W3C’s Jigsaw Web Server

By Blane Warrene

Unknown to many a web developer is an experimental but robust and evolving alternative web server form the W3 — Jigsaw.

The project was started in 1996 and remains active and expanding with the release of version 2.2.4 this year. Jigsaw is a Java-based, platform neutral web server capable of running on just about any system that supports Java.

Jigsaw’s main mission is to demonstrate new protocol features, according to the W3 (i.e. HTTP/1.1). Thus — this is not necessarily the next Apache. However, the philosophy behind its architecture should be fascinating to any web admin. It is a bit like starting over as the approach to web sites, content and other facets of a typical web site is quite different from those of us used to Apache, Sun or Microsoft web servers.

True to the W3’s usability philosophy, a nice tool called JigAdmin is available for administration and configuration tasks – also Java driven.

Most interesting is that it supports SSL, can be run in a chroot jail and is also very extensible, with tutorials for programmers to add functionality to the application.

For those who groaned at the thought of a Java web server – the W3 benchmarked it and found it performed as well as the CERN server. It is important to remember though that this is not necessarily intended for production.

Meet the author
  • http://nathanwwong.com someonewhois

    That’s been around a while thoguh, hasn’t it? Like, the CSS validator has “Powered by Jigsaw” all over it :p

  • i_like_php

    i’ve tried jigsaw, and was not impressed with having to start it manually everytime i rebooted my machine.

    also i wasn’t too thrilled with the dos screen, as well. until they fix it where jigsaw can run as a windows service, i won’t use it and until they delete that dos option i’ll just stick to tomcat until then.

  • Belzecue

    TO ‘I Like PHP’
    RE jigsaw as a service

    Sure, it doesn’t come bundled with a java service wrapper, but nothing is stopping you from using one of the free java service wrappers like the one here:



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