. There's plenty of scripting languages (perl.org php.net and python.org , if you want info on just a few), and even for web frameworks, you've got stuff like apache as an alternative.

No matter what history says, I don't think there's as much on the author's side as you think.

Re:Big Plus! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264604)

Wooooooooooosh!

Re:Big Plus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264750)

The G-WAN author is the poster child for "premature optimization". Apparently nobody's told them that it doesn't matter if your site can handle 10000 req/s if it takes 10x longer to develop and has no users...

His example of how PHP isn't more concise could be equally well entitled, "How to write PHP with as much FAIL/loc as possible". The reimplementing of what should be library functions (atod, uceil) just adds to the heap of FAIL.

Finally, I particularly enjoyed the bit about how you might not want to trust "third-parties (compilers, operating systems and Certification Authorities)". If you think that the operating system and compiler vendors are out to get you, some serious professional help may be in order... Nevermind that you're also still trusting a hyperparanoid optimization freak from Switzerland who won't even show source code.

Yes, but... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264756)

...the thing about C is that libraries written in it are among the easiest for higher level languages to interface with. It's almost ironic in a way that C gives more freedom to those who refuse to it.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265002)

That isn't terribly true, Jython can use reflection to access any Java class, no messing about with shims or an FFI, and I think the situation on the .net CLR is about the same.

Re:Big Plus! (2, Interesting)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265116)

C scripts are not C, it's just a scripting language that looks like C. You can't actually import normal C libraries and if I recall (I've only used C scripts once) you can't do much in terms of memory operations. On top of that they are scripts, so if they screw up the parser will tell you where thing crashed. Please don't be so critical of something you don't understand, scripts with C like context are nothing new and there are a variety of advantages to using the same syntax between your actual code and your scripting language.

Also, the scripting languages you mentioned are either not easily embeddable or somewhat focused for certain purposes. You should realize simple scripting and embedded scripting can be very different things. Particularly scripting languages like Lua can prove to be quite incredible, offering extremely advanced features (like tables) while still remaining surprisingly quick. Depending on what you are doing Lua can actually allow less capable programmers to write surprisingly complex code to enhance your program - we used it about a half year ago and with our scripts you could get moving objects on the screen in 3 lines, interactivity in 7, and easily an entire interface in less than 100. There are also a variety of scripting languages for actual embedded (as in hardware) applications which focus on being fast and light, but are often equally light on advanced features. I'd like to see you get python running capably on an 8-bit MicroController, or php doing something useful on one....

Re:Big Plus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30265234)

Oh great, you can't import real C libraries. So you get the all the annoyances of writing in C, while losing the platform flexibility and the availability of powerful external libraries. Wow, sign me up! While your at it, can you get me a spot in your "slamming your dick in a car door for fun and profit" workshop?

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264306)

Why would you need this web server? What niche does it fill that Apache cannot?

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264330)

It ups the difficulty level, allowing you to more easily grind on your way towards Web Master III.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264346)

I wondered the same thing, then I remembered the plethora (yes plethora) of Linux distributions - most of which (for all practical matters) do the same thing (yes, some focus on small size - others focus on usability, some use Debian style packages, some use Red Hat, and Gentoo you compile yourself, some are 'damn small' while others are knoppix, yada yada yada). Yet these seem to flourish and folks seem to have a need for more than one. So maybe there is some need (or at least some desire) to have YAWS (Yet Another Web Server). A bit tongue in cheek - but perhaps there is a reason - or maybe he just wants to start with a smaller project where he can more easily understand all the code?

Re:Why? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264518)

Yea but most of those linux distros are just identical code, and many of them persist only because of user behavior and usage patterns that people don't want to change. It's preference more than anything at this point. I like the way Debian does things, so i use that frequently. Others like the way Redhat does things, etc.

This web server is substantially different from all the others, apparently closed source and quite limited from the sound of the summary (which, like TFA, i barely read). This is more like shifting from Linux to another operating system than switching between distros.

Re:Why? (1)

vivian (156520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265020)

This web server apparently has much better performance and scalability - so it can do the same job while using much less power. The article does explain all that pretty well if you care to read it.

Value? (4, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264320)

Where's the value/point in releasing another limited-utility webserver?

I see the point in having a few options for a particular category, so that you can choose between different optimizations for things like cost, performance, and compatibility. But why something of limited utility (only runs C scripts) compatibility (only runs on 'doze) AND cost? (not OSS, but it's free!)

I don't know. Even with a fairly "heavy" web server such as Apache, the performance increases by going with another "lighter" platform seldom represent more than a year or so of hardware advance.

So.... Why?

Re:Value? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264408)

So.... Why?

afaik, the main reason for giving it away for free is: its author needs much traffic on his site, in order to hide some very secret traffic happening there.

hard to believe, but this is what he pretends!

so, please, download it, even if you don't plan to use it :-)

Re:Value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264456)

Security.

As long as there are no gaping holes, the probability that anyone will bother to work out an exploit for this is pretty much nil.

Re:Value? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264482)

Only if it does something of value.

I recall a very lightweight web server that some large outfit uses to serve up images. That's it. only images. Apparently it made things speed up significantly.

I don't see G-WAN being anything special, though.

The real question... (5, Insightful)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264614)

So the guy wants to write a web server to scratch an itch or something. No big deal there. The question is WHY THE FUCK DID IT MAKE SLASHDOT?

Re:The real question... (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264770)

So the guy wants to write a web server to scratch an itch or something. No big deal there. The question is WHY THE FUCK DID IT MAKE SLASHDOT?

Same question I had in mind ...

Re:The real question... (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264932)

The question is WHY THE FUCK DID IT MAKE SLASHDOT?

Numerous people on this site have loudly proclaimed "Alternatives are great!!!" and have had their comments modded up for it.

Re:The real question... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264960)

Alternatives are great!!!

Re:The real question... (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264978)

So the guy wants to write a web server to scratch an itch or something. No big deal there. The question is WHY THE FUCK DID IT MAKE SLASHDOT?

C'mon. Whenever some new Linux distribution (or variant on an existing distro) is announced, it automatically becomes a Slashdot submission. Why should it be any different with new web servers?

Of course, whenever we have those HIGYALD (Hey, I've Got Yet Another Linux Distro) stories, there is always at least one post similar to yours, asking why it's news. And there's always at least one response to that post, explaining that alternatives are great - which is true here as well, so the circle is now complete.

Re:The real question... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265104)

Of course, whenever we have those HIGYALD (Hey, I've Got Yet Another Linux Distro) stories, there is always at least one post similar to yours, asking why it's news. And there's always at least one response to that post, explaining that alternatives are great - which is true here as well, so the circle is now complete.

Everyone knows that. Why are you posting such a redundant comment?

Re:The real question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264998)

I think the point is actually the piracy suit against some bank. If it weren't for that, this would be the same thing half a dozen people are doing in their mom's basement right now.

Re:The real question... (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265190)

I guess not everyone noticed this guy's site contains a link to an internal MS document that seems to show how MS was practicing mind control. Perfect for slashdot.

Re:Value? (1)

kjs3 (601225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265170)

> Where's the value/point in releasing another limited-utility webserver?

Well...that depends I suppose. I don't think G-WAN is worth paying attention to, but Marcus Ranum semi-famously wrote a "limited utility" web server for an porn site that was both very fast and very secure in 1996, and still was a decade later. I agree with his point that not everything requires Apache level functionality, and all those bells and whistles come at a cost. Right tool for the job and all that.

http://www.ranum.com/security/computer_security/editorials/master-tzu/ [ranum.com]

I truly believe that the patching fad in which we are currently living is not going to last much longer. It can't. In another couple years, we'll have one full-time patcher to each system administrator. What's odd is that if companies simply exercised a bit of discipline, it wouldn't be necessary at all. Back in 1996 a buddy of mine and I set up a web server for a high-traffic significant target. It was not the Whitehouse; it was a porn site. We invested 8 hours (of our customer's money) writing a small web server daemon that knew how to serve up files, cache them, and virtualize filenames behind hashes. It ran chrooted on a version of UNIX that was very minimized and had code hacked right into the IP stack to toss traffic that was not TCP aimed at port 80. 10 years later, it's still working, has never been hacked, and has never been patched. If you compute the Return On Investment (Or ROI in the language of Prince Ciao) it's gigantic.

Spite? (3, Interesting)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264324)

It looks like this chap has a grudge against Microsoft (he says his company was "eradicated from the market the usual way", apparently by Microsoft) so he wrote this webserver to hit them "where it hurts".
 
I don't know if spite is the best motivation to write excellent software.

Re:Spite? (4, Insightful)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264398)

I don't know how writing a web server that requires a Microsoft OS exactly hits them "where it hurts"

Re:Spite? (0, Redundant)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264420)

Maybe that's the only thing he felt competent to write?
 
An operating system or a word processor would be a more complex project than a basic webserver.
 
In the immortal words of whatzisname: if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Re:Spite? (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264676)

No, I just figured he'd develop a web server using tools that weren't MS tools for an OS that wasn't a MS OS. If he wanted to spite them, at least. If I was in the business/hobby of making turbo mods for cars, and I hated Ford, I wouldn't make turbo mods solely for Ford cars

Re:Spite? (4, Interesting)

tobiasly (524456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264862)

Not just against Microsoft, this guy just seems to be full of piss and vinegar in general. Every entry in his blog [gwan.com] is a rant against something, whether it's Microsoft, the world economy, the Western Hemisphere, or those stealthy, mysterious corporate hacker ninjas who spend every waking hour trying to take down his ironclad website due to the obvious danger he poses to The Man.

Even the software's FAQ [gwan.com] takes cheap shots at the objects of his vast paranoia. Stay far, far away from anyone with that big a chip on their shoulder.

Re:Spite? (1)

grouchyDude (322842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265054)

MS has a lot of good developers (whatever you may think or their products or policies). Maybe he figures it will hurt them (aesthetically) to look at something lame?

Help me out here (5, Insightful)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264336)

Why does the world need a non-free web server that only runs on Windows when there's already plenty of free (as in speech) ones out there (http://www.apache.org/ [apache.org] , http://www.lighttpd.net/ [lighttpd.net] ) that run everywhere?

Re:Help me out here (1, Informative)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264442)

Plus IIS is free as in beer (if you've paid for winders)

Re:Help me out here (1)

Ralish (775196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264704)

I'm pretty sure IIS is factored into the cost of the licences of the versions of Windows that contain it (whether you use it or not) ;)

Re:Help me out here (1, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264450)

Speed and security. The endless permutations and add-ons to Apache do, in fact, cause a significant security and compatibility and performance burden, much as the endless and often poorly written add-ons to Perl create similar issues. The idea can be taken to extremes, but how many of todays Perl and PHP website scripting security issues would evaporate if the authors were forced to write in a less flexible language that took a few moments to actually compile before being enabled?

Re:Help me out here (1)

loconet (415875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264538)

The idea can be taken to extremes, but how many of todays Perl and PHP website scripting security issues would evaporate if the authors were forced to write in a less flexible language that took a few moments to actually compile before being enabled?

.. and you actually think C is the answer to that?

Re:Help me out here (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264568)

Your logic is flawed.

Language flexibility and application security are not correlated.

Re:Help me out here (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264682)

Please take a look at CPAN. Select half a dozen web related modules, and check them form case statements that fail to have a fallthrough for unexpected conditions, and check them for input text processing that does not sanitize the inputs, especially for database information. Then come back and explain how the excessive flexibility of Perl does not contribute to writing far too many approaches to solving similar approaches, and how its flexibility encourages the use of robust and well-understood approaches to processing data.

So yes, indeed, limiting the number of ways to write precisely the same functionality does enocurage consistent structures whose vulnerabilities become understood. There are trade-offs. Such loss of flexibility may make code less efficient. But who writes perl for efficiency of execution?

Re:Help me out here (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264996)

Perl doesn't have a case statement, you syntactically insensitive clod.

Perl 5.10 does have given/when, though. Smartmatch FTW.

Re:Help me out here (2, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265034)

Your points would be warranted if:
1) CPAN were Perl itself.
2) CPAN were atypical for a collection of useful modules for any programming language.
3) C were better.

Re:Help me out here (1)

sirlatrom (1162081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264596)

When you take the idea to extremes there, it sounds to me like advocating "security through deterring for seconds or minutes" -- which I would consider even worse than "security through obscurity".

Re:Help me out here (5, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264774)

how many of todays Perl and PHP website scripting security issues would evaporate if the authors were forced to write in a less flexible language that took a few moments to actually compile before being enabled?

None. Contrary to popular belief, lower-level languages don't make shitty programmers competent.

Re:Help me out here (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265050)

Contrary to popular belief, lower-level languages don't make shitty programmers competent.

True, but at least the clued-in know that up-front. Too many of the upper-level ones tend to mislead the masses into thinking they're competent.

Re:Help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30265066)

I don't believe anyone in their right mind would claim that lower-level languages have the power to turn shitty programmers into competent programmers. Yet, what has been said for a long time is that the world of interpreted languages is a haven for mindless, incompetent programmers who churn out a lot of shitty, flimsy code that can barely run straight. You see, interpreted languages are a great tool. They hide a lot of gruesome details through abstraction and they offer vast libraries. Through that it becomes possible to be very productive without having to invest a lot of effort into stuff such as researching the best way to solve a problem, design your application regarding the perceived bottlenecks and even writing dedicated routines to solve specific tasks. Heck, interpreted languages became such great tools that nowadays you can even get an application up and running without even knowing much beyond the very basics of the language you are using. To put it in other words, the tools have come so far that even idiots can use them. And they do use them. So thanks to interpreted languages we see a lot of idiotic code being churned out without thinking if your code makes sense or even paying the most basic attention to the fundamentals of CS. For an example, I've seen not far ago an application written in Perl that tried to implement for, if I'm not mistaken, a JSON parser. Writing a parser for a data format is terribly simple, specially if it's a very simple, straight forward language such as JSON. But in that application things got very messy. If I recall correctly, the idiot programmer tried to parse JSON documents by throwing a lot of convoluted Perl regex at a text stream. From that, the program built another text document but with simpler tokens which was again "parsed" (let's call it that) with yet another flood of nested Perl regexes, which were nested and could only support documents that presented a nesting level below 7 or 8. If you had to parse a document that went further than that then you got a nice forced exit for your trouble. And that parser worked. At least at the eyes of the author. It is also possible to write that kind of crap in "elite" languages such as C and assembly. Yet, as the barrier to entry to those languages is considerably higher than the Visual Basic-ness of interpreted languages, you get to see countless clueless coders getting programs barely up and running and considering their efforts a success. And that's the reason why interpreted languages are associated with shitty programmers who get lost if they need some feature that isn't supplied in the standard library or have to implement anything that isn't supplied in a code snippet site.

Re:Help me out here (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265244)

I would far, far rather have the truly awful Perl and PHP I've been seeing the last few years fail outright to compile, rather than being published over at CPAN and corrupting every downstream project that is automatically built with the latest release of the author's fantasies. Compilation failures, and compilation warnings are helpful to cleaning up code. And taking the directly legible source code away from the programming equivalent of script kiddies and forcing them to read genuine source code helps raise the threshold of them simply cutting and pasting tools instead of using the already existing, well-written ones.

It's a long-term problem: flushing times that Perl programmers attempt to rewrite the "transcribe text as numbers" printf statement would probably shrink the deployed Perl software of the world by 5%.

Re:Help me out here (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265024)

C has lousy string support. It's really easy to screw them up, just like most memory allocation-related stuff in C is a big burden. Perl, Python, PHP, and even Fortran handle strings more sensibly, eliminating one of the most common sources of security problems in one go.

It may be true in theory that compiled languages that enforce discipline (ML, for example) would be better yet for security, particularly when used by people who have a good security model in mind, but Perl, PHP, and Python do well with such a model. In C, even if you have a good security model, every strcpy() or strncpy() is a potential vulnerability.

It's possible to wrap all the dangerous bits of C up into a programming framework, using functions that handle your mallocs for you, using objects to replace strings, etc. Very few people do that.

Re:Help me out here (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264804)

Why does the world need a non-free web server that only runs on Windows when there's already plenty of free (as in speech) ones out there (http://www.apache.org/, http://www.lighttpd.net/ [lighttpd.net] ) that run everywhere?,

For the same reason there are more than five models of vehicle on the roadways: Different needs.

Re:Help me out here (1)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264930)

There's still an entire world of people who think in terms of Windows-only and shareware. They're living in a 90's time warp, really. Never mind that C is inherently dangerous to use for scripting (not to mention primitive), or that there are smaller, freer web servers out there.... Some people feel compelled to reinvent the wheel, and then feel like heroes when they only pack in a few advertisements or dial home every once in awhile. People who don't know any better will still use it.

Re:Help me out here (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265060)

No kidding. And if you really want to play around with cool web server technologies slightly off the beaten path there are plenty of more interesting options like Resin [caucho.com] (open source java/php servlet).

Honestly I've got to question anyone who wants to run Windows server for any kind of performance-oriented or scalable solution, which would make this an ad?

Linux support (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264378)

I am with Linus on this one
Linus is right
The man makes sense
He is absolutely correct on this one

Linux/Solaris release (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264406)

Summary:

There is currently only a Windows release and no clear answer in their FAQs whether there would be Linux/Solaris releases.

The main page at gwan.com :

It also means that G-WAN will be (much) faster on Linux and Solaris.

Sounds like the person writing the summary didn't bother to read the pages that they linked.

Re:Linux/Solaris release (1)

markb (6556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264458)

When the answer to the question:

"Will Linux, BSD, Solaris, etc. be supported?"

is:

"G-WAN's small footprint and modularity make it easy to port on any platform. Starting with Windows (today's most widely used operating system) makes it possible for end-users to compare. There's no choice if you can't compare."

it's not clear.

Everything on this site screams CRAZY. Pretty funny.

Re:Linux/Solaris release (1)

beaviz (314065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264852)

Crazy?!

He's the village lunatic of the internet! Seriously, he's paranoid as hell and doesn't make much (if any) sense.

10. subnet? (1)

lalena (1221394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264424)

From the PDF (about the bank piracy claim)

in its report made on May 26th, 2006 M. MARC MORTIER from BEFTI reckons that "the 10.249.17.10 network address belongs to the address range of FINAMA bank", and that his "laptop is using the 10.249.24.60 IP address".

If their claims are based on the assumption that 10.249.*.* is a Finama bank owned IP subnet, then they are in trouble.

Re:10. subnet? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264488)

From the open letter to the French president [google.com] (Google Docs PDF), although the English takes some effort to comprehend:

GROUPAMA is not offended at seing the bailiff JEAN-CLAUDE DAIGREMONT and the judicial expert JEAN-MARIE HUOT in charge of the seizure of September 7th, 2005 at 22-28 Joubert street PARIS 9th, refusing to seize evidences pretexting that they did not exist (they reported that the 10.249.x.x network did not exist) -a fact that their own official report denies (a FINAMA bank router returned the 10.249.80.49 network address -FOUR TIMES).

They do appear to be referring to the internal network of FINAMA bank.

Re:10. subnet? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264572)

Even so, claiming they use 10.249.x.x is not proof of anything. The entire 10.x.x.x subnet is reserved for private network use, so any number of companies could be and probably are using that exact same subnet. All they need is a halfway-competent network administrator to tell the court about the concept of private IP space, and that bit of evidence is worthless.

Re:10. subnet? (4, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264710)

That would be like saying "the fifth floor is in our building, not a public street address, so this warrant is useless". I bet that would be a useful bit of precedent to establish for lots of people who are served with search warrants. Given the router information mentioned in the article, and the settings of the laptop with an address in the address space, it's unsurprising that our plaintiff was upset that those machines did not get reported or searched properly.

Re:10. subnet? (1)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264540)

Also, the bank clearly said that it did not use 10.249.*.* while he said that at least one ping test replied with one such address. I stopped reading the rest of the PDF after I read that, because I began wondering what does that have to do with advertising the company that writes G-WAN on Slashdot? ... oh, nevermind, I got it now: our web server is free as in "beer" (yet not open-source) and btw, we've got a big trial going on and we're doing pretty good and the company is writing lots of software for lots of countries and we might soon make $200 if the judge buys our story. What do you think of G-WAN now?

I dont exactly see the points (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264478)

People claim Apache is slow, but why not using a reverse proxy like Varnish to "speed it up" and still keep the features. I really see no reason why I should use G-WAN or lighttpd.

Re:I dont exactly see the points (2, Interesting)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264566)

People claim Apache is slow, but why not using a reverse proxy like Varnish to "speed it up" and still keep the features. I really see no reason why I should use G-WAN or lighttpd.

Not everybody is serving easily-cacheable stuff. Reverse proxies are great for semi-static websites like news sites, but they are useless for social-networking, webmail and other interactive sites that need to render customized content for each particular user.

Anyway, nginx is my current favorite web server.

Re:I dont exactly see the points (1)

beaviz (314065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264912)

People claim Apache is slow, but why not using a reverse proxy like Varnish to "speed it up" and still keep the features. I really see no reason why I should use G-WAN or lighttpd.

Not everybody is serving easily-cacheable stuff. Reverse proxies are great for semi-static websites like news sites, but they are useless for social-networking, webmail and other interactive sites that need to render customized content for each particular user.

I'm a system administrator at a (smaller) social network site with highly dynamic content. Well, at least that's what it looks like. We have lots of things to cache. Images, css, javascript, Flash/Java applets...
Varnish has helped us tremendously. Now our webservers runs the actual platform, not serving the same CSS file as they did 0.0002s ago.

My point being, no matter how little impact you think Varnish will make, try it anyway. You might very well be surprised if you have any kind of serious traffic.

(And then have a look at memcached!)

I'm just not seeing use for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264510)

If I were to put up a webserver a production, supported Windows server, I'd just click the box to install the IIS component. This Windows only server has no commercial value for corporations, unless they want to run some features on a client version of Windows that are not included with the client version of the web server... and nobody but the smallest SOHOs would gamble their business on doing that.

If I wanted a "lightweight" Web server on Windows, I'd use something that has been around a bit and has the bugs stomped out. lihttpd has been around for about six years, and there is a less of a chance of a new show stopper bug or security hole popping up with that as opposed to a version 1.0 utility. Also, IIS isn't a hog. The difference in performance between a "lightweight" server versus Apache or IIS most likely would not be worth such a change in the stack. Instead, the time and effort that would be spent getting a new Web platform out there would be better spent deploying more Web hardware, or adding SSL acceleration.

So, other than a toy to play with, I don't see any real need for this program. Its niche is far more covered by more capable utilities.

WTF? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264526)

Sorry, but I won't run a HTTP server where the author think running native code extensions with no security checks is good.

Okay, is it just me (1)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264578)

Or is the guy who wrote this completely and utterly nuts, in every way? I don't even need to cite this, just visit the labyrinth site and wait till your mind melts.

Re:Okay, is it just me (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264648)

let me see.

Using C as a "scripting" language. CHECK

Using C as a "scripting" language on a WEB SERVER. CHECK

Writing a non free webserver for windows only with very limited features. CHECK

yep, he's passed the "i'm crazy as a loon" test.

Re:Okay, is it just me (2, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265086)

Writing a website full of incomprehensible ranting about Microsoft and the computer industry, whilst claiming that releasing a[nother] free web server for their platform will "hit them where it hurts". CHECK

Ted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264594)

Won't you have a cup of tea, father? G-WAN! Oh, G-WAN, won't you have a drop? G-WAN!

IIS (2, Insightful)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264610)

If you're going to be "scripting" in C on Windows you might as well go fully compiled with IIS (free with any Windows OS you'd be running on a server) and C# (Express version also free). Get MySQL with ODBC and you're all set.

I use PHP on Apache for flexibility. If I wanted to use C I'd compile it.

Re:IIS (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265062)

GWAN in user space is faster than IIS in the kernel on Windows. When they port to Linux it should toast IIS nicely.

Why post this? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264790)

Really, what's the point of posting a story of another unremarkable and very limited webserver? It's cool by me if kdawson simply found it on the top of the stack so he clicked bugger. I mean, it's not like I'm paying to browsing here. That what's going on here? Like I said, you know, it's all good by me. But I'm curious, you know, and ... well, you know what I am saying, right?

G'wan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30264834)

G'wan! Another free web server??

Sheesh, Give up on C and use Java 5 EE already. (1)

MikeElectric (1328933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30264968)

First: Java Front to BACK: Jsp/JavaServerFaces, Enterprise JavaBeans, Java Objects in the Database instead of Stored Procedures.
- The Java to Database: Persistence API supported on Oracle, MySql and Postgres.
- OpenSolaris( fastest OS out there ) or Mac OS X Server.
- Glassfish( most advanced Web Server )
- Free, take your pick Email servers
- Take your pick Oracle Database or free MySql or Postgres.
- Fast, EASY to Code, Java Front to Back.
- Most Secure web server.
- Most advanced web server, No Memory Leaks for example.
- Java: Code Like C, but let GlassFish Save your butt.

Re:Sheesh, Give up on C and use Java 5 EE already. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30265030)

- 2-5 times CPU time compared to C, even with JIT compilation.

Perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30265178)

he should create a minor update, labelled as a very important security fix, with destructive intent if it's in Groupama's network.

He won't be responsible, since the bank has claimed G-WAN isn't even there. They might wish they had paid the $140 million...

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