ANNOUNCEMENT of W3C Reference Library 4.0

                            *  *  *  *  *

            World-Wide Web Consortium Software Distribution

  The W3C Reference Library is a general code base written in C. It can
  be used as a basic tool for writing both single threaded and multi
  threaded Web applications like clients, servers, proxies etc. It
  contains reference code for accessing HTTP, FTP, Gopher, News, WAIS,
  Telnet servers, and the local file system and a lot functionality to
  handle data objects rendered in various media types.

                            *  *  *  *  *

The W3C developer team is proud to announce the official release of
the W3C Reference Library version 4.0. The Library has undergone a
major set of changes in the API and strong modularity has been
enforced since the last 3.1 release. The 4.0 release offers a truly
portable and highly modular interface designed to run on all major
platforms including Windows, Macintosh, and Unix.

The distribution can be downloaded from


or directly from our anonymous FTP server:


Note that there is both a "zip" file, a "gzip'ed tar" file, and a
"compressed tar" file.

Features includes

        * Support of HTTP, FTP, NNTP, Gopher, WAIS, Telnet and rlogin access

        * Up to date reference implementation of HTTP/1.1 specification
          including persistent connections and MIME multi part parsing.

        * Support for dynamic linking using Windows DLLs

        * Based on the ANSI standard and the Posix standard

        * Small Library core with run-time hooks for extensions such as new
          access modules, server modules, file cache and media type converters

        * Fully thread safe implementation which enables easy generation of
          threaded applications for example using Posix threads

For a full list of new features, please look at


Continuously updated information about the Library can be found at


You can find the new documentation from the status page at


The W3C software is under MIT copyright and you can find the copyright
statement in the source distribution file or at


Please note that everybody who makes modifications, contributions
etc. and wishes to incorporate them as part of the W3C software
distribution must sign a form that gives MIT the permissions to use
the contributions under the terms of the W3C software
distribution. This form is available at


It is known to compile on Sun4, Solaris, HP Snake, NeXTSTEP, Ultrix,
OSF/1, Linux, SGI, AIX, NetBSD, Windows and Macintosh. There are
special instructions for making DLLs. Please have a look at the list
of supported platforms for more information:


Here you will find many hints and ideas about the specific platforms.
Even though the Library and the Line Mode Browser is known to compile
on a Windows NT platform it is not guaranteed to run out of the box on
a Windows 3.1 with Win32s added and it will not work on a 16 bit
version of Windows without modifications. However, we are very
interested in hearing about work in this direction.

The release of the W3C Reference Library is followed by a new set of
"proof of concept" applications giving hands-on experience on how the
Library can be used in practice as a generic basis for all types of
Web applications, including servers, clients, and robots. The three
example applications are:

Command Line Tool

The Command Line Tool is a simple tool that shows how to use various
HTTP methods like PUT, POST, DELETE, rule file management, and use of
proxy servers and gateways.

Mini Server

The Mini Server is not a complete server but only an example on how to
make a frame for a non-forking, portable server application based on
the internal event loop in the Library.

Line Mode Browser

The Line Mode browser has been simplified to concentrate on the
interactive mode which shows how a client application can interact
with the Library. It stretches topics like cache management, HTML
parsing and presentation, persistent connections to HTTP, FTP, and
NNTP servers, and media type conversions.

Please send any comments and questions to <libwww@w3.org> or to the
Library mailing list <www-lib@w3.org>. For information about the
mailing list, please have a look at



Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, <frystyk@w3.org>
World-Wide Web Consortium, MIT/LCS NE43-356
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, USA