W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-lib-survey@w3.org > September 2000

LIBWWW SURVEY

From: Michael Kifer <kifer@cs.sunysb.edu>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 17:15:04 -0400
Message-Id: <200009252115.RAA12897@sbcs.cs.sunysb.edu>
To: www-lib-survey@w3.org


=====================================
             LIBWWW SURVEY
=====================================

Opens: September 22, 2000
Ends:  October 6, 2000
Goal:  Get a clear idea of what the libwww user community would like to
       do with libwww
Means: Mail your responses to this form to www-lib-survey@w3.org

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[1.0] Who are you and how do you use libwww

      I am a professor at SUNY-Stony Brook. We use libwww as an interface
      to the Web from XSB, a research prototype of a deductive
      database/logic programming system
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[1.1] Do you develop or have developed applications that use libwww

[x] Yes
[ ] No

If you didn't answer yes to [1.1], go to section 2.

[1.2] What kind of application (you may cite the name too, if you want)

	   We use libwww to fetch and parse HTML/XML/RDF pages and then use
	   XSB to query them.

[1.2] On which platform and environment (mark all that apply)

[ ] X-Windows
[x] Unix (includes Linux, Solaris, ...)
[x] Win32
[ ] GTK
[ ] Others (please cite): 

[1.3] Which language(s) did you use

[x] C
[ ] C++
[x] Others (please cite): Prolog

[1.4] How do you rate your programming skills

[x] Experience programmer
[ ] Average programmer
[ ] Beginner

[1.5] What parts of libww do you use

[x] XML parser
[x] RDF parser
[x] HTML parser
[x] HTTP 
[ ] FTP
[ ] News
[ ] Telnet
[ ] Gopher
[x] SSL
[ ] Others (please cite):

[1.6] What applications of libwww do you use

[x] Examples
[ ] Robot
[ ] LineMode parser
[ ] Command line parser
[ ] WinCommander

[1.7] What modifications do you make to the code before you use it?

    None. 

[1.8] If you have any tests for libwww code, what parts of libwww
      do you test and are you willing to contribute the tests to
      the W3C?

    Because libwww is only a part of a much larger system, I am not sure that
    our tests are particularly helpful to you.

[1.9] Anything else you'd like to say

    I am glad that there has been a lot of activity fixing the bugs in libwww.
    For a while it seemed that the library is going to die...

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[2.0] Your opinion of libwww
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[2.1] In your opinion, libwww is (check all that apply):

[x] useful to write sample code
[ ] useful for learning how to program a WWW application
[ ] useful to write production code
[ ] Other: please cite

[2.2] Do you find it useful that libwww is written in C

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[2.3] Please explain your previous answer

    Given that we use libwww as an interface from a larger system, it is useful
    that it is written in C, because it is generally much simpler to interface
    to a C program.

[2.4] Do you feel that libwww too big?

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[2.5] If so, which parts would you like to remove, or move to other libraries

    My "yes" checkmark means that it is too complicated and hard to debug
    because of all the indirection.
    I don't care that much about the actual physical size. I've found that both
    HTTP and the parsers are much faster in libwww than the alternatives
    (smaller Java or Prolog programs that do the same).

[2.6] What are the things that you like the most of libwww

    Speed and relative stability.

[2.7] What are the things that you dislike the most of libwww

    Complexity. Steep learning curve and the difficulty in debugging.
    Scarcity of documentation.

[2.8] What are the things that you would like to change in libwww

[2.9] What are the things you think that libwww are missing

    Good documentation.

[2.10] Anything else you'd like to say

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 3: The future
---------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------
[3.1] Let's continue with libwww
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[3.1.1] Do you think it's worth it to have a WWW library?

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[3.1.2] Do you know of any other similar libraries (please give a URL to
        the project if possible)

[3.1.2] Do you think it's worth it to invest time continuing enhancing
        libwww and its architecture.

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[3.1.3] Are you interested in joining the core team of such a project 
        (enhancing libwww)?

[ ] Yes
[x] No 	   (Web libraries is not my core competence,
        	   but I am trying to help with bug reports)

[3.1.4]  If you are willing to write some new documentation or improve
         existing documentation, which topics are you willing to document?

[3.1.5] Anything else you'd like to say

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[3.4] Let's invest our forces enhancing an existing project
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[3.4.1] Do you think it's better to enhance another existing project (i.e.,
        merge our efforts)

[3.4.2] Are you interested in joining the core team of such a project
        (enhancing an existing project)?

[ ] Yes
[x] No

[3.4.3] Anything else you'd like to say

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[3.5] Let's write it again
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[3.5.1] Do you think the project should stop and start again from a clean
        slate?

[ ] Yes
[ ] No
	I really have no opinion on this, since this is not my core competency.

[3.5.2] Which language would you use and why (please take into account
        portability among systems)?

[3.5.3] Are you interested in joining the core team of such a project 
        (starting a new libwww project)?

[ ] Yes
[x] No

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[3.6] Where to host it
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[3.6.1] Should W3C continue hosting libwww or any other spin-off projects?

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[3.6.2] SourceForge (SF): How would feel if the W3C transferred libwww to a 
        SF project?

	This probably might attrach more developers and take away some
	maintenance burden from W3C. But I don't have strong opinion one
	way or the other.

[3.6.3] Are you currently involved with any SF projects?

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[3.6.4] If so, do you think libwww would fit into that developement paradigm?

[x] Yes
[ ] No

[3.6.5] Do you have other suggestions of where libwww should be hosted?

[3.6.6] Anything else you'd like to say

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[4.0] Your comments
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[4.1] Anything else you'd like to say

    Thanks for your efforts!
Received on Monday, 25 September 2000 17:17:50 EDT

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