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Request for thoughts on libwww

From: Kerry DeZell <kdezell@bluemountain.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 23:34:07 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <398797B7.787DFE1C@bluemountain.com>
To: www-lib@w3.org
Hello,

My name is Kerry and I work for Blue Mountain Arts (the electronic
greeting card website). We are doing more and more programattic website
to website communication as we integrate new attachments and
functionality into our cards. Unfortunately, to date this has been done
in a piecemeal fashion but I would like to consolidate using a single
library (either public domain such as libwww, custom built, or purchased
if necessary). Since the majority of our CGI's are written in C and I am
not big on reinventing the wheel, I am interested in the C version of
libwww.

As we begin to add more attachments to our cards that require purchases,
i.e. chocolates, our need for SSL support is also growing.
I have obtained the latest versions of libwww and open SSL and have been
playing with some simple applications. So far the non-SSL applications
have been easy to use and haven behaved as expected. I was also able to
create a simple SSL application as well. However, when I started doing
multiple https requests, the application core dumps deep in the SSL
write functionality (in perusing mail lists this morning it looks like
this may have been found by others as well and fixed already).

This made me wonder how stable the SSL baseline is and whether anyone is
using it and libww extensively (e-groups mail list shows only 22
members). I would also be interested in knowing if anyone has any
benchmarks on the speed and stability of w3c as a whole. (i.e. has it
been checked for memory leaks, profiled for inefficient code, how often
are common interfaces changed/deprecated etc.)

Lib w3c seems like a pretty good framework but it is unclear from the
website how many users are actually using it, whether any of these uses
are for other than experimental purposes or in house tools, or how
actively the baseline is being maintained (most of the CVS activity
seems to be months old and the last news item on the website is a year
old though the SSL fix seemed to happen fairly quickly once noticed).

Before I recommend that Blue Mountain use this technology I'd like to
get a better feel for how the library is being used, if the SSL portion
is being used by anyone for actual e-commerce implementatinos, and what
people think of C libwww and its SSL interface. I would also be
interested in knowing if anyone is actively using the XML parsing
portion of the library as more of our interfaces to other websites seem
to be headed in that direction.

Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated. If
we do decide to use the technology we may be able to assist in
furthering the product.

Thanks

Kerry DeZell
Blue Mountain Arts
Received on Wednesday, 2 August 2000 03:08:39 GMT

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