WN version 1.08 released!

WN version 1.08 released!

Post by John Fran » Wed, 06 Sep 1995 04:00:00

John Franks     Dept of Math. Northwestern University


WN version 1.08 released!

Post by John Fran » Wed, 06 Sep 1995 04:00:00

                        WN -- a server for HTTP
                Version 1.08  now available at

WN is a server for the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).  It runs on
most common UNIX platforms and is available at no cost for any use
under the terms of the GNU public license.

The design of WN is based on the use of a small flat database in each
directory with information about the files in that directory.
Fields associated with a file include its title, and may include
keywords, expiration date and any user defined fields like author or
document id.

See an overview at

or the entire User's Guide at

To see a few of the things this server can do that most others can't
check out the context search of the HTML 2.0 specification and the
index to the same document, both at


Features of WN:

        o Executable is smaller than CERN or any NCSA derived servers.

        o Stronger Security, based on per directory databases.  Only files
          with permission in the per directory databases may be served.

        o Conditionally included text in parsed documents and conditional
          redirects.  See <URL:http://hopf.math.nwu.edu/docs/parse.html#if>.

        o Built in support for imagemaps -- easier and more efficient.
          See <URL:http://hopf.math.nwu.edu/docs/click.html>.

        o Support for multiple virtual homes (different data roots
          for different IP interfaces).

        o Optional "verbose" log including Referrer and User-Agent,
          and Cookie, plus a perl script to convert verbose logs to
          Common Log Format.

        o A variety of built-in hierarchy searches including title searches,
          keyword searches, or fielded searches for user defined fields.
          These can be done across the entire server or any sub-hierarchy.

        o Built-in full text searching of text documents in a single
          directory.  This is intended to provide a mechanism for users
          to search a single logical HTML document which may consist of
          many files on the server.  No indexing is required (but it is
          suitable for searching 100 files not 1000).

        o Support for "Keywords:", "Expires:", "Title:" and
          "Refresh:"  HTTP headers for all files (not just HTML

        o Secure server side includes and wrappers for HTML documents.

        o Optional per directory access control by hostname or IP address.
          Support for "Basic" authentication and "Digest" authentication
          (Digest authentication is still experimental).

        o Filters.  An arbitrary filter may be assigned to any document
          to process that document on the fly when serving it.

        o Support for the proposed HTTP headers Refresh: and

        o CGI 1.1 support for forms, etc.

        o Ranges. Support for URLs which return only a specified byte
          or line range of a document.

        o Support for RFC931 Identd logging.

        o Over 200K of documentation.

The features in the list above are all possible without the necessity
of using CGI scripts (except for the CGI support, of course).

WN's functionality was planned with a focus on serving HTML documents.
This means such things as enabling full text searching of a single
logical HTML document which may consist of many files on the server,
or allowing users users to search all titles on the server and obtain
a menu of matching items, or allowing users to download a total
logical document for printing even though the document consists of
many linked files on the server.  All of these are done in a way which
is transparent to the user (and largely transparent to the maintainer!)
The User's Guide at <URL:http://hopf.math.nwu.edu/docs/manual.html>
provides a good example of both of these. But these are only examples of
many new tools WN makes available to webmasters.




There is an active listserv of WN users. To subscribe with
the address you're sending mail from, send a message to

"subscribe wn-maint Your Name" with "Your Name" replaced
by your name.



John Franks     Dept of Math. Northwestern University