servlet womb : Java Glossary

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Servlet womb
aka servlet container, a program than runs on a server on the Internet that hosts Servlets, and usually JSP. I also use the term womb more broadly for any class hosting program that serves a similar purpose. They may or may not also handle JSP (Java Server Pages), ASP (Association of Shareware Professionals), PHP (Pre-Hypertext Processor). I prefer the term servlet womb even though its use is not widespread because:
  1. It is more evocative of what it does for Servlets.
  2. Container already has too many overloaded meanings.
  3. The name subtly irritates my arch enemies, the Republicans.
application servers are Servlet wombs with extra features besides handling Servlets, e.g. EJB (Enterprise Java Beans). I also object to the vague term application servers since it could refer to any program at all that runs on a server, not just something that supports Servlets. The problem with my term servlet womb, is that people will look at you funny, even if they know what you mean.

It gets tedious writing Servlets that embed reams of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) inside Java strings, since your outputs are complete HTML pages. So people have created scores of haire-brained ways of embedding Java code in HTML that gets compiled into the equivalent Java Servlet code dynamically. I find them all to ugly to live. You might have a look at some of the choices of framework.

Notice the huge number of developers who are building JSP clones. In my mind they are all lemmings headed for early extinction. 100% server side computing is a fundamentally flawed concept. I propose something quite different to replace it.

Servlet Womb Vendor Table

Vendors, or anyone else, please help fill in, update or correct the following entries. Please your changes to send to email feedback email address. See also frameworks for various schemes to embed Java code in HTML.
Servlet Womb Vendors
Program JDK (Java Development Kit)
Ver
Servlet
Ver
JSP
Ver
EE (Enterprise Edition)
Ver
Notes
Acme  
Adobe ColdFusion original, before ASP (Active Server Page), JSP, PHP there was ColdFusion, yet another way to blend code and HTML. Originally developed by Allaire, then sold to Macromedia then to Adobe. $1300.00 USD . Enterprise edition $6000.00 USD . Last revised/verified: 2007-06-05
ATG Dynamo Last revised/verified: 2007-07-29  
Barracuda  
Bea WebLogic 1.5 2.3 1.2 1.4 fast, extremely expensive. Use their own JRockit JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Last revised/verified: 2006-02-15
Cascade It appears to have disappeared.
Catalina 6.0.2- 2.5 Part of Apache Tomcat that handles JSP. Last revised/verified: 2009-08-30
Caucho Resin 2.5 2.1 fast, load balancing, JSP, XML (extensible Markup Language), XSL (extensible Stylesheet Language). Free for non-commercial use. Also serves HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Can be ganged with Apache HTTP server to handle the static HTTP serving. Last revised/verified: 2009-08-30
Caucho Resin-EE 2.4 2.0 1.0 fast, load balancing, EJB, JSP, XML, XSL. Free for non-commercial use. Also serves HTTP. Can be ganged with Apache HTTP server to handle the static HTTP serving. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-15
Enhyrda xmlc Enhydra means Sea Otter.
ExpressO 1.4 2.3 Last revised/verified: 2006-02-15
eWave JavaServer Pages, Servlet and Enterprise JavaBeans, Defunct.
Freemarker Has is own way of embedding code elements in HTML. Opensource project. Excellent documentation. Supports JSP Taglibs. Last revised: 2005-10-05 Verified: 2006-02-06
Gemstone/J  
Glass Fish 1.5 1.5 Open source EE from Sun. That 1.5 is not a typo. It supports the upcoming IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers) 1.5 standard. It is not ready for deployment, but there is code you can run. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-16
HTML Static Macros 1.5 n/a n/a n/a This is a completely different way of dealing with the problem of generating dynamic content. You generate the content before uploading it to a vanilla HTTP server using embedded macros written in Java. The advantage is you require no server side code. Your site can be hosted on any standard HTTP server. It thus serves pages much more efficiently than Servlets do. Everything is already prepared. Caching is more efficient too with true last-modified dates. This is how I generate the content on this website, mindprod.com. The approach can be combined with traditional Servlets to handle the mundane pages. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-15
James formerly JavaHTTPD. Appears to have disappeared. Don’t confuse with James the mailserver. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-06
Java Web Server 1.2 2.2 1.1 Oracle’s webserver, formerly known as Jeeves. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-06
JavaHTTPD now known as James. Appears to have disappeared. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-06
jBoss 1.4 EJB 1.3. open source, EJB container. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-06
JByte JBTE (Java Byte Template Engine), now defunct.
Jeeves 1.2 2.2 1.1 Oracle’s webserver, now known as Java WebServer.
Jetty 2.4 Jonathan Revusky recommends it because it is pure Java, fast and open source, and because it did well on the iX Magazine benchmarks. Free for commercial use and distribution. Last revised: 2006-01-05 Verified: 2006-02-15
Jigsaw 1.4 2.3 Cern W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) ' server. Last revised: 2005-06-08 Verified: 2006-02-15
JRun Pro 1.3 Jonathan Revusky does not like it. I was using it. It seems to work ok, though I had nothing to compare it with. By Macromedia now bought out by Adobe. $900.00 USD Last revised: 2005-08-05 Verified: 2006-02-15
JServ Apache Jakarta project frozen. Supplanted by Tomcat. Last revised/verified: 2006-02-15
JSTL JSTL (Java Server Pages Standard Tag Library) auxiliary for JSP. Requires a JSP container that supports the Java Servlet 2.4 and JavaServer Pages 2.0. Last revised: 2004-10-25 Verified: 2006-02-15
Maverick  
Open EJB open source, EJB 1.1 container. Last revised: 2005-09-05 Verified: 2006-02-15
Oracle AS 1.3 OAS (Orace Application Server). Last revised: 2003-09 Verified: 2006-02-15
Orion 2.3 1.2 1.3 EJB 2.0, fast, from Sweden.
PHP Perl-like syntax.
SAP Netweaver Web Application Server
ServletExec 2.4 2.0 JSTL 1.1. $700.00 USD Last revised: 2006 Verified: 2006-02-15
Snigel Seems to have disappeared. A tiny (39K) but fully featured Servlet server, interfaced very similar to javax.net.servlet. Get, post, upload data, sessions, standard logs, public file path, etc. Extended servlet context allows user defined scopes such as static instance, instance-per-thread or even singleton Servlets if one wishes. Especially useful in debugging Servlets.
Sybase EAServer EE, also handles C++, CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture).
Tapestry runs inside some other womb. Last revised: 2006-01-06 Verified: 2006-02-15
TeaTrove née Tea. Like JSP with more separation of presentation and logic. By Disney. Last revised: 2004-03-18 Verified: 2006-02-15
Tomcat 6.0.20 2.5 by Apache Jakarta. Quite slow, but free, Very popular, especially on Linux. Last revised/verified: 2009-08-30
Velocity Was quite popular, but appears to have run out of steam. Last revised: 2004-04-04 Verified: 2006-02-15
VQserver Last revised: 2000 Verified: 2006-02-15
WebMacro Last revised/verified: 2006-02-15
WebSphere 1.4 IBM (International Business Machines) ’s offering. Comes with a wheelbarrow full of documentation. Very expensive.
OpenSymphony Webwork 1.5 Defunct. Ajax based. Last revised/verified: 2011-06-25
Apache Wicket 6.0 Ajax based. Last revised/verified: 2012-08-06

Tips

If you change the jars used by your JSP code, make sure you manually delete the generated class files (classes in the WEB-INF tree for Caucho Resin). The womb won’t be smart enough to do that on its own and you will get all manner of NoClassDefFound errors.

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