[lug] ASP on Apache/Linux

rm at mamma.varadinet.de rm at mamma.varadinet.de
Thu Sep 7 14:17:00 MDT 2000

> [...] 
> Uhhh oh... I was reading the info on the site and I started to gather
> that. I'm downloading ChiliSoft right now. Hope that's not the same deal.
> [...]
> So does this mean that asp is ore of a concept than a language. 

As often with Microdoof: kind of both ...
if you want everyone to belive that there is only one solution
than it doen't make sense to distinguish between concept and
product :-)

> I guess I
> should talk to some of the developpers at work about this one. There has
> to be a way.

Always a good idea. Both sides need to think and evaluate the costs
of different solutions (force them to have a look a solutions other
than the 'obvious' ASP) -- there are other languages concepts for
'active' (i.e. dynamically created) websites. Just a few here:
- Zope (cool content server): uses it's own html-ish embedded tags 
  calles dtml and a very powerfull object concept. Currently based
  on a rather strange programming language (python :-) but you don't
  really need to do any programming unless you want to extend the
  software (up to now i didn't need that).

- embperl and related products (have a look at your closest CPAN).
  Anything from embedded tags in the style of server side includes
  to fullblown application servers (Mason). Great if you love perl,
  but for me there's often way too much code within the html source.
  Also, as an experience: large projects _tend_ to get 'messy' in 
  perl ...

- Java servlets: write all you html in Java ...

- Java Server Pages: let the JSP preprocessor write all your
  html in Java ....

- Coccon: use xml (buzzword!) as the backend and do
  the formating with XSL (or was ist XSLT ?)

- BRLT, SILK, etc. see above but use Scheme, Lisp etc.

there's a lot out there you can use and the different solutions
serve different needs. Have your developers look at at least some
of them and try to make a 'i like this, i hate that list ...'.
If they still want ASP then give it to them, they deserve it ;-)

BTW, from my personal experience: as sites grow more people get
involved into  the design and maintainance. If you don't plan for
scalability this can become a nightmare. The quick 40 line perl
hack doesn't look so cool if you have to explain it's inner workings
to a 'web programmer' three years after you wrote it. Go for separation
of program logic and content/presentation. My faforites so far:

 - AxKit for the lovers of Perl/XML
 - Zope (dito for pythoneers). I think this is
   is an extremly well designed solution (and there is
   a lot of development going on _and_ there is great

 - Java Server Pages _if_ you use taglibs (i.e. you 
   write your own site-speciffic tags). This mean web
   html programmers can use what the are used to:
     <me-shopping-item-put-here color='green' />

> Buying time.

Ok, enjoy it!

> I'd much rather be creating sites than configuring machines.
> What is the average out there for say machines hosting < 500k hits with
> very little streaming data. I was looking at some refurbished SUN machines
> and they're in the $1k + range w/o any memory.  Wonder how many of the
> great sites out there are being hosted on 333Mz machines.

Most of the stuff i run sits on ~230Mhz boxes (some even on ~100Mhz)
and does fine. I spent quite some time and effort to move everyting
away from CGI on sites that do use database connections to speed up
responsiveness. For one customer i'm just now moving the database
to a dedicated machine (with fallback hardware) on a dedicated network
but that is a rather heavily used B2B webserver. Usually CPU speed isn't
the limiting factor. I'd rather have a 'slow' CPU and tons of memory
if i do database stuff (doubleling the in-memory sort space of postgresql
does much more to the server responsiveness that have the apache process
idlde on a faster CPU. Also, if you have many parallel hits, increasing
the amount of preforked servers/database connections helps quite a bit).

Only you know what your boxes need to do. Anyway, in my farm servers
'wander': they start off as fast killer boxes for the important web- or
database servers, get replaced by faster machines and do a year or 
two in the normal bussiness and end as mailservers or firewalls ...


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