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G-WAN - Web Application Server (gwan.ch)
69 points by hendler on June 14, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 121 comments

I get bad vibes whenever I see server software that isn't permissively licensed at least far enough that I can see the code. So I go look at their FAQ to see what they say about getting source access:


WTF? I mean, in what universe would I trust this sort of handwaving? Lumping people who might want to actually, y'know, audit the software they're running in with "oh my god they wants to steals my codes!"...I think I'll pass and encourage those I know to do likewise. (Plus, as cdcarter notes elsewhere in this thread, his reasoning for no OS X binary is incoherent at best, and reading posts by the author makes me wonder exactly what chain of jerkstores he's supplying with his attitude.)

Eh, I'd be disinclined to use it just because it's not open-source, but I'd kind of respect it if he'd just said "It's my code, and this is how I prefer to license it." But instead he offers a positively insane rationale for making it closed-source that may as well be "Cthulhu wills it so! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh!" That makes me extremely wary of this software. Either he seems a little unstable or he's lying about why he won't open the source up. Neither is an attribute I look for in a vendor I depend on to run my servers. I might be able to tolerate the first if it were open source, but it gives me the willies here.

Sure - don't get me wrong, if he doesn't want to give out the source, that's fine. I won't use it, but that's fine. But then, like you said, he's invoking Old Ones and Providence, Rhode Island, and that is all sorts of wacky.

I'm getting LoseThos vibes here a bit.

This bit of thread http://forum.gwan.com/index.php?p=/discussion/comment/5550/#... manages to sum up the entire experience of digging into G-WAN that I went through tonight. Fernandos (a veritable G-WAN groupie who hangs on the forums posting Apache vulns) starts rambling about side channel attacks, which leads to Pierre (the maintainer) describing a very romantic scene of him listening to recordings of his programs executing because he learned to visualize the code better that way.

They also disable copy-paste. No trust in them whatsoever, they seem like total control freaks. Wouldn't surprise me if there were some sort of backdoor.

maybe.. possible.

Indeed. Distributing source code does not mean that people can or will fork your project. You have to explicitly grant permission to distribute the software freely, and in particular to distribute modified copies, for that to happen. http://cr.yp.to/softwarelaw.html

Copyright law gives users more rights than users or developers probably realise. Personally, I am happy to release my software with source code under either a simple copyright notice, or in the public domain with my moral rights asserted.

Throwaway, because I'm pretty sure I will be exorcised for this but.. I've never seen a situation where any of my contributions to open source have provided me with the least amount of income. If an author doesn't want to open-source his code, I don't see the big deal.

I suppose the HN crowd that legitimately wants to read code, but the majority of the people are going to go to the trouble are going to be programmers who are being whipped mercilessly to build some 3rd rate web app for their corporate masters, or competitors who want to improve their own technology.

BTW: Can you link the license page? I am looking for it, but can't find anything.

(Mind you: I do think the author is somewhat insane and sounds like almost every bitter 1980s programmer I ever met - but I'd like to see the insane conditions he imposes)

You don't see "the big deal" about running software in a web stack that you can't look at? I can, and have, dig through every piece of software in my web stack. My grasp of postgres is not strong, but I've set up shop in the Linux, nginx, and JVM source code before and I am much, much more confident in my tools for it.

I don't use IIS either, and for similar reasons. I'm less worried about it on a desktop (and will run Windows or OS X without complaint) because they're not running things for which I have to care about performance or uptime. But for a service, it's non-negotiable.

His "product" is simply nowhere near valuable enough to risk this level of insanity and obfuscation.

The license can be found in the manual[1] and is included with the software.[2]



From the site (which seems to disallow copy-paste):

> The next time someone feels the need to publicly call G-WAN's (1-page) license "weird" or "insane", look at what they sell and who they get their revenues from. Unlike for G-WAN, what they offer is not free for all.

They have redefined the word 'free' into a fine mist if they expect you to believe Apache and nginx are not free. They're doing something I've seen done before; oddly, it was mainly being done by Usenet trolls.

Slightly off topic but a hobby I've picked up recently is breaking web based "no copy/paste" schemes.

Usually people map onmousedown,click,oncontextmenu, etc. events or some permutation there of to return false and have an alert that say's something to the effect of "no copying!"

You can easily defeat those by mapping whichever function to null on your javascript console. ie:

  document.oncontextmenu = null
The Gwan guy's solution threw me off a bit because I was looking for another javascript version to no avail.

In an interesting twist they've actually used css. That is every vendor permutation of.

  user-select: none;
To disable that use your favorite developer tools and remove those styles from whichever element you want to copy..

Build + Release a browser extension - I'd download it.

Do you have Firebug for Firefox (press F12 to bring it up) or the Developer Tools (Ctrl-J) for Chrome? They make it trivial to toggle/edit CSS attributes on webpages.

In GWAN's case (using Firefox) the rule was:

p, h1, h2, h3, h4, ul, ol, legend, label { -moz-user-select: -moz-none; }

There are already quite a few out there. Search your favorite browser's extension archive for something along the lines of "enable right click." (For example, Firefox has RightToClick.)

>They're doing something I've seen done before; oddly, it was mainly being done by Usenet trolls.

Every time I read something off that webpage my mental voice uses my Japanese "Engrish" accent to read it. So I can't say that I was really surprised when I saw that. (I'm actually getting the vibe that the lead developer may have lost a few of his marbles.)

At the same time it totally took a shotgun to the guys credibility when he implied that projects like nginx aren't free but G-WAN is.

Just wait to you get to the part where he suggests that instead of rewriting URIs you should just use the servers cache function to cache to a static page with a very low expiry.

I may be giving them too much credit, but I believe the author is referring to the proprietary software companies who would presumably steal G-WAN, rename it, and sell it. Their argument is still ridiculous, but I don't think they're talking about the Apache and nginx projects.

That might be what he tried to mean, but that's not what he's saying. What he wrote says that anyone who wants to see the source code is an evil Snideley Whiplash software companies, and telling you to "see what they're selling" (or that they're "end users" who don't need to see anything at all, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!).

I tried out GWAN on a VPS a while back. There's no configuration file, you setup directories named in certain ways to tell the webserver what IP/port to bind to.

I cannot comment on how much fast it is because it's been years since I ran benchmarks against it. Even supposing the claims are true, currently it's very limited in what languages it supports. It's great at static content, but dynamic content must be written in C or use a C library. In other words, PHP, Python, and Ruby support are pretty much non-existent (though someone has tried to get PHP FastCGI to work with it).

The author is also fairly arrogant. Earlier versions of the website claimed his code was "perfect" and that he wrote it because no else seemed competent enough to do it right (I'm trying to find the quote).

Regarding PHP: > And without something like G-WAN you can forget about PHP in the years to come because it will not survive the parallelism's requirements.

you setup directories named in certain ways

I was intrigued by this and had a look. One level of the hierarchy requires directories either named with a starting # or $. !!! Possibly two of the worst leading characters to use if there's ever a chance one of these file names is going to hit a shell script. Or the command line. And since the point seems to be you can adjust the config by pushing things around with mv, seems like that's going to happen a lot.

Rule number one when putting your metadata in a filename is to not use shell metacharacters.

> Even supposing the claims are true, currently it's very limited in what languages it supports. It's great at static content, but dynamic content must be written in C or use a C library.

That is no longer accurate. G-WAN now supports C, Java, C++, D, and Objective C out of the box. [1] I am the someone who is implementing FastCGI support.


I'm not trying to be disrespectful because I'm sure you've put in a lot of work on your part of the project, but little to nothing on that page makes any sort of sense. Where is this terrifying efficiency hit from "the frenetic wave of abstraction layers" that the author of that page is claiming? Does the author even realize that he sounds like a huckster and his claims about other projects have only a tenuous relationship to reality? And why would I trust the judgment of developers who think that writing web applications in C is a perfectly cromulent idea?

Second reaction: am I actually supposed to take seriously something that looks like that Java sample? 'Cause, er, I know a teeeeeensy bit about Java, and my first reaction was "what kind of moron would write Java like that?". Java isn't C, and this guy's bizarre worship of "programming to the metal" (it's a web architecture for god's sake!) makes no sense there.

Based on the graphs, the contents, and the over-the-top design, I was wondering if this was a joke or something until seeing this thread. So I'd agree that alarm bells may be warranted.

On the other hand, I have written a few web applications in C. It's not that bad! :) The nice thing about it is that if you link statically, write CGI programs, and ignore memory management (or, rather, malloc all you care to and delegate garbage collection to the OS when your process goes away), you can get something that runs quickly with minimal hassle on a small device. I don't recommend it unless you have some bizarre constraints, but it's really not that bad! That approach doesn't seem possible with this server, sadly.

Sure, you can do it, but CGI is pretty much dead as a "fire up a process, do something" method of serving web content. If the request processor isn't also your HTTP server, you'd generally start up a FCGI daemon that handles requests.

At that point the amount I trust 99.9% of C and C++ programmers to not screw the pooch (between dealing with HTTP requests, database interaction, string templating...) trends very close to zero. What you describe might be workable in the small, but at that point you might as well fling up Apache and mod_php. It'll probably be faster.

If CGI is dead, I had not noticed. :) I'll admit that I don't write CGI programs often, but I do still write them.

I think, though, that the database interacting, templating, etc., are things that you will very nearly always do in PHP because they're there. File-backed storage (if any storage is even needed) is more than adequate for most cases where one might write a CGI program in C. The last time I had occasion to write something from scratch and target CGI, I was generating graphs. No templating, no database, very fast.

The major pain of templating lies in C's string handling, though, and if you aren't worrying about freeing memory, there's not much pain. As far as HTTP goes, if the protocol was designed to be parsed in C, it's not often difficult to parse in C. But for all of those things, there's a library.

I can't comment specifically about whether or not mod_php would be faster (since I used PHP only briefly and several years ago) but I suspect very strongly that the overhead of firing up a small, statically linked C program beats it.

As I said previously, I don't think it's usually a good idea, but it's a more than viable tool and nice to keep in the box.

From my preliminary read of that page and the linked loan.java, it looks like the java is actually being processed into C code and then complied by the server. Can anyone confirm if this is how the system is architected to "support" java?

It's honestly hard to tell, because behind the SEO-dross and random attacks on established, already-high-performance tools, there aren't many details at all. At first (I hadn't looked at the linked file) I immediately said "you have to be kidding me", but...then I looked at the Java file and I think you might be more on-target than I'm comfortable with.

It does not look like it's running in a normal JRE, which makes me really skeptical of the sibling post claiming that "you can write Java however you want". (If it was running in a normal JRE, a ton of the stuff in loan.java makes little sense...)

The FAQ says it depends on either OpenJDK or the official Oracle Java, so it doesn't sound like it's a special Java-to-C compiler, unless it's something like a runtime JVM bytecode-to-C compiler.

That could be the case--I'm not going to dig deeply into it because honestly I like having my brain still work, but it could be that the insanity in loan.java is just because of the crappy C API being wedged into Java.

I'm not exactly sure how his claims of instant refreshing "scripts" works if it's a conventional JDK, though. I mean, that's just not possible, even with hot reloading (as Play Framework developers have learned to their disappointment).

It wouldn't surprise me if it has something like GCJ creating something like a .so that it loads on the fly. That is just a thought though, i haven't inspected it particularly closely.

I did note in the comment about PHP support. I did notice the website mentioned C++/ObjC, but I just lumped those in as C variants. The Java integration looks interesting.

The author in a forum post did say that he doesn't think that FCGI is the right way to go and suggested asking Zend to build a C library for GWAN that could run PHP code [1]. I find that unlikely unless GWAN really starts getting a large following.

[1] http://forum.gwan.com/index.php?p=/discussion/comment/3801/#...

PHP support is important for backwards compatibility. This is one reason why I am implementing FastCGI.

See [1] for reasons why PHP+FastCGI is a poor choice in 2012.


Actually, on the developers page you linked it also lists JS, Lua, Go and Python as languages for GWAN handlers. I assume that means that those languages are supported via separate processes that are called out by the GWAN process since the page breaks those languages out separately from 'natively' supported C/C++/Obj-C, D and Java.

I wrote the Lua, Go, and Python examples handlers.

JavaScript, Lua, and Python can be linked directly with the server for performance you would not get via separate processes.

I had more difficulty with Go, which you can read about on the forum.[1]

They all work, but are just proofs of concept at the moment. G-WAN makes it easy to link with any C library, so it is not hard to use languages that expose a C API such as those listed. It is just a matter of writing a more complete handler.


My bullshit detector is going off so loudly, I think I best go lie down.

At my last company, we paid for a Zeus ZXTM license (which was an excellent product and very expensive for our little startup), and they didn't approach the level of arrogance here. The varnish guy is kind of opinionated, but he's got the chops to back it up, and you can, y'know, look at the source.

An obvious benefit of open source is also that if I take a large risk of running my business on your oddball web server and you get hit by a bus, I'm pretty much hosed. I'd rather buy 4 additional servers and run nginx than take that risk. Or, y'know, use a CDN.

Whatever, if the developers really are THAT much more skilled and their product is so far and away better than every other solution out there, then they should really hire someone who knows how to do marketing and PR properly, because they're not doing themselves any favors.

I like the way Zeus deals with their performance claims: you can test it, but you can not disclose the results. The same crap as Microsoft used to do. Although I did sign up for a trial, I didn't bother going further after reading the EULA. Long story short: nginx is powering our servers right now, without any need for changing the platform.

Hah, I didn't know that about the performance publishing. We used nginx for static content and as an fcgi front-end.

Off-topic, but I'm curious why you paid for Zeus instead of any other battle-tested FOSS alternative.

We needed load balancers and at the time, the choices were ZXTM, ServerIron (which I'd used subsequently, and am very grateful we didn't pick) or F5. We'd had a truly terrible experience with an F5 reseller so we decided to meet with the Zeus guys. One really attractive option at the time was that they would provide us a solaris build of their software (we were a Solaris 10 shop), and we could run it on our own hardware, which was much better provisioned than the comparable F5 hardware at the time.

All of that aside, the motivation was that by using a product, instead of rolling our own solution, would be more maintainable, and we'd have a support contract. Compared with the mod_rewrite mess we had, ZXTM was a huge improvement. Plus we got stats, graphs, IP failover that worked flawlessly, active/active configuration sync, and a webui that made it so people who weren't intimately familiar with the config syntax of a variety of disparate services could perform fairly complex tasks (like A-B builds).

I mean, we also paid for Cisco ASA 5550s as a firewall/VPN solution for many of the same reasons. It all came down to what we wanted to spend our time engineering and what we could get management to spend money on. :)

I think they made a good choice to remove all the pages on their site accusing Microsoft of a jihad against them, the site is much more respectable now.

You can still find the author accusing Microsoft of a Jihad against them on archive.org [1] or on their forums [2]

Their stance on open source rubs me the wrong way too... http://gwan.ch/faq#license

[1] http://web.archive.org/web/20101023050912/http://gwan.ch/en_...

[2] http://forum.gwan.com/index.php?p=/discussion/comment/3165/#...

The "Support" page reveals how they charge $200,000/year for the privilege of setting a header:

> 199,999 [Swiss francs]: Use G-WAN under the brand of your choice (custom "Server: x" HTTP header).

This isn't the most insane upsell I've heard of, but it's close.

You have to give them credit for coming up with the idea of selling HTTP headers.

not really, it's selling technical support.

No, the support plan is different, this is actually an additional 200,000 swiss francs for that branding.

I played around with this project a couple years ago, so I can give some feedback on my experience. It isn't a con or joke and it isn't full of lies... that said, I still couldn't use it.

First of all, it is mostly one guy, and he seems exceptionally bright, and a bit freaking insane (Tesla was crazy but still smart, so it can work). I exchanged a few emails with him that combined with lack of access to the source drove me away from the project.

That said, every single claim he made I found to be either valid or an undersell on the actual performance (it did even better than he claimed in my tests). I was rather blown away by the performance, but the risk profile on it just made it unacceptable. Code C-Script (it supports more now, I am aware, but at that point it was C), no source, [possibly] nutjob one man show, no ability to easily hire people to work on it (which to be fair is entirely chicken and egg).

But, it is still a project I watch with mild interest... and I do encourage people to try it (great comment on this thread how to run it as a user http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4110247) and try it out, if nothing else it is extremely opinionated software, and it really is borderline insanely fast.

Here's a very interesting thread in the forums of the project maintainer refusing (or perhaps denying his ability) to provide an OS X binary: http://forum.gwan.com/index.php?p=/discussion/420/g-wan-on-m.... Perhaps this is a third point on the "why would you need it to be open sourced" continuum.

"If you want to help me deliver a Mac version of G-WAN, tell me how to install a C compiler on Mac OS X."

Sounds like there's some real bright ones on this development team.

Pierre was a Windows-only developer for 20-something years. It may not sound bright by taking that quote out of its context, but the thread itself is longer that that. You know that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks".

For static content the massive leap was from multithreaded/fork()ing servers to event-based servers (like nginx) powered by epoll (and similar). Event based servers let you handle thousands of slow clients extremely easily. That's basically all you need to get the kind of performance 99.9% of people will ever need for static content. Nginx more than does this job.

For dynamic content multi-process servers are still just fine because your code/DB requests are going to block for long periods, which is far easier than writing non-blocking code. Putting an event-based server in front of a multi-process server for dynamic stuff gets you the best of both worlds.

Something like G-WAN might have a niche for the few people that need to write some piece of their service in C for performance reasons. But, you can pretty easily do that as an nginx module as well, and it's simply not necessary except in very rare cases.

It seems neat, but I don't think it's of much use to most people.

Yet another red flag I just noticed in the instructions here: http://gwan.ch/download

   sudo ./gwan
   Now go to localhost:8080 to try the demos!
But wait, I don't need root to open port 8080. So why sudo? Maybe some weird install procedure runs.... No thanks.

G-WAN does not require any installation and you do not need to run it as root. If you run G-WAN as root, it will automatically apply certain optimizations such as giving itself access to more than 1024 sockets.

Remove sudo and the examples still work.

> If you run G-WAN as root, it will automatically apply certain optimizations such as giving itself access to more than 1024 sockets.

That this is termed "an optimization" terrifies the shit out of me. Even moreso than the whole "hey, run it as root, broseph!" part.

I am unsure why you are carrying this dude's water, but nothing I have seen makes anything related to this project seem either sane or production-safe. There is crazy in these hills, my friend. Undiluted.

> That this is termed "an optimization" terrifies the shit out of me.

What word do you suggest I use to describe configuring a program to have access to more sockets?

> Even moreso than the whole "hey, run it as root, broseph!" part.

In daemon mode, G-WAN drops privileges to the user and group of your choosing.

This is a little off-topic, but does it strike anybody else as weird that we're still writing this kind of code in our servers instead of using an external utility? Personally, I would probably just write something like:

    sudo chpst -u gwan:gwan -o 100000 ./gwan
This uses the chpst utility from runit to do pretty much exactly what you described: set uid/gid, change the file descriptor limit, drop privileges, and execute ./gwan. For similar reasons, it feels crazy that people still manually write code to handle daemonization and pidfile handling, when there are easy tools that will handle that for you, and generally do a really good job of it. Isn't that the Unix Way?

It might be off-topic, but I'd never used chpst before. That one's going in the toolbox. Thank you. :-)

> What word do you suggest I use to describe configuring a program to have access to more sockets?

Like I said, "terrifying" is a good one. Reserving blocks of sockets in that sort of size is notably odd and from a performance standpoint it's pretty hard to argue that it's necessary.

> In daemon mode, G-WAN drops privileges to the user and group of your choosing.

I would assume that it would setuid down to something sane, sure, but that's not the WTF part: it's that I'm supposed to run closed-source code by some guy as root on my server machines.

G-WAN is not reserving sockets, it is being given access to more file descriptors. Any application which uses a large amount of file descriptors requires this.

Okay, then maybe you should have said that in the first place.

It is claimed in the documentation that the way to optimise G-WAN for speed is to run it as root, it can be run as a user, but then its slow as molasses or something.

It's also claimed that this is the only optimisation required or available for speed.

The company is called TrustLeap, just take the leap and trust the binary won't do anything nasty...

Can't comment about the technology, but the site has this extremely SEO-ified feel to it and makes the entire site less readable to me.

It's not just the site. Even the PDF manual is in this style.

"And this test is merely a single-thread test. Add concurrency and SQLite as well as Tokyo Cabinet die in pain because a single write blocks other read/write threads.

Not in G-WAN's case. It is never ever blocking nor delaying any processing.

How solid is it? G-WAN relies on it and has been tested with low and high concurrencies."

I don't want all my comments here to be slamming this project, I just do not understand this maintainers mind.

>How solid is it? G-WAN relies on it and has been tested with low and high concurrencies."

I've compared it and can back that up and I think that TC learned a lot with Kyoto Cabinet as you can read on their page. Did you even compare SQLite and TC vs G-WAN KV yourself before posting this?

I was merely showing an example of the writing style found throughout.

Do you really judge software by the writing style of the author on the homepage?

I think it is very reasonable, if the author also writes the documentation, which is the only way to get to know about the software.

>Since its first release in 2009, G-WAN is the undisputed technical leader of a well-financed (20 years old) market.

How come I am only hearing about it now?

Sounds great, except web servers aren't something people pay for anymore.

Nobody wants to 'steal code', its that code for a WebServer isn't something worth stealing.

As for being amazingly fast? I can write an AMAZINGLY fast server capable of serving up 'Hello, World!' at speeds that can blow everything else outta the water; of course this is of no use to anyone anywhere.

You do not have to pay any money to run G-WAN.[1]

G-WAN is not merely a "hello world" server. See [2] for the API features and [3] for more details.




I have been using G-WAN for about a year. If anyone has specific questions regarding it, I will try to answer them.

Generally speaking, are the performance claims legitimate?

The author of G-WAN provides a benchmarking script[1] you can use to test the claims for yourself.


I have tested the claims and find them to be legitimate.

If you have a more specific question, I may be able to provide more details.

As I'm trying to wade through the manual currently... how does the apparently built in (and perhaps un-configurable?) JS/CSS and auto-spriting/data-uriing work?

Those features activate automatically in daemon mode. The manual explains it on page 7. Can you be more specific with your question?

Perhaps these forum threads will help.[1][2]



Ah, didn't notice the daemon mode only notice. But I suppose I also just wonder if it does the job well? I suppose you only notice once something goes wrong. It just strikes me as a strange thing to be in a server core, but the more I read the more this appears to really be a highly opinionated framework with server-y guts.

Why did you choose it over more conventional fare?

Here are a few reasons:

  * A small, yet useful set of core APIs (http://gwan.ch/api)
  * Applications are recompiled on the fly when a change is made
  * A "no compromises" attitude to performance and software design
  * It supports legacy applications written in CGI-style without the cost of CGI
See this article for an interview with the author of the project[1]


I feel the same I felt when I first tried nginx so many years ago. And this time, there's English language documentation.

NginX has had English language documentation on nginx.net and wiki.nginx.org for years and years.

I recall finding good (which I understand is a loaded qualifier) English docs was very difficult when I was first pointed in its direction.

Well, I have been using it since 0.6.x and helping out on freenode IRC and it has been tolerable to good English at least since then. When Igor posted the introduction documents[1] he even had them previewed on the mailing list so that the English could be corrected before posting.

[1] http://nginx.org/en/docs/introduction.html

This website tells me a lot about how it's "better" than the alternatives, but tells me nothing about what this even is. I've looked at it for a while, and I still can't figure it out. It mentions web servers, communication libraries, code parallelization, persistence layer... So what is it?

The manual explains it: http://gwan.ch/archives/gwan_linux.pdf

I like how it claims to be provably safer than other webservers but the two claims require reading the code.

I love opensource, but I really can't understand people whining about one guys closed-source program when most software+hardware around him is closed-source also. That's so blind hatted.

What? Almost the entire stack in every place I have worked, except a bank, has been open source software. And I don't think people are upset that it's not open source, they find it a joke that the author makes all these ridiculous claims and is closed source.

I was a huge fan+user until the author closed down he's forum on he's site for no other reason(that I can deduce) he didn't like the feedback|comments about the project. Pity I think those forums brought in a lot of "feet/traffic" to the project !

Is this a long troll? I'm amazed that a server billed as performant and designed for "real programmers" needs to put gems like this on their product pages:

> You have to change the PATH variable if you want to call programs without specifying their location.

I am with you on this. I think it's a very elaborate ruse.

If it isn't, then they have totally failed at marketing and should try to fix that.

"These examples illustrate how C scripts seriously fit the task of rapid (and efficient) Web development – especially when used from a Web framework designed to make things as simple as they should be"


I don't get it. If G-Wan is so much better (performance wise), what's holding it back?

I mean other than the licensing and the attitude of its programmer.

Here are some reasons:

  * G-WAN is not open-source, so people (justifiably) resist trying it.
  * It lacks software that takes advantage of the platform.
  * G-WAN gets limited coverage on news sites. (it's banned from Wikipedia for example)
  * People react negatively to the extraordinary claims made by its author without verifying them with the provided benchmark tool

Well some of the claims do appear a bit far fetched and the terms used are really confusing (my bet is that the programmer is non-native speaker).

And it's not banned from Wikipedia, it's just deemed not relevant. But that can't be all, can it?

Other lightweight web servers which fall into the same category as G-WAN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiawatha_(web_server) are still on Wikipedia. No news about any "reliable" references. However, it was not marked for speedy deletion. Don't get me wrong, Hiawatha is a lovely web server. But people on Wikipedia don't use the same measurement for all products.

If you list the claims you feel are far fetched, I can try to provide evidence to support them.

Perhaps far fetched is not the best word to use. The tone of some messages (world's fastest server/web_proxy) is off putting but what really irks me is the totally weird ones: Like units sold for Apple/Mircosoft/Google... What does that prove? Google doesn't sell anything tangible (maybe they sold some Google android phones but that was a one time event).

The first can be proven with the provided benchmarking tool.[1]

As for the second, I agree that the source of those "units sold" should be cited.


Ok for far fetched statement here is this: https://gist.github.com/2932918

They claim their algorithm is impossible to solve using robots... When it is obvious that it isn't impossible...

That example is easy to solve because it is not using any of the provided techniques that makes it more difficult for robots to solve the CAPTCHA: "changing the HTML background color based on: mouse cursor hovering, previous state or input or shared secret"

The purpose of the example is to give you a basis on which you could implement an effective CAPTCHA.

The claim of "difficult or even completely impossible for robots" applies to CAPTCHAs using the above techniques, which are not used in the example.

Oh, how sometimes I love Wikipedians' determination of what is notable or not - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion...

Ha, that is a fun read. My favorite part, where one guy points out that the Google search for "g-wan web server" has 2,440,000 results.

The reply:

  Google search results for:
  "a-wan web server": About 8,030,000 results (0.29 seconds)
  "b-wan web server": About 5,600,000 results (0.21 seconds)
  "c-wan web server": About 4,010,000 results (0.28 seconds)
  "d-wan web server": About 3,410,000 results (0.29 seconds)
  "e-wan web server": About 2,770,000 results (0.25 seconds)
  "f-wan web server": About 2,430,000 results (0.27 seconds)

I wonder what are the benefits of setting G-WAN versus 2-3 nginx with 10-15 gunicorns behind it?

In the latter case you have proven software that is easy to set-up and scale. If need more, then :

- add more nginx/more gunicorns - add haproxy - add DNS balancing

So, what's the point?

Adding more servers costs money. Doing more with less saves money.

See page 2 of http://gwan.ch/archives/g-wan_case.pdf.

Well, in my specific case, I am OK with money - 10 VPS ~ $200-600 per month. You spend more on a couple of trips to supermarket.

I don't have time and 15 years of programming under my belt.

Gotta love their "insurance": http://gwan.ch/insurance o_O

"In the case of an acquisition of G-WAN's Copyrights, the new owner would be the best promotional player of parallelized architectures, and therefore a desirable partner for Intel, AMD, ARM, IBM and Oracle. This fact alone should sustain the disponibility of the product – whether TrustLeap or someone else maintains it"

.. right.

"Source Code Insurance" I hope you don't have to pay monthly..

Per the fine print, it's yearly.

I cannot access the forum. It seems he has blocked the forum. This really puts me off. I find C-scripts really cool and the performance are really fast. I do not think there is a better server to run C-based web sites

This is hilarious.


this is insane.

I'm sincerley interested in the ycombinator response.

I found out about this after searching for nginx/apache alternaitives, and it seems to domeinate everything except the ram usage of nginx.

If you are referring to the memory usage comparison at [1], the latest G-WAN version now uses less RAM than nginx.


And only tested with old versions of nginx.

Tests [1] and [2] both used the latest version of nginx at the time.



Did you try it? What happened?

I would never use this for a production system to be honest. I don't see the benefits of G-WAN over nginx. Nginx is open source, so you can read the source and modify it, which gives you much more control over the server, because you know how the internals work. The nginx community is also really great, so you can find solutions for problems really fast.

this is crap. node.js rocks. and node.js starting with v6 can do parallel cpu as well. go node.js. go heroku cedar.

What's V6?

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