Nokia Releases Symbian Apache Web Server Source Code for Mobile Web Server

Nokia has released the complete source code of the Symbian Port of the Apache web server for mobile phones, under open source project, potentially empowering any user to create and maintain his own personal mobile websites.

mobile-web-serverRunning an Apache web server on a mobile phone sounds pretty exciting and it throws open some potentially new avenues of many useful applications for this massess in view of the fact that mobile phones users outnumbers PC users.

Background

It has been possible to access the Internet using mobile phones for quite a while over various mobile phone internet access protocols like GPRS and WAP, although the role of the mobile phone handset used for internet access has remained to be strictly been that of a client.

Considering that modern phones have processing power and memory on par with and even exceeding that of conventional http web hosting servers of the early web (prior 1995), there really is no reason anymore why an entire web servers could not reside and run on any latest mobile phones and why people could not create and maintain their own personal mobile websites.

A desire to show in practice that personal mobile websites are feasible triggered the birth of the project that started in the beginning of 2004. The primary goals were to bring a full-fledged webserver to S60 and to make a webserver running on a mobile phone accessible from the Internet using any web browser.

The Apache web server software for mobile phone includes:

  • A Symbian port of the Apache httpd web server
  • A connectivity solution that enables HTTP traffic to a mobile device from the Internet.

The connectivity solution consists of a gateway that runs on a computer on the Internet and a so called connector that runs on the mobile device. Together with an appropriate DNS configuration they provide a mobile device with a global name (URL) in the operator networks of today.

By configuring DNS, the lookup a browser makes, for the URL of a particular mobile website, resolves to the IP address of the gateway computer. When the browser subsequently sends an HTTP request to the gateway, it is relayed to the mobile device where it is delivered to the web server. To all parties concerned – the person browsing, the browser, the web server on the mobile device, and the person who owns the mobile device – it seems as if there would be a direct connection from the browser to the mobile web server.

Additional information about the mobile web server concept can be found at its project page.

Besides the http server, Nokia also released a gateway solution that actually makes it possible to address a mobile phone via a URL. Nokia also ported Phyton to Symbian S60.

Download Symbian Apache Web Server Source Code

The source code is available at the project’s SourceForge site.

According to Nokia. the Apache Web Server software for mobile phones can be built using S60 2nd Ed. FP2 and most likely using S60 2nd Ed. FP3. S60 3rd Ed. is not yet supported but will be shortly.

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