I’ve been creating RYO web servers for a few years now. The great thing about doing it yourself is that it it gives you the ability to embed a web server into pretty much anything. Sure, you can use Apache, or Tomcat or Websphere or any one of a bucket load of web server products as a front end to your application, and I’m not against doing that because there are a lot of benefits but the down side is that they add a layer of complexity to any architecture, not least because quite simply there IS another layer between the user and whatever it is you want to control. That means more knowledge required to configure/run/maintain the architecture and more things to either get wrong or go wrong.

Now me, I’ve never been one for doing what everyone else does and I’m a great believer in simplicity and actually understanding the implications of what you do. Yes, it’s easy to throw a web front end on something but I’m not sure the extra complexity¬† always make is easier for the system support staff.

The daft part is that the base http protocol is so simple it’s laughably easy to implement and once you understand the how, it’s pretty easy to do for almost any platform or programming environment. I’ve done it in REXX (yes REXX) and Windows Visual Basic. As long as a language or platform has TC/IPIP support that you can invoke, it’s really pretty easy.

  1. Jill Curry
    July 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    This is some cool stuff and I agree with your philosophy about yet “another” layer. Your comment about programmers always thinking of code to solve any problem made me laugh.

  2. December 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm


    Interesting. Me: mainframe man since 1969, also now into Web2.0, HTML5, JavaScript use in client and server sides. About 9 years ago I developed an app running in the browser (IR6 at the time) which allowed a user to logon to TSO and, via web forms, request some TSO service. One app started a batch job which produced an XML file. This file, when ready, was downloaded and massaged to produce pretty pages and graphs…a far better representation than the old 132-char print output.
    Since our interests seem to be similar (web access to Z/OS), perhaps we can get together and discuss some ideas you may have and that I’am considering.
    BTW…I worked for Amdahl in the 80’s on a new operating system that was going to replace MVS. Also worked on a CICS competitor in the 70’s (Intercom)..

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