Forum OpenACS Q&A: AOLserver advocacy

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Posted by Brian Fenton on
I hate it when this happens….
A client is wondering about AOLserver and “the mass toolkit market”. He’s basically asking “what’s this AOLserver thing? Nobody uses that.” It’s a valid query and we usually respond with “it’s the web server behind aol.com – is that enough for you?” (obviously not phrased that glibly ;-) ). Here his concerns are also to do with the fact that designers who normally use ASP may have difficulties with ADP. Can’t see why myself. :-)

Does anyone have a stock advocacy reply they use when clients query this kind of thing?

Thanks,
Brian

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2: Re: AOLserver advocacy (response to 1)
Posted by Jun Yamog on
I think its somewhere in the forum.  I think Talli said it best, try to search for this post.  The dotLRN site is good too.

http://dotlrn.mit.edu/technical/index.html

Maybe someone can come up with something similar to dotlrn and place it in openacs.org.  Or put the stuff that was posted by Talli and others.  These way we are ready for things.

Although  I will admit that these queries about aolserver are really valid and comes up everytime I tell someone about OpenACS.  Hopefully each on of us can do our small share of advocating aolserver.  In the long run, the longer aolserver is a nitch, the longer openacs will become a nitch.  The feature advantage of aolserver and openacs will diminish slowly over time until its not that compeling anymore.  5 years ago... nothing compares to aolserver... 2 years ago nothing compares to ACS....

So marketing and advocacy is needed to ensure our survival.  Cathy's page is already link on the home page.  But that is more OpenACS advocacy than aolserver.

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3: Re: AOLserver advocacy (response to 1)
Posted by David Walker on
I usually say I can take any good VBScript/ASP programmer and have him productively working in AOLServer/ADP/TCL with a morning's worth of training.

With a designer I'm not sure I would even need to take that long.

Also, AOL's use of AOLServer extends to many of their web properties, including mapquest.com, moviefone.com, aol.com, aol-time-warner.com, netscape.com, and digitalcity.com.

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4: Re: AOLserver advocacy (response to 3)
Posted by Brian Fenton on
Here's what my boss put together.

From: Ciaran De Buitlear

Just to clarify: we write web sites using ADP pages which are equivalent to ASP pages.

I would consider that the web server (Apache or AOLserver) supports the toolkit.  There are modifications available for Apache which support  both ASP and our toolkit.  Unfortunately, AOLserver doesn't support ASP which is a proprietary development environment (owned by Microsoft - maybe that's why!).    Our choice of web server was based on performance and scalability for a database backed transaction processing environment - where AOLserver wins hands down over Apache in my opinion.

As you can see from this article in Linuxworld...

http://www.linuxworld.com/linuxworld/lw-1999-09/lw-09-aolserver_1-p3.html

...AOLserver has "Strong support for database-backed Web services."... particularly with an  ..."Oracle back-end".

Further "In short, AOLserver represents a packaged solution for high-volume Web sites, whereas Apache has lots of unbundled components that may be combined in various ways. "

Or this comparison of web servers on TIVEA...

http://www.tivea.net/Web%20Servers.html

..."America Online's own web server, is the backbone of the largest and busiest production environments in the world. AOLserver is a multithreaded, Tcl-enabled web server used for large scale, dynamic web sites. "

Other organisations that use AOLserver:
AOL , Netscape.com, OpenSpec Inc. (bom.com) ,  Fox Cable Networks , The U.S. Department of Defense .

So you could describe this as using horses (web servers) for courses (applications).  I presume most web sites don't do any heavy transaction processing. I further presume that an average web design company wouldn't build a heavy database backed transaction processing web site.

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5: Re: AOLserver advocacy (response to 1)
Posted by Jun Yamog on
Here is another good thread

http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=33668

Not that related... but some posts are about aolserver.

http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=31877

Can someone put this good stuff in the features or some other page?  We will surely make use of this in the future.  If not maybe just link to this thread.  Our current search is not yet as good as the old search, and its still being worked on.  In the mean time maybe a page or link we can use for aolserver stuff.