About Maxscape.com

Maxscape.com is dedicated to the Maxscape Web Server. An introduction is presented and information about content management and application programming are published since 1998.

What is Maxscape?

Maxscape is a web server framework that provides the key features to develop, manage and operate sophisticated web sites and services. Various programs, components and modules are integrated to implement the generic functionality of an application server, a file and content management system and a development and integration environment.

Development and Integration Environment
Maxscape has been developed on UNIX the best Operating System for network servers. UNIX comes with a whole world of useful tools on its own. Decent command line shells, vi, grep, diff, locate, find, make, etc. Additional tools namely CVS, GIT and RPM are used for development, integration build and the distribution chain.

A central makefile and several shell scripts adapts and facilitates the UNIX tool chain to set the appropriate environments, to manage the various versions of programs, components, modules and the server's file system and last but not least to find text strings and code pieces on the file system and in the database.
Generic Web Server Platform
The web server platform comprises the HTTP(S) daemons, a specially compiled Perl interpreter with many useful CPAN modules, as well as a rational database.

Apache is compiled with Openssl, Fast-CGI and Mod-Perl. Maxdaemon comprises a fast, lightweight HTTP(S) daemon written in Perl with three kinds of CGI interfaces, a web browser surface to manage the server's and the host's file system, and an application server run time system.

The build of an own, specially compiled Perl Interpreter is recommended, to adapt Perl to the needs of an application server, for example to encrypt the software sources on production systems.

The Content Database can be implemented with any rational database, as long as a DBD/DBI driver exists. Anyway a pre-compiled MySql database is part of the distribution.

To build the platform an RPM repository with spec files is used, what eases the build process greatly and makes it reproducible.
Standardized Directory Structure
The standardized directory structure is introduced to ease the management of software components and web sites and to make applications of different servers directly compatible. Each application server lives in its own directory sub tree, structured according to UNIX conventions. Process, server and site specific components are separated in distinct directories.
Application Server and Run Time System
The run time system connects all components and implements the interface between server and applications. It generates content from the content databases resp. the file system within the main loops of the application processes. It provides variables, functions and objects to applications to access configuration, server, client request, a.s.o. data and for easy work with the content database. At many states of the content generation functions applications can insert callbacks.
Class Library and Server API
The Maxscape class library implements the main features of a generic application server, to work with the content database, the web surfaces and the HTTP(S) daemon.

She offers an hierarchical, object oriented view on content and software stored in the content database and on the file system. Applications communicate with the server software via variables, functions and objects provided by the run time system.

At the moment she comprises 88 packages with 1420 methods, 65295 Lines of Perl Code with rudimentary documentation, whereas code in the database that is candidate to be part of the library is not counted. The number of all source lines is 507215.
Content Database and Data Model
Each virtual web site has its own content database to store configuration data, categories, pages, templates, elements, user data, etc., as well as application software.

The data model maps the hierarchical structure of a web site to the rational database. Directories become categories and files become pages. Pages consists of the page data and elements, which are inserted into templates. Categories may contain elements, which can be inherited to sub trees. Templates allow to separate content and design and to generalize page layouts.

Database pages are subdivided into page elements, which contain the content and application software. Element content can be whatever database tables can store. A particular feature of Maxscape is, that even Perl code can be stored in page elements, which is then evaluated and executed by the run time system. Thank you Perl!
Database and File System Surfaces
Maxscape provides several web browser surfaces to the Content Database and the file system of the web site's servers. Though functionality and look & feel could definitly be improved, most of the important functions to manage web sites are implemented.
History and Customers
Maxscape 1.0 (1997) was the first platform integrating an HTTP daemon (first NSCA, CERN, then Apache), FastCGI/ModPerl, SSL, a database (first Msql, then Mysql, Oracle), a programming language (Perl) and an application server, that was delivered and sold, as a relatively easy to install distribution to customers like Vereinsbank, T-Data, Phase 4, GHM.
Example Web Sites with Maxscape
An application server without applications is like a community site without members. Quite useless. Well, here are some sites running on Maxscape.

∙ Maxscape.com - Maxscape Internet Server
∙ Maxdaemon - Maxdaemon HTTPD and application server
∙ Internet-Profile.com - Profile and Website Publishing
∙ Profile-Community.com - Simple Community Solution
∙ Sound-Basement.com - Sound-Basement Studio/community
∙ Strinx.com - Ancient Showcase Community Site
∙ Rainer Jacob - Rainer Jacobs ingenious Art Works
∙ Delilah und Freunde - Delilah's Profile at Sound-Basement.com
∙ The Sky Across Berlin - Berlin's Sky at Sunset

What Can Maxscape Do for You?

Unique about Maxscape is that content, HTML, XML, Javascript and also embedded server software (Perl) can consistently be stored in a rational database, called the Content Database. The Maxscape data model then maps the structure of a web site to the database, allowing an hierarchical view on the content as well as on the embedded application software.

The idea of the Content Database arose in 1996 from the experience, that the effort to store a complex web site's content, design, applications and meta data on a file system is much bigger than using a database for that task. Instead of innumerable files and the related administration ramifications, a database offers a regular, standardized structure, that can be managed relatively easy.

It is also an experience that the implementation of a data model, the user interfaces to the database and the run time system to dynamically generate content is quite a big project on its own. Once set up, the possibilities are simply amazing. Thus content and design can be separated by storing them in different elements, content and design elements can be reused easily and to implement a sophisticated template technique, for example.

Another key feature of the Content Database is that besides document languages like HTML, client side scripts like Javascript, also server side software (Perl) can be stored in the database and be evaluated or executed at run time on-the-fly. Storing server side software in the database offers many advantages, as you will see later. For example, to write documents with only occasionally embedded variables and code snippets, for small code pieces that are used only once and greatly eases the implementation of nested page and template elements.

Come to Know Maxscape

To get a first impression read the Profile and create an account on Maxscape.com if you are a web designer or developer, on Sound-Basement.com for musicians or on Profile-Community.com.

Create a website that you can publish on the Internet or for members. The site's surfaces are a first usable version for anonymous users with restricted functionality e.g. without direct server side programming possibilities. They also offer a simple community solution with which you can publish a profile, as well as communicate and work together on pages with other members. For your anonymous account, you only need a member name and a password.

Don't worry be happy, Max.

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