A long time ago I ran zenspider.com on my SGI, “lust” using Netscape Enterprise. Enterprise has a clunky HTML-based admin interface and was not terribly easy to program. After a while, my need to write semi-complex applications in a rapid fashion became a high enough priority that I decided to leave Enterprise behind.
I switched from Enterprise to HTTPi around 1998. HTTPi is a 100% perl webserver with no dependencies on any perl modules. As such, it is fairly lightweight. It is under 10K, HTTP 1.1 compliant, and is pretty impressive. It is a bit clunky on implementation, but is fairly easy to understand. My only real complaint is that CGI, while super fast (because they are run in an existing perl process), are not real CGI and can’t be dropped into another webserver.
I made a lot of modificiations, and switched to it for a good while. I LOVE having full control over my webserver. I am added a lot of interactive features to HTTPi that will made this site more dynamic and more fun to maintain.
Eventually, I needed support for standard CGI, standard logging, and virtual hosts. I didn’t want to modify HTTPi that much, so I switched to apache and mod_perl.