Jan K. Labanowski: Computational Portals for Chemistry  

Ever Changing Technology

Two years of Java is 20 years of Fortran.
  • We started with Jigsaw from W3C as a Web server/servlet container in 1999. Cumbersome administration via GUI. Unacceptable if you work in a distributed team: Columbus, Dayton, Syracuse. You cannot really use export DISPLAY=some.machine:0.0 routinely since it is awfully slow (it requires that actual pixels are sent via net).
  • We moved to Apache JServ servlet engine in 2000. Still no JSP, only servlets, i.e., ugly out.println("<p>Your HTML line goes here...");. It was Servlet Specification 2.0 (JSDK2.0). This was much better, since you could just edit text config files like: httpd.conf and jserv.conf to change configuration.
  • Tomcat (3.0) and Jakarta arrived in 2000. At this point, Tomcat (version 3.0) did not support SSL and its Web serving capabilities were very rudimentary (e.g., no logging, MIME types worked erratically, no CGI or SSI). We ran Tomcat as a servlet/JSP container behind Apache. Tomcat supported servlet specification 2.2 (i.e., web application concept, context path, and web.xml deployment descriptor), and Java Server Pages version 1.1. JSP allowed us to produce easily server based dynamic pages and supported scriplets, and tag libraries, and all other goodies.