Maxscape Web Application Server
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About Maxscape.com

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

What Is Maxscape?

Maxscape is a platform to implement the generic features of a web application server. Various modules, components and programs are highly integrated to provide the functionality. It comprises development, maintenance and runtime parts. The runtime system consists at least of an HTTP daemon with a (fast) CGI interface, a scripting language with a module library, a rational database and the software to combine them all via a server application programming interface and a server software library.

The idea behind Maxscape is to collect and to integrate the software required to generate application content dynamically on the fly. Consequently, the main goal is to develop Maxscape itself.

Web Server Basic Platform
Operating System, HTTP Daemon, Openssl, Fast CGI, Mod Perl, rational Database, Perl with CPAN Libraries.

Directory Structure
Directory structure to store server, as well as application content and software, separating generic from applications specific parts.

Data Model
Data model to map dynamic web content to a rational database.

Content Database
Database to store and deliver web content.

Software Library with Server Application Programming Interface (API)
Modules, functions and packages for content management and application programming. At the moment the core library comprises approximately 80 packages with 1500 functions.

Runtime System
Server daemons and application processes to generate a web site's content.

Content Management and Application Development System
Content management and application development web interface and command line tools.

Development and Integration Environment
Development tools and integration chain to build the server platform, the server libraries, the runtime system and the distribution.

What Is Unique About Maxscape?

With Maxscape, content, templates and even application software can consistently be stored in a rational database. This eases data storage greatly and adds the multi dimensions of rational databases and the power of the SQL language to content management, as well as to application and server programming.

This allows for example to store text elements with embedded function calls in a database and to fetch and evaluate them, to call the embedded functions at runtime within application processes and then send the result to a browser.

The concept of storing content and programming scripts in a database instead of the file system has more consequences, than one might think at the first glance. Category elements can easily be inherited to sub categories and page resp. template elements can arbitrarily be nested.

Can You Get A Maxscape Distribution?

Yes, you can. Maxscape developer and customer, who want to install Maxscape, may obtain a distribution under certain conditions. Please consider, that, depending on your knowledge, it will take some time, before you can fully operate a Maxscape server on your own. If you only have some mainly static pages, it might be a better choice to host them on one of the many on line servers, for example Profile-Community.com.

Maxscape Development And History

The development of a generic server platform is a quite complex and time consuming task. You have to put many different parts together, which in turn have to be integrated. Therefor you need the knowledge about a wide range of areas, some principles of programming in the large, quite a few skilled people and not to forget a lot of money. Especially, also from the business point of view, such a development exceeds the possibilities of a single person and even a small group of people without a sufficient budget.

However, the origins of the Maxscape idea go back to the early 90's, when the need for dynamic web content generation and a framework for Internet server software became obvious. It was the time when the digital revolution had entered a new phase and almost nobody had noticed it. Even big companies had overslept the development, indeed. At that time, only few people saw the impact, the challenges and the possibilities of computer based communication via telephone switches.

Well, I, for the first time had come to know Compuserve and the Internet, was obsessed by the idea of connecting computer, and therefor its user, via modem and digital networks. Isn't that difficult to understand the idea, right? At that time I was an employee of the SEL, but began to build some kind of a web server in my spare time. Then in 1995, when customer began to ask for a solution for their Internet presentation, Maxscape did function quite well, already. So it was easy to finance the further development with money generated with customer projects like Aum, Vereinsbank, T-Data, Phase 4, GHM, .., with the help of my business partners Natural Planet and Phase 4. The time till the 'new market crash' was really genious. Many customer and rarely some developer and competitor. Unluckily, this changed greatly since 2000.

Maxscape 1.0, released in spring 1998, was the first platform comprising an open source HTTPD (NSCA, CERN), a database (Msql or Oracle), a scripting language (Perl) and a server API (Maxscape), that could be delivered as an quite easy to install distribution. With Maxscape 2.0, released in December 1998 a step to a more 'generic' web server environment was done. The distribution solved a lot problems, especially in respect to installation issues. Maxscape 3.0 was released in may 1999. The database interface was adapted also to MYSQL and a standardised directory structure was implemented by Werner Bosse. Many new features were added to the browser based administration surface, as well as to the Maxscape library.

After the 'new market crash' it became more and more difficult to make money with customer projects and to develop Maxscape at a time. Also, the network of freelancers and little Internet companies broke into pieces, when the big players entered the scene. Remember, how Microsoft defeated Netscape. When Kai Krause told me that it would need at minimum 50 people for a Maxscape company, it became very clear to me that it had become simply impossible to support customers within the current environment. So, I decided to give up all customer projects with Maxscape, what was quite positive for the development of Maxscape.

In 2000 it dawned on me, that the most interesting application for Maxscape would be a web site, connecting people via personal profiles, somewhat a search engine for people, today known as social networks. 2003, I presented a first version on Maxscape.com in 2003 and developed it to the community showcase site Strinx.com in 2004. But, surprisingly for me, like with the Internet, only a few people really got the idea. At the latest with Flicker, Youtube, Myspace, Facebook a.s.o. the public became aware of the meaning of personal profiles and social media. Certainly, the venture capital for such enterprises had gone beyond any imagination, so far. Well, eihter searching for investors, again or try to start an open source project? Also, because Maxscape worked quite well at least for me and after having tried out all the technical possibilities with Strinx.com, I decided to better make music.

Consequently, there was not to much of development between 2005 and 2014. Only when the hardware of Maxscape.com crashed, I did an update of the Maxscape Basic Platform, namely porting Maxscape to the current versions of Linux, Apache, Openssl, Mysql, Perl, the CPAN moduls, FCGI, a.s.o. and moved Maxscape to a computer cloud. When I wanted to set up a web site for our music studio a year later, I was astonished, how far Maxscape had been accomplished so far. Sometimes some distance isn't that bad. Because of the Maxscape database concept and not to forget the Perl language, web site design and application development are very flexible and the runtime system is really fast and stable. So, I thought it makes sense to invest more time in Maxscape and I it makes a lot of fun, again.

What Can Maxscape Do For You And Vice Versa?

If you are interested in Maxscape or if you have an interesting project, you are welcome to contact me.

All the best, Max.


 

Products and Services

  • Installation and maintenance of the Maxscape Platform and the Maxscape Application Server.
  • Installation and adaption of a Maxscape Community Server.
  • Development of web applications, based on 35 years of experience in software engineering.
  • Design, development and maintenance of sophisticated web sites.
  • Consulting in the areas: Inter/Intranet soft/hardware, networks, security, web server, databases, and application development. We
  • If you are interested, contact us and simply join the newly created Maxscape Community.

Web Server Glossary

Apache - The Open source HTTP Daemon.
Altavista - A first web search engine by Digital Equipment.
Browser - Client program that can send a request to an HTTP daemon to display the received result.
Bash - Linux command line interface.
C - High programming language in which UNIX is written.
C++ - Object oriented C
CGI - Via the Common Gateway Interface of an HTTPD arbitrary programs can be executed.
CERN - Institute at which HTML and HTTP were invented.
Cloud - Services provided by a computer farm.
Compiler - Program to make a source machine-readable.
CVS - Concurrent Versions System to manage documents and source code.
CPAN - Perl Module Library.
CSS - A successful attempt to separate HTML design from context and content.
Daemon - A program that runs forever.
DBD/DBI - Perl Interface to several databases.
Facebook - The platform to connect people.
Fast CGI - Application server daemon that communicates with an HTTPD via CGI and sockets.
Flicker - A community to share pictures and images.
Google - The search engine of the Internet.
HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language.
HTTPD - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Daemon.
Internet - Computer network based on TCP/IP.
Interpreter - Program that compiles a source at runtime.
Javascript - Scripting language that runs on the client side (browser).
Lamp - Linux, Apache, Mysql and PHP.
Linux - Free Version of UNIX.
Lycos - One of the first web search engines with a dating community.
Lynx - Text Browser.
Make - Utility to administer program sources.
Maxscape - Platform that implements a generic web server.
Mobil - A small device that turned communication upside down.
Mosaic - Predecessor of the Internet Explorer.
MP3 - Compression method that changed the music industry.
Msql - Maybe the first open source database.
Myspace - A platform to connect people.
Mysql - The Open source database.
Napster - Peer-To-Peer network to exchange music.
Netscape - First browser with multimedia support.
NCSA - Institute which published the predecessor of Apache.
Natural Planet - One of the first Internet companies in Berlin.
Open Source - Software projects with sources.
Openssl - Open source encryption software.
Oracle - The Commercial database.
PC - Personal Computer, the idea of making a computer available to everybody.
Peer-To-Peer - Direct communication between network devices.
Perl - Ingenious interpreter language.
Phase 4 - A first Munich Internet company.
RPM - Red Hat Package Manager.
Shell - UNIX command line interface.
Socket - Creates an endpoint for communication.
SEL - Standart Elektronik Lorenz (Telekom Equipment).
SSL - Secure Socket Layer.
Strinx - Community Software based on Maxscape.
Tcsh - Another UNIX command line interface,
TCP/IP - Internet Protocol.
T-Data - Daughter of the Telekom
UNIX - Operation System mostly written in C.
Vereinsbank - Bank, now Hypovereinsbank.
Vignette - Commercial Content Management.
Web Server - The server software, that is necessary to run a web site.
Web Site - A computer on the Internet running an HTTP daemon that delivers HTML and other multimedia content.
Xing - A community for business profiles.
XML - Extended Markup Language, a generic version of HTML.
Yahoo - A first web directory and search engine.
Youtube - A community to share videos.

Maxscape Application Server Sites

Maxscape.com - Maxscape Community
Strinx.com - Showcase Community Site
Internet-Profile.com - Internet Profile
Profile-Community.com - Publish A Profile
Sound-Basement.com - Sound-Basement Studio