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Pascal Obry <[log in to unmask]>
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Pascal Obry <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 May 2001 11:38:34 +0200
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                            A W S - Ada Web Sever
                                  0 . 10

May 24th, 2001.

Dmitriy Anisimkov and I are very happy to announce the availability of the
AWS 0.10 release. This version is close to the 1.0 version. Note that the API
has been changed a lot. This is part of a redesign to have a cleaner API. We
plan to change slightly the API at this stage but it should be mostly stable.

Note that this is definitly a major version.

AWS stand for Ada Web Server. It is not a real Web Server like Apache. It is
an HTTP component to embedded in any applications. It means that you can
communicate with your application using a standard Web browser and this
without the need for a Web Server. AWS is fully developed in Ada with GNAT.

Here are the main changes:

  - API redesign.

  - Templates_Parser (included) has been almost completly rewritten. It is
    something like 8 to 12 times faster than previous version, has lot of nice
    new features (like Matrix_Tag). See below for references about
    Templates_Parser module.

  - Fix bug in session handling. The same session ID could have been allocated
    to differents client.  Generation of Session ID is more secure. And there
    is some performance improvement in the way sessions ID are handled.

  - New Server interface (more dynamic). HTTP has only one discriminant now,
    the other setting are done through the Start procedure.

  - Default AWS.OS_Lib is now using the GNAT based implementation instead of
    the POSIX one. This should make it easier to build AWS.

  - Implement HTTP/1.0 and Keep-Alive connection (Netscape browser ask this
    kind of connection). Should fix more server hanging problems.

  - Server parameters can be handled with case sensitivity or not.

  - Fix possible memory leak in status data.

  - Improve again the way slots are aborted, this should fix more browser
    hanging problems.

  - Add Peername to the status data.

  - Status page (status.tmplt) use the new Matrix_Tag templates parser
    feature and the new filter syntax. Note that this new version of templates
    parser is about 8 to 12 times faster than previous version. It has been
    completely rewritten.

  - All status page (status.tmplt) vetor tag name have now an _V suffix
    (was _L for historical reasons)

  - Handle properly all "Cookie:" HTTP messages format.

  - Add many configuration options in aws.ini.

  - Improve a bit the documentation.

  - Hello_World new AWS demo, the famous Hello_World a la AWS. This is
    certainly the smallest AWS application.

  - As always some minor bugs have been fixed but are not listed here.

NOTE: Since we have switched to the .PNG file format we have found that
Netscape Navigator is not able to display the PNG transparent layer properly!

At this stage we feel that AWS is ready to build small to medium Web
server. AWS has been reported to work under Windows NT, Linux and FreeBSD 4.1.

With this new version you'll need at least version 0.1.11 of the Socket binding
from ENST. It has been tested and works fine with version 0.1.13 too.

You can download AWS and the Sockets binding for Win32 directly from:

An online version of the documentation can be found at

The OpenSSL libraries (optional) distributed are for Windows GNAT 3.13. GNAT
3.12 users must build the libraries from sources or obtain Win32 binaries from

Under UNIX you'll have to build the libraries from sources, it is quite easy
to do so. This has been tested under Linux without trouble.

See documentation for build information.


AWS documentation:

AWS sources:

Templates_Parser sources:
   Templates_Parser module is provided with AWS distribution. Latest version
   of this module and the documentation can be found at:

   Temlates_Parser is a very useful add-on for AWS. You should have a look at
   it if you plan to develop a Web service. Templates_Parser permits to
   completly (yes 100%) separate the HTML design from the Ada code.

   Some other Templates engine are WebMacro, FreeMarker, PHP, ASP, JSP and
   Velocity. All of them are based on explicite iterators (#foreach with a
   variable) where Templates_Parser is based on implicit ones (you use a more
   intuitive table iterator). Be sure to check the documentation. Only
   Velocity project will support complete separation of HTML design and code.

Socket binding:

   for Win32:

   for UNIX:

POSIX Binding (optional) :

   for Win32:

   for UNIX:

OpenSSL library (optional) :

   Sources for UNIX or Win32:
      (we have used and we distribute OpenSSL version 0.9.5a with this AWS
      release, we have also tested AWS with OpenSSL 0.9.6a without trouble)

   binaries for Win32 with GNAT 3.13 (and later):
      Included with the main AWS distribution.

   binaries for Win32 with GNAT 3.12:

   See OpenSSL license (docs/openssl.license).

Windows Services API (optional):

   To build runme demo as a Windows NT/2000 services you must download
   the services API made by Ted Dennison for his SETI@Home project.

Reporting bugs:

You can report bugs to:

   Dmitriy Anisimkov    [log in to unmask]
   Pascal Obry          [log in to unmask]

It would be nice if you could also sent us a note if you are using AWS just
to know if it is used at all or not :)

AWS uses

- SETI@Home from Ted Dennison. AWS is used as a "plugable" GUI to control the
  services status.

- DOCWEBSERVER from Wiljan Derks

  In our department we keep our documents in a directory tree. These documents
  are all project related and have a certain naming convention to be able to
  find the right document. In the past I already wrote a program that searches
  though this directory and then converts the found documents into fixed html
  pages. With AWS I was able to get a much nicer setup. I have now a server
  that can do the following:
    - browse through the projects in explorer style. The html contains info
      about the document like date and title.
    - one can check in documents through the web interface
    - it shows our download page as I have send you in the example
    - we have now all our documentation in small pieces of html as is needed
      to build .chm (w2k compiled help) files. For these we use a content
      file, that is also stored in the document archive.

  The docwebserver gives by reading all this stuff the direct view on this
  documentation. On the other hand I can run some tool and automatically
  generate the .chm files.

- OESM Server (OESM=Overall Equipment Status Monitoring) from Wiljan Derks

  I am working on a project now for our factories. ITEC mainly delivers
  equipment for discrete semiconductor assembly. Allmost all of that equipment
  is now controlled by a similar Ada 95 based code with having a lot of code in
  common. One of the common things, is the way we log errors and state changes
  of our equipment.

  The OESM Server is an application which copies all this information
  continuously to its local pc by opening the proper files on the remote
  equipment. That data copied is also stored in local files. The web server
  component of the application can then, making use of that data, give reports
  that show things like the amount of products produced in a certain period,
  error paretos of equipment, mtbf, %time in production and of course many
  other things.

  The cool thing of course is that this information can easily be charted (I
  am use kavachart) and it allows simple navigation through different groups
  of equipments and different views on the equipment.

- WORM from Pascal Obry

  A Web server to share bookmarks, this server was using a standard CGI
  design. To keep session information we were using a GLADE partition. With
  AWS the design has beeen really simplified, there is no need for a session
  partition, there is no need to build all CGI as partitions too. GLADE is now
  used only to handle distributed objects. Indeed WORM is a multi-server
  system (using RACW) with a register/unregister mechanisme.

  Also the server seems to be fastest, there is no more CGI to spawn.

- Internet Currency Trading System at by Dmitriy Anisimkov

  This is a server is used to keep historical data about currency trading to
  build charts of currency prices. The charts viewer part is written in Java
  and loaded through AWS. This server can be reach on the Internet.

Thanks to all who have reported bugs and have sent us patches.

Dmitriy & Pascal.


--| Pascal Obry                           Team-Ada Member
--| 45, rue Gabriel Peri - 78114 Magny Les Hameaux FRANCE
--| "The best way to travel is by means of imagination"